Gamecocks Win in Extra-Innings, Compton Records 1,000th Total Career Victory
March 16, 2004
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Junior second baseman Kristin Hall came through again for South Carolina as she drove in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out single to drive in Nancy Crane and give South Carolina a game two 2-1 win over Arkansas Tuesday night. Pitcher Melanie Henkes earned her first SEC win of the season as she recorded a season high 10 strikeouts. USC's win also marks a milestone for Head Coach Joyce Compton as she records her 1,000 total career victory.
Now standing at 1000-389-2, Compton is the first coach in the SEC to reach a total 1,000 victories. Her record includes a combined 29 years at Mattatuck College in New Jersey, the University of Missouri and USC.
The Gamecocks were scoreless for seven innings before scoring in the bottom half of the inning with two outs. The Gamecocks had one more chance to win or keep the game alive. Ashley Smith represented the tying run and led off with a single. The winning run then came to the plate in Margaret Person who reached base on a walk. Topham retired the next two batters to raise the tension and then with two outs, Sandel, who went 3-for-5 for the day, recorded her only hit of the game to drive in Smith to tie the Lady 'Backs 1-1.
The Gamecocks next batter was Chrissy Schoonmaker and with a runner at third a bunt was laid down and on a squeeze, Person ran home. Topham fielded the ball and flipped it to the catcher just as Person slid just past home but Easley made the tag to force extra innings.
In her last three innings, Henkes retired Arkansas in order, including the eighth, where she posted two strikeouts for a season high, 10. For the second inning in a row, USC led off with a hit as the winning run in Crane reached base safely. Crane advanced to second on a sac hit by Samantha Jennings. Meghan Cornett flew out to right field for the second out and Person laid down a bunt single to advance Crane to third. Amber Curtis then walked to load the bases, setting the scene for Hall. Hall then smacked a single just over the second baseman's head to drive home Crane for the win. For the day, Hall went 3-for-7, including a home run and four RBI.
Arkansas took a 1-0 lead in the second inning as Allie Benish scored when Smith attempted a throw at third for an out but no one was there to cover the base, allowing the run to score. Benish was a pinch runner for Barbara-Jean Southmayd, who reached base on a fielder's choice.
Henkes pitched her fourth complete game of the season and she allowed only one unearned run on five hits and she held Arkansas scoreless for six straight innings. The Gamecocks improve to 16-5, 5-3 in the SEC while Arkansas falls to 8-13, 0-8 in the SEC. Henkes is now 4-3 while Topham is 2-5.
Game three of the series is scheduled for 4 p.m. (EST) Wednesday, March 17. Wednesday is "After School Special Day" as all school age children get free admission with a paying adult.