Gamecocks Hold Lead, Beat No. 12 LSU 4-3|
March 12, 2005
Columbia, S.C. - After establishing a 4-0 lead, South Carolina softball was able to survive a fifth inning run by No. 12/13 LSU and claim a 4-3 victory and improve to 4-0 in SEC play. Freshman Lisa Longo hit her third home run of the season to provide USC the two deciding runs of the game. USC improved to 19-9 overall while LSU fell to 16-4 and 0-1 in SEC play. This marks the first SEC opener loss for the Tigers.
Meghan Cornett went 2-for-4 while Jessica Josker went 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Melanie Henkes threw 4.1 innings to earn the win and gave up one run on four hits and three walks. Reliever Aleca Johnson pitched 2.2 innings and gave up two runs on three hits and three walks. Emily Turner took the loss for LSU as she gave up four runs on five hits and four walks in six innings pitched.
USC scored first in the second inning when Josker hit a two-out two-RBI triple to score Chrissy Schoonmaker and Darcy Norem. The Gamecocks went up 2-0. Carolina scored again in the third inning when Longo homered to left field with one out and drove in Cornett, who led off the inning with a single, and put USC ahead 4-0.
The Gamecocks held on to the four-run lead until the fifth inning. With one out, USC gave up gave up a walk, a double and a home run to allow the Tigers to score three and bring them within one. After the first batter grounded out, USC brought in Aleca Johnson to pitch for Henkes on a 1-2 count to Lauren Castle. Castle drew the walk the Johnson gave up the back-to-back hits. After LSU scored, Johnson gave up two more walks before she was able to get the second out, a strikeout by Andrea Smith. Still with runners at second and first, the Gamecocks were finally able to get the third out as Killian Rossener flied out to centerfield, and USC escaped with the lead still intact.
LSU was unsuccessful in the next two innings as Johnson retired six of the final seven batters she faced. Leslie Klein went down swinging for the third out in the seventh and the 1-2-3 inning sealed the deal for the Gamecocks.
With Longo's home run, the Gamecocks have hit a home run in seven of their last 10 games and have totaled 15 homers in those 10 games. In their first 18 games, USC had only hit eight home runs.