Late Comeback Bid Falls Short in 2-1 Gamecock Loss to Mississippi State
April 17, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Despite a comeback attempt in the seventh, South Carolina (10-32, 0-20 SEC) could not claim its first Southeastern Conference win as the Gamecocks dropped a 2-1 decision to Mississippi State (23-23, 4-14 SEC) in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader at Beckham Field.
Freshman Hannah Milks had two hits in the contest, while four other Gamecocks added one. Bulldog senior Chelsea Bramlett went 3-for-3 but did not add to her SEC-leading run total.
The Bulldogs struck with two outs in the first, plating two runs thanks to a Gamecock error. Mississippi State loaded the bases with one out before Jessie Bailey grounded to short. Sophomore Evan Childs handled the grounder and threw home, forcing out Bramlett, who stole two bases earlier in the inning. Courtney Nesbit followed with a grounder that the Gamecocks threw away, allowing two runs to score. South Carolina did get the third out on the play when sophomore Sam Arbaugh tagged out Bailey after a rundown.
The Gamecocks got on the board in the fourth. Sophomore Kaitlin Westfall doubled to start the frame and tried to score on Childs' single, but a good throw from Mississippi State's Ka'ili Smith got Westfall at the plate. With two outs and Childs on third, junior April Borchardt singled up the middle to plate Childs and cut the Bulldogs' lead to one.
Two double plays helped the South Carolina defense in the game. The Bulldogs had a pair of singles to start the third, but junior starter Ashley Chastain (4-13) snagged the line drive from Bailey and caught the runner off of second for the first. A leadoff single in the seventh by Bramlett threatened give Mississippi State a chance at some insurance, but she was doubled off when Ali Bainbridge lined to the second baseman Arbaugh.
South Carolina put a scare into the Bulldogs in the seventh, getting the tying run on first with one down when Milks slapped a single to left. She moved to second on a groundout, bringing the Gamecocks' leading hitter Laura Mendes to the plate. The Bulldogs chose to walk her, and the move worked. The Bulldogs got a tapper back to reliever Lindsey Dunlap to end it.
Mississippi State starter Misty Flesher (10-8) got the victory, giving up one earned run on four this while striking out two. Dunlap got the save, her second of the year, tossing 0.2 innings of hitless ball. Chastain took the loss, allowing two unearned runs on four hits and four walks. She fanned one.