May 6, 2012
by Koby Padgett
UNIVERSITY, Miss. - Twice South Carolina (23-32, 3-25 SEC) held leads, but Ole Miss (22-32, 7-21 SEC) tied it both times before coming through in the seventh to claim a 3-2 win in the 2012 season finale for both squads at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
Dallas Hardin started the Rebel seventh with a hit and moved to second on a passed ball. Marina Parra sacrificed her to third, and Kelly Chandler drew a pinch-hit walk to put runners at the corners for Brittany Broome, who put one through the left side to score Hardin and hand the victory to the Rebels.
Ole Miss tied the game in the sixth on Londen Ladner's one-out RBI single, scoring Broome. She started the frame with a hit and moved to second on Allison Brown's sacrifice bunt. The Rebels threatened to take the lead that frame after Erinn Jayjohn's two-out double put runners at second and third, but Gamecock redshirt junior Audrey Broyles got a infield pop out to end the frame.
South Carolina retook the lead in the top of the sixth when sophomore second baseman Dana Hathorn drove the first pitch of the frame over the wall in left for her first homer of the year. The Gamecocks got a runner on second with no one out after senior Molly Brossart singled and stole second, but a groundout and two fly balls closed the inning.
The Gamecocks jumped on top in the first on senior third baseman Evan Childs' RBI single. That scored junior shortstop Samie Garcia after she started the game with a single before moving to second on senior Lauren Lackey's sacrifice bunt. The Rebels tied it in the bottom of the first on Brown's solo shot to left.
The Gamecocks left eight on base in the game, including a golden opportunity in the third. Singles by Garcia and Lackey started the frame, and senior leftfielder Kaitlin Westfall laid down the sacrifice bunt to put both in scoring position. But Rebel senior pitcher Kendall Bruning (15-17) induced a ground ball and a fly to left to end the frame without any damage.
The Rebels also nearly gained an edge in the second. With two down and Jayjohn at second after her first double, Hardin singled to left, and Jayjohn was waved around third. Westfall made a great throw to the plate, nailing Jayjohn to preserve the first tie.
Bruning took the victory, allowing two earned runs on nine hits and a walk in the complete game. Broyles (7-12) once again got pinned with the loss, giving up three runs, two earned, on 10 hits and a walk in 6.1 innings. She struck out one.
Garcia and Lackey both had two hits in the contest, while Childs, Hathorn, Brossart, junior catcher Shelby Gonzales and junior rightfielder Hannah Milks. Childs' RBI single in the first marked her 40th of the year, tying her for eighth all-time in a single season at South Carolina. Broome went 3-for-4 with a run and the game-winning RBI. Brown went 2-for-2 with her homer, while Jayjohn and Hardin both added 2-for-3 days.
South Carolina set new team single-season marks in 2012, including home runs (42), slugging percentage (.443) and hit batsmen (39). Senior Evan Childs tied the single-season home run record with 11 on the year, while many other Gamecocks finished in the top 10 on South Carolina's single-season charts.
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