A Five-Run Rebel Sixth Befalls Gamecocks in 6-3 Setback
May 5, 2012
by Koby Padgett
UNIVERSITY, Miss. - South Carolina's lead evaporated in the sixth thanks to the Rebels' five-run inning, propelling Ole Miss (21-32, 6-21 SEC) to a 6-3 victory on Saturday afternoon at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
The Rebels took the initial 1-0 lead in the first on Allison Brown's RBI double, scoring Brittany Broome from first on the hit-and-run play. Broome singled the at bat before, but Corrine Doornberg was thrown out at second by senior Lauren Lackey on the shallow hit to center.
The Gamecocks (23-31, 3-24 SEC) answered in the fourth with two down. Senior Evan Childs started the frame by being hit by a pitch, and she moved to second on junior Hannah Milks' sacrifice bunt attempt that was thrown high, letting Milks reach as well. After two outs, senior Molly Brossart stepped up and drove the first pitch she saw over the rightfielder's head, scoring both Childs and Milks on the double to give South Carolina its first lead of the series.
That lead held till the sixth. Londen Ladner led off the frame with a single, and after a pop out, Erinn Jayjohn followed with a hit to right that just eluded the grasp of the Gamecock outfielder on a diving attempt. Kelly Chandler followed with a single to right center, and the throw to the plate hopped away from Gonzales, allowing Ladner to score. Pinch runner Dallas Hardin scored on the play as well, sliding under the tag at the plate. Chandler moved to third on the play that gave Ole Miss the lead.
Amanda Hutcheson followed with a squeeze bunt attempt that it seemed the Gamecocks stopped at the plate, but the home plate umpire ruled that Chandler slid under the tag and through the block of the plate to make it 4-2. Pinch hitter Natalie Nimmo hit a double to left center, scoring Hutcheson. Nimmo then went to third on the wild pitch that put Doornberg aboard, and Nimmo scored on Broome's sacrifice fly, giving Ole Miss the four-run edge.
Gamecock junior catcher Shelby Gonzales gave South Carolina hope with a leadoff homer in the seventh, her fourth of the year, but Jayjohn got out of the inning without a ball leaving the infield the rest of the way. Jayjohn (6-13) went the distance in the win, giving up three runs, one earned, on six hits and two walks while striking out one.
South Carolina senior leftfielder Kaitlin Westfall went 2-for-4 with a double, the 18th of the year, which ties Westfall for second in a single season with former All-American Dana Fulmer, who had 18 in 1995. Other Gamecocks with hits included Childs, Brossart, Gonzales and freshman Kristen Struett. Freshman Katelynn Howser (8-10) took the loss for the Gamecocks, giving up five earned runs on eight hits and two walks. She struck out three.
The Gamecocks and Rebels both end their 2012 season with Sunday's contest, being shown live on SportSouth and ESPN3 at 2 p.m. EDT.