Gamecocks Rally In The Seventh To Beat Arkansas 6-5
March 17, 2004
COLUMBIA, S.C. - For the second game in a row, the South Carolina Gamecocks (17-5, 6-3 SEC) came from behind to defeat the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks (8-14, 0-9 SEC) 6-5. USC scored five runs in the sixth and seventh innings to hold Arkansas winless in conference play. In the seventh inning, senior Nancy Crane hit a one-out two-RBI single with the bases loaded to drive home Brookland-Cayce graduate McKenna Hughes and Margaret Person for the Gamecocks victory over the Lady 'Backs. Crane went 3-for-4 and had four RBI for the game.
Sophomore Melanie Henkes (5-3, 2-2 SEC) entered the game in the fifth inning to relieve starter Stacey Johnson and pitched 2.1 innings for her second straight win. Henkes allowed only one hit as she faced nine batters. When she entered the game, the Gamecocks were down 5-1. Sarah Topham (2-6, 0-4 SEC) pitched 6.1 innings and allowed only one run through five innings before the Gamecocks found their groove. Topham gave up six runs on eight hits, walked nine and struck out four.
USC's defense kept them out of the game in the early innings as only one of the five runs was earned. The Gamecocks recorded a season high four errors. Arkansas took advantage of the mistakes and in the fifth, scored three runs while the Gamecocks had two errors in the inning. What appeared to be a down and out situation for USC, the Gamecocks never gave up and took the game down to the wire.
In the sixth, Amber Curtis led off the inning after getting hit by a pitch. Hughes then singled to centerfield and advanced to second on an error by the centerfielder. The error also allowed Curtis to score from second and brought the Gamecocks to within three runs. Later in the inning, Hughes advanced to third on a wild pitch and the next batter, Crane, singled to centerfield to score Hughes and cut Arkansas' lead to 5-3.
Henkes gave up a hit and a walk in the top of the seventh but kept the Lady 'Backs from scoring. For the second time in as many games, the Gamecocks had one more chance to score.
With one out, Curtis, Hughes and Rogers all walked to load the bases. Chrissy Schoonmaker followed with the fourth straight walk of the inning, which scored Curtis and cut Arkansas' lead to one run, 5-4. It was then, with the bases loaded that Crane came up with her third hit of the game, a sharp single up the middle to drive home two runs, Hughes and Person for the win. Person entered the game as a pinch runner for Rogers.
At the plate for the Gamecocks, Curtis went 2-for-2 and scored three runs while Hughes went 1-for-2 with two runs.