Gamecocks Drop 3-1 Decision in Series Finale against Mississippi State
April 18, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina got the tying run to the plate in the seventh, but the comeback could not be completed as Mississippi State (24-24, 5-15 SEC) took the final game of the series, 3-1, over the Gamecocks (11-33, 1-21 SEC) on Senior Day at Beckham Field.
Junior first baseman Laura Mendes went 2-for-4 with her team-leading 14th double, while she scored the only Gamecock run of the contest. Sophomore left fielder Kaitlin Westfall reached base three times, walking twice to go with her 1-for-2 day. Sophomore shortstop Evan Childs had an RBI single as well. Chelsea Bramlett led the Bulldogs with a 3-for-3 day, scoring two runs and stealing two bases in three tries.
An eventful first inning included senior shortstop Lindsay Walker starting the final SEC home game of her career after getting her cast cut off earlier this week. She came out after a pitch to a nice ovation from the 237 fans at Beckham Field. After Bramlett drew a leadoff walk, the senior tried to steal a base. However, junior catcher P.J. Fulmer threw a perfect ball to Childs, who tagged out Bramlett to catch her stealing. It was the first caught stealing of the season for Bramlett after 55 successful tries. A fly out and a groundout got the Gamecocks out of the frame.
Mississippi State struck quickly in the second when Brittany Bell drove a 1-0 pitch off the flagpole in left center for her fourth home run. The Bulldogs added another run in the third when Ali Bainbridge singled home Bramlett after she reached on an infield single and stole second to start the frame.
The Maroon and White waited until the fifth to strike again, with Bramlett again doing most of the work. She singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and stole third before Ka'ili Smith drove her in with a sacrifice fly.
South Carolina answered in the bottom of the fifth. Childs brought home Mendes with a two-out RBI single after Mendes, with one out, doubled off the glove of Bulldog centerfielder Jessica Cooley, who leaped to try to bring in Mendes' drive.
The Gamecocks got the tying run to the plate in the seventh after Mendes singled with one out, but Mississippi State starter Misty Flesher (11-8) got a fly out and her only strikeout of the game to complete the win.
Flesher went the distance, giving up one earned run on six hits and three walks. South Carolina starter April Borchardt (4-4) also tossed a complete game, the second of her career, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and two walks. She struck out three.
Prior to the game, the two South Carolina seniors, Adele Voigt and Walker, were honored for their four years of play at South Carolina that included a NCAA regional championship in 2007 that propelled the Gamecocks to their first NCAA Super Regional berth.
The Gamecocks and Tigers wrap up the series on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT at Beckham Field.