Bats Stay Hot in 13-7 Gamecock Win at Charlotte
Feb. 29, 2012
by Koby Padgett
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An 18-hit performance that included three homers sent South Carolina (12-4) to a 13-7 win over Charlotte (8-6) at D.L. Phillips Complex on Wednesday afternoon.
Leading the Gamecock offense were sophomores Dana Hathorn and Chelsea Hawkins, who both went 3-for-4. Hathorn scored three times and drove in two with her double in the first, while Hawkins plated three and scored twice with a homer and a double.
Seniors Lauren Lackey, Kaitlin Westfall and Evan Childs along with junior Shelby Gonzales all recorded two hits, with Childs and Gonzales hitting homers and Gonzales driving in three. Lackey extended her hitting streak to 12 games, while junior Samie Garcia's hit in the third stretched hers to 15 games. Redshirt senior Kaela Jackson also drove in two with her pinch-hit RBI double in the sixth.
The Gamecocks got on the board in the first thanks to Hathorn's two-RBI double, scoring Lackey and Childs, before Hawkins sent one off the scoreboard in right center to make it 4-0 South Carolina. Charlotte cut the lead in half on Briana Gwaltney's two-run homer to center in its half of the inning.
A wild pitch allowed senior pinch runner Jackie Slawson to score with two down in the second, but the 49ers responded with Chelsea Ingersoll's solo homer in the home half. Childs answered that on a 1-1 pitch to start the third, hitting her sixth homer of the year and the 12th of her career, tying her for 10th on the Gamecocks' career list. Hathorn followed with a hit to chase 49er starter Katie Watkins (3-4), and Lexi Betancourt got two strikeouts before Gonzales blistered one over the fence in left to make it 8-3.
The 49ers made 8-5 in the third on Samantha Slade's two-run homer, scoring Jackie Kleinsmith after her two-out walk, while they made it a two-run game when Chelsea Stamey, who reached on a leadoff walk, scored with two down and the bases loaded on a wild pitch by Gamecock freshman pitcher Katelynn Howser (5-0).
South Carolina busted out in the sixth with five runs, led by RBI doubles from Westfall, Hawkins and Jackson, while Jackson scored on Gonzales' single off the wall in right. That made it 13-6 for the Gamecocks, which stood until Gwaltney led off the seventh with a homer to left center.
Howser picked up the win in relief, allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks in 4.1 innings. She struck out six. Watkins took the loss, giving up seven runs, three earned, on six hits and a walk in two-plus innings.
South Carolina heads west for the Highlander Classic, where it starts the weekend on Friday against Portland State, with first pitch set for 9 a.m. PST at Amy S. Harrison Field.