Broyles Tosses Gem in 1-0 Friday Setback to Auburn
April 27, 2012
by Koby Padgett
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A stellar performance from Gamecock redshirt junior Audrey Broyles fell a little short, as Auburn (29-19, 8-15 SEC) used a fourth-inning Amber Harrison homer to claim a 1-0 win over South Carolina (23-27, 3-20 SEC) in front of 714 fans at Beckham Field on Friday night.
Harrison started the fourth by driving the first pitch of the inning out to the opposite field in left center, her first homer of 2012, to hand Auburn the 1-0 lead. The Tigers had two hits in fifth, both coming with one down from McKenzie Kilpatrick and Baylee Stephens, but Broyles (7-10) got the next hitter to send one into foul territory, where Gamecock leftfielder Kaitlin Westfall made a fine running catch, quickly planted and threw to third to keep the runners at first and second. Broyles followed by inducing a grounder to short to end the threat.
But Broyles's complete game was trumped by Auburn senior Jenee Loree (10-7), who struck out eight and walked one while allowing three hits in 5.2 innings of work. In the sixth, Gamecock junior shortstop Samie Garcia got to Loree, doubling to left center with one out. Loree got a strikeout for the second out, but an infield single by Westfall put runners at the corners with two down. Auburn went to the pen for Lauren Schmalz, who got a fly ball to left center that Tiger centerfielder Branndi Melero tracked down to end the frame. Schmalz finished off her first save of the year with a perfect seventh, fanning two before second baseman Brooke Lathan made a nice running catch in foul territory to close it.
Broyles gave up five hits, didn't walk a batter while striking out two in the complete game, throwing 79 pitches in the contest.
Gamecock senior third baseman Evan Childs had the other Gamecock hit in the fifth.
South Carolina also saw senior centerfielder Lauren Lackey make some great defensive plays, including diving catches in the first to rob Harrison and again in the second to take a hit from Caitlin Jordan. Childs also started a double play with her catch of a sinking liner at her shoetops in the third, doubling off a pinch runner at first. And senior first baseman Molly Brossart dove and caught a sac bunt attempt by the Tigers in the fourth.
The two teams tangle again on Saturday, with first pitch set for 7 p.m. at Beckham Field. Gamecock alumni will be honored in a pregame ceremony, with longtime Gamecock supporter Mitzi Beckham throwing out the first pitch.