South Carolina Loses Finale to No. 5/7 Florida, 6-1
May 1, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. - In a game where South Carolina (25-27, 6-19 SEC) collected more hits than No. 5/7 Florida (43-8, 18-7 SEC), the Gators emerged with the 6-1 victory in front of an over-capacity crowd of 712 fans at Beckham Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Gamecocks got two-hit days from junior centerfielder Lauren Lackey and senior designated player Laura Mendes, with Mendes collecting her ninth double of the year. Sophomore shortstop Samie Garcia added a double as well. Overall, South Carolina posted eight hits, one more than Florida.
Florida's Brittany Schutte had two hits, including one of the Gators' three homers. That homer, a two-run shot, came in the first with two outs. Kelsey Bruder also scored on the blast, reaching on a one-out walk. The advantage doubled to 4-0 in the third thanks to a solo homer by Michelle Moultrie and Bruder's run that came on a two-error play by the Gamecocks with two down.
South Carolina got a run back in the fourth on sophomore rightfielder Hannah Milks's infield single, scoring Mendes from third to make it 4-1. The Gamecocks still had two runners on with two down, but Florida pitcher Hannah Rogers got a groundout to end the inning.
The Gators plated their final two runs in the sixth when Cheyenne Coyle followed Tiffany DeFelice's leadoff single with a homer to left.
The Gamecocks had threats in the first and fifth as well. Back-to-back one-out singles by Lackey and Mendes in the first went for naught, as Rogers got a strikeout and a groundout that was an extremely close play at first. In the fifth, Garcia had a one-out double that Lackey followed with a chopper she turned into an infield single. A groundout moved Lackey into scoring position as well with two down, but Rogers got another strikeout to escape the frame.
Rogers (27-5) went the distance, giving up one earned run on eight hits while striking out three in the win. Gamecock redshirt sophomore pitcher Audrey Broyles (6-9) took the loss, giving up three earned runs on two hits and two walks. She struck out one.
The loss knocks the Gamecocks out of the running for the SEC Tournament, setting the field members for the event in Oxford, Miss., over May 12-14. South Carolina still has a chance to finish at .500 or better, which would keep them in the running for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Gamecocks wrap up their home slate on Wednesday as they host Winthrop in a single game at 7 p.m. EDT.