Gamecocks Cruise Past South Dakota State with Five Home Run Inning
March 5, 2005
Marietta, Ga. - South Carolina exploded with an 11-run fourth inning to defeat the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 15-2 in five innings at the Buzz Classic in Marietta, Ga. Saturday afternoon. USC posted a school record, six home runs, five of which were in the fourth inning and two were grand slams. The Gamecocks also recorded a season high 20 hits. Becky Martinez hit two long balls in consecutive at-bats. Chrissy Schoonmaker and McKenna Hughes hit the grand slams, the first on the season for USC.
Kate Pouliot picked up her second win in as many appearances and improved to 2-2. Pouliot threw four innings and allowed two runs on three hits. Anna McDaniel saw action in the fifth inning, making her first collegiate appearance.
The Gamecocks first scored in the second inning when Jessica Josker hit an RBI-single to drive home Schoonmaker. In the top of the third, three more runs came on Martinez's first home run of the game, a three-run shot to centerfield. Schoonmaker and Lisa Longo scored on the play.
In the bottom half of the inning, SDSU's Ashley Kalina hit a one-out two-run home run to prevent the shutout and cut the Gamecocks' lead to two. It was the fifth long ball of the year given up by Pouliot.
The fourth inning was the highlight of the day for USC. The Gamecocks went through the entire batting lineup with everyone reaching base safely and scoring before the Jackrabbits could get an out. Josker led off with a solo home run followed by another solo shot by the bat of Meghan Cornett. Up 6-2, USC followed with two more hits and a walk before Schoonmaker hit the first grand slam of the inning. With the score now 10-2, Martinez followed with a solo shot, her second of the game. USC connected on two more singles and had a runner reach on a fielder's choice before the first out was recorded.
SDSU then changed pitchers and brought in Jordan Bottorff. Bottorff then gave up a single to Cornett, her second hit of the inning, to load the bases. Hughes then came to the plate and homered to left field for the second grand slam of the inning and gave USC a 15-2 lead. Bottorff eventually was able to prevent any more runs from scoring despite giving up another hit to the Gamecocks. Bottorff struck out Darcy Norem and Schoonmaker grounded out to end the explosive inning.
The six home runs broke the previous record of five, which was set last season against Charlotte. In addition to the 20 hits, the 11 hits in the fourth inning was a season high. USC wrapped up pool play 3-1 and earned the No. 7 seed in bracket play.