April 13, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina (22-18, 2-12 SEC) attempted to rally late but came up short against Georgia (30-14, 7-7 SEC) and fell 7-6 in front of 1,000 fans at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field on Saturday afternoon.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Gamecocks threatened. Junior third baseman Codee Yeske led off the frame with a double, and freshman left fielder Alaynie Page drew a four-pitch walk after a foul out to left. The next pitch grazed junior second baseman Dana Hathorn to load the bases for South Carolina's RBI leader, sophomore centerfielder Kristen Struett. Struett drove the 1-1 pitch to the gap in left center, hitting the wall for a two-RBI double, cutting the Bulldogs' lead to 7-6.
Georgia brought on freshman Chelsea Wilkinson with runners at second and third and one out, and she induced an infield fly for the second out. On the first pitch to junior right fielder Chelsea Hawkins, the third-base umpire called out the Gamecock runner at third on the look-back rule, bringing the game to an anticlimactic end.
The Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first after Geri Ann Glasco followed Paige Wilson's leadoff double with a homer over the left-field wall. But the Gamecocks batted around in the bottom half, taking a 4-2 lead. Senior shortstop Samie Garcia started things with a double, and Hathorn reached base on a fielding error by the Georgia third baseman. Struett drove in Garcia with her single off the glove of the Bulldog shortstop. Hawkins loaded the bases with her infield single, setting up junior designated player Ashlyn Masters' two-RBI single through the right side. Hawkins scored on a fielding error by the Georgia shortstop, making it 4-2 Gamecocks after an inning.
Georgia tied the game at 4-4 in the second on Glasco's two-run shot to right center, scoring Wilson after her two-out hit. In the top of the fifth, the Bulldogs reclaimed the lead when Kaylee Puailoa hit a solo homer off the protective netting covering the scoreboard in right center. Glasco gave the Bulldogs the needed insurance in the seventh with her third two-run blast of the game, hitting the final one straight out to right. That also scored Wilson, who reached for the third time in the game after being hit by a pitch.
Bulldog junior Morgan Montemayor (9-6) claimed the win, pitching 6.1 innings and giving up six runs, just two earned, on seven hits while walking three and striking out two. Freshmen Chelsea Wilkinson earned her first save for the Bulldogs, getting credit for a perfect two-thirds of an inning in relief. Audrey Broyles (7-7) suffered the loss, allowing five earned runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings. She struck out one.
Garcia and Struett both doubled in two-hit days for South Carolina, with Struett driving in three runs. Yeske also had a double, while Masters drove in two.
Glasco had three home runs and six RBI in a 3-for-4 day. Wilson scored three times on Glasco's homers while going 2-for-3 with a double. Puailoa also went 2-for-4 with her homer, while Tess Sito had two hits as well.
The rubber game between the Gamecocks and Bulldogs starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Gamecock head men's basketball coach Frank Martin is slated to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
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