March 13, 2012
by Ryan Pederson and Koby Padgett
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina (18-9, 2-3 SEC) fell in the second game of the doubleheader against Mississippi State (17-9, 3-4 SEC) 9-0 in five innings.
The Bulldogs put multiple runs on the board in the last four innings of the game, starting with two on an error by the Gamecock second baseman in the second with two down. Mississippi State loaded the bases on two walks around a fielder's choice and an intentional walk to Ka'ili Smith. First baseman Shelby Fisher hit the grounder that was bobbled then thrown away to allow two runs to score.
Leftfielder Jessica Cooley added another Bulldog run in the top of the third with a solo home run to center, and Smith made it 4-0 with an RBI single to left that drove in Erin Nesbit.
Third baseman Sam Linehan drove one out to left in the fourth, putting the Bulldogs up 5-0. After a double from Heidi Shape and a single from Cooley, Nesbit delivered a sac fly that pushed Gamecock senior centerfielder Lauren Lackey to the wall, scoring Shape and giving the Bulldogs a six-run lead. Shape put the punctuation on the contest with her two-out, three-run home run in the fifth.
South Carolina's defense came up big in the first to keep Mississippi State off the board. With two aboard, Linehan singled to left, and Fisher was waved around third to try to score. Gamecock senior leftfielder Kaitlin Westfall made a great throw to freshman catcher Olivia Lawrence, who caught the ball and blocked the plate, tagging Fisher in the process to keep the Bulldogs at bay for an inning.
Bulldog starting pitcher Kylie Vry (5-3) posted a two-hit shutout, striking out six while giving up two walks. Senior Kierstyn White (6-6) took the loss for the Gamecocks, giving up four runs, two earned, in 2.2 innings of work.
Shape had three RBI and two runs scored in her 2-for-4 game, one of four Bulldogs with two hits. Lackey and Westfall picked up the hits for the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks host Charlotte on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Beckham Field.
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