April 13, 2018
Gainesville, Fla. --No. 11 South Carolina softball dropped a tough 3-1 game in the series opener against No. 6 Florida on Friday night at KSP Stadium. Carolina looked poised to mount a comeback in the seventh with Tiara Duffy’s one-out double to score Kennedy Clark from first but the Gators were able to hang on for the victory to open the three-game set.
The Gators scored one run the first three innings before Kelsey Oh came on in relief in the fourth. Oh tossed two strikeouts in that frame to hold Florida scoreless and give the Gamecocks a little momentum heading back to the plate in the fifth.
Oh was one of the bright spots on the night for the Gamecocks, as she posted two-straight scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth to keep the Florida lead at 3-0 through five. Five of the freshman’s first six outs were strikeouts.
Oh closed the night with three innings of work, striking out six. She allowed just two hits and didn’t give up consecutive-hits on her way to posting three scoreless innings.
South Carolina (34-8, 8-5 SEC) found itself within striking distance the entire night, never allowing a big inning out of the Gators.
Florida used one run in the first three innings and solid pitching to earn the first victory of the series between the two teams.
With one out in the seventh and Clark on first, Duffy broke up the no-hit bid with a double to score Clark and cut the deficit to 3-1 before Florida sealed the win two batters later.
Cayla Drotar (15-3) took the loss in the circle in three innings of action, allowing three runs on three hits.
It was a tip-of-the-cap kind of night for Florida’s Kelly Barnhill. She went all seven innings on her way to allowing just one hit. She worked around four walks and a hit by pitch, as well, and finished the night with 13 strikeouts.
Between the two teams and three pitchers, 20 of the 38 outs were strikeouts.
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