No. 14/15 Gamecock Softball Wins Series, Defeat Mississippi State 7-4|
March 7, 2004
STARKVILLE, Miss. - - South Carolina softball found their bats Sunday as they recorded seven runs on 10 hits and defeated Mississippi State 7-4 to take the series 2-1. Senior Samantha Jennings rediscovered her hitting as she went 3-for-4 including a double, a single and her sixth home run of the season. Jennings also scored four runs to tie the school record for runs scored in a game. The last time the Gamecocks had a player score that many runs in a game was 1996.
The Gamecocks, ranked No. 14/15 improved to 13-3 and 2-1 in the SEC while the Bulldogs fell to 17-11 and 1-5 in the SEC. Stacey Johnson (7-0) earned the win for USC as she pitched 6.1 innings and gave up one run on four hits.
USC led off the inning with base runners as Nancy Crane singled and Jennings then reached on a fielder's choice. Crane was able to advance to second on a throwing error by Melissa Massey and on a sacrifice bunt by Meghan Cornett, the Gamecocks had runners at second and third. From third base, Crane scored the Gamecocks first run on a wild pitch. After Amber Curtis walked, McKenna Hughes then hits a two-out single to score Jennings and put USC ahead 2-0.
In the bottom half of the inning, Aleca Johnson, who pitched for two-thirds of an inning, struck out the first two batters before Chrissy Schoonmaker dropped a pop fly and allowed Iyhia McMichael to advance all the way to third base. Jennifer Waterman then hit a double to centerfield to score McMichael and cut USC's lead in half 2-1. Lindsay Nelson followed with a walk before Katie Johnson hit a double to left field and drove in two more runs to give the Bulldogs the 3-2 lead. The Gamecocks then brought in Stacey Johnson to replace Aleca Johnson and to attempt to get USC out of the inning. Johnson did just that as she struck out Blaire Brown to get out of the inning.
Johnson remained in the game as the designated player and she led off the second inning with a double to centerfield before the Bulldogs brought in Kelli Miller as the new pitcher. With two runners on and one out, the Gamecocks regained the lead in the top of the second when Jennings hit a three-run home run, her sixth of the season, USC's 20th on the year, to put the Gamecocks up 5-3.
USC scored again in the fourth and the sixth to go up 7-3. Jennings scored her fourth run of the day when she came home from third on a passed ball during Ashley Smith's at-bat. MSU scored again in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to three.