Two Unearned Runs Cost SC in 4-3 Setback to No. 21/20 Kentucky
April 7, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Unearned runs in the fifth and the sixth for No. 21/20 Kentucky (27-10, 8-4 SEC) helped the Wildcats take a 4-3 win home on Sunday from South Carolina (19-17, 1-11 SEC) in front of 853 fans at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
Kentucky junior Lauren Cumbess tied the game at 3-3 in the fifth with an RBI single, scoring pinch runner Sarah Frazer, who checked in for Griffin Joiner after she reached second on an errant throw by the Gamecock third baseman. The go-ahead run crossed in the sixth on Christian Stokes' sacrifice fly to center, scoring Krystal Smith. Smith started the frame with a walk and moved to second on Sylver Samuel's sacrifice bunt that Samuel reached on after the Gamecock first baseman mishandled the throw. A sacrifice bunt by Maisie Steed moved both Smith and Samuel into scoring position, setting up Stokes.
The Gamecocks held a 2-0 lead after the first when junior second baseman Dana Hathorn drove a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left center, scoring senior shortstop Samie Garcia as well after she started the game with a double to left. The Wildcats cut the lead to one in the third on Joiner's RBI single, plating Samuel after she got a one-out bunt base hit, stole second and advanced to third on a groundout.
South Carolina made it a two-run lead again in the bottom of the third when Garcia walked, stole second, moved to third on freshman left fielder Alaynie Page's grounder to second and scored on Hathorn's RBI single to right center. Sophomore centerfielder Kristen Struett followed with a two-out double down the left-field line, but Cumbess got a foul pop up to end the threat. Cumbess then drew the Wildcats to within one with her leadoff homer in the fourth.
The Gamecocks left the bases loaded in the fifth, as Garcia reached on an error before Hathorn and Struett drew two-out walks to load the bags. Cumbess escaped the jam by inducing a grounder to third.
South Carolina threatened in the seventh, as Garcia posted her second double to start the inning. She moved to third on Page's sacrifice bunt, and Hathorn followed by getting hit for the 13th time this year. Cumbess got two infield pop flies, including the final out caught in foul territory, to wrap the victory. Cumbess (7-3) gave up three earned runs on seven hits and three walks in the complete-game win, while she went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI. Nikki Sagermann also went 2-for-3 with a walk for the Wildcats.
Gamecock redshirt sophomore Julie Sarratt (3-4) took the tough loss in relief, tossing four innings and giving up the two unearned runs, striking out one while walking one and giving up four hits. Garcia and Hathorn combined for four of South Carolina's seven hits and scored all three of the runs, with Garcia posting two of the Gamecocks' three doubles. Hathorn reached all four times at the plate while hitting her second homer of the year.
South Carolina steps out of Southeastern Conference play for Wednesday's doubleheader against Coastal Carolina. First pitch for game one is set at 5 p.m. at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.