South Carolina Drops SEC Opener at No. 6 Alabama, 6-1|
March 11, 2006
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - South Carolina fell in the front end of Saturday's doubleheader, 6-1, to No. 6 Alabama at the Alabama Softball Complex in Tuscaloosa. The Gamecocks had a nine-game win streak snapped and fell to 17-6 overall and 0-1 in Southeastern Conference play. The Crimson Tide ran its win streak to seven and improved to 19-3 overall and 4-0 in league play.
Alabama jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. The Tide's Brittany Rogers drew a leadoff walk and Jordan Praytor bunted and reached base on a throwing error by Carolina third baseman Becky Martinez. Staci Ramsey singled to score Rogers and Stephanie VanBrakle drove in Praytor with another base hit. Ramsey came home on a sacrifice bunt by Dominique Accetturo.
Kate Pouliot came on to relieve starting pitcher Christie Hamilton in the third. Hamilton took the loss, dropping her record to 9-4 on the year. The freshman gave up four hits and just two earned runs, walked one and recorded three strikeouts.
The Tide added a fourth run in the bottom of the second, courtesy of a double by Ramsey. Praytor, who got on base with a two-out single, scored on the hit.
Alabama moved ahead, 5-0, in the fourth and 6-0 in the sixth.
USC scored its lone run in the top of the seventh. With one out, Jacqueline Wetherbee dropped a base hit into right field and Lisa Longo followed with a single of her own. Ashley Smith drew a walk to load the bases and Margaret Person hit a sacrifice fly to score Wetherbee. The game ended in the next at-bat with Tide reliever Blair Potter striking out Whitney Wierzbicki.
Stephanie Van Brakle collected the win in the circle for Alabama, improving to 11-1 on the season. In six innings of work, she allowed two hits, one walk and struck out seven.
Pouliot worked the final four innings for Carolina, holding Alabama to three hits and allowing two runs, one of them earned. She walked one and struck out three.