Bulldogs Shut Down Gamecocks In Five|
March 6, 2004
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 14th-ranked South Carolina Gamecock (12-3, 1-1 SEC) softball team suffered their fist SEC loss of the season as the Mississippi State Bulldogs (17-10, 1-4 SEC) picked up their first SEC win. USC fell to MSU 8-0 in five innings as the Bulldogs exploded with a five-run fourth inning to shutout the Gamecocks. South Carolina's Melanie Henkes took the loss as she fell to 3-2 while Kelli Miller improved to 4-3.
Nancy Crane was the only Gamecock player to record a multi-hit game as she went 2-for-3. For the day, the senior outfielder went 6-for-7 as USC only recorded 11 hits total in the doubleheader. Henkes pitched four innings and gave up a season high 10 hits. The eight runs MSU scored on the Gamecocks is the most runs USC has allowed this season. This also marks the first mercy-rule defeat for the Gamecocks since April 9, 2003 when the Georgia Bulldogs beat USC 10-2 in six innings.
MSU scored first as Jennifer Waterman hit an RBI single to score lead-off batter Megan O'Nan in the first inning. In USC's half of the first inning, the Gamecocks had a runner at third with one out before Ashley Smith hit into a double play, ending the inning and Carolina's chance to score first.
In the next four innings, the Gamecocks would get six more base runners but failed to get anything across. The Bulldogs scored three more innings in the third to go up 3-0.
In the fifth, Blaire Brown led off the inning with a solo home run before Tanelda McDonald singled to score Brown and add two more runs to MSU's lead. Up 5-0 with one out, Iyhia McMichael hit a three run homer to put MSU in the mercy-rule position.
Tia Rogers and Samantha Jennings both grounded out for the first two outs in the fifth before Margaret Person walked, giving the Gamecocks hope. Crane singled to become USC's second baserunner as Person advanced to third. With runners on the corners, Chrissy Schoonmaker hit a sharp line drive to shortstop ending the game.
The two teams return to action for the series win tomorrow at 12:30 (CST).