Gamecocks Advance to Championship Bracket, Will Face Auburn at 9 a.m.|
March 6, 2005
Marietta, Ga. - South Carolina softball connected on 12 hits and scored seven runs as they defeated the Mercer Bears 7-2 Saturday night at the Buzz Classic. With the win, USC is now 4-1 in the tournament and advances to the championship bracket of the tournament. The Gamecocks will face No. 2 seed Auburn at 9 a.m. Sunday. Kate Pouliot earned her third win for the weekend and is now 3-2 while USC improves to 15-8.
Mercer falls to 12-14 while pitcher Meredith Weare fell to 1-7.Weare gave up seven runs on 10 hits.
Pouliot threw her second complete game of the year and allowed two runs on five hits with six strikeouts. Jessica Josker, who leads the Gamecocks in hitting for the tournament with a .524 average, went 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs.
Mercer took the lead first as they scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Meghan Clark hit a one-out solo home run to left field to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. Kristin Talamantes then singled and Ashley Anderson drew a walk before C.J. Martin singled to score Talamantes and give Mercer a 2-0 lead. After a bunt sacrifice by Crystal Condra put Anderson and Martin in scoring position, the Gamecocks found themselves in a jam. With two outs, Pouliot was able to get out of the inning without any more runs coming across as she struck out Kerri Ryskamp.
USC answered in the bottom half of the inning as Schoonmaker doubled in the fourth with one out to drive in Lisa Longo and Becky Martinez to tie the game for the Gamecocks 2-2. Longo reached safely on a double before Martinez was hit by a pitch and eventually scored. The double by Schoonmaker was her second of the game.
The Gamecocks broke up the tie in the bottom of the fifth as Josker hit her second career home run and drove in Whitney Wierzbicki who singled to reach base safely. The long ball put USC up 4-2.
The Garnet and Black added three more insurance runs in the sixth inning as Josker, Cornett and Hughes all recorded RBI hits and put USC up 7-2. South Carolina also registered five hits in the inning.
Going into the final day of competition, the Gamecocks lead the tournament in hitting with a .388 average as a team. For the tournament, Josker is 11-for-21 at the plate with six runs, two home runs and eight RBIs. McKenna Hughes leads the team in RBIs with nine and is hitting .421 with eight hits, two home runs and six runs scored.