May 8, 2005
Columbia, S.C. - A first pitch lead-off home run by Courtney Bures in the eighth inning proved to be the key for the Mississippi State Bulldogs (32-27, 12-18) as the South Carolina Gamecocks (28-26-1, 11-16) fell 3-2 in game three of the series. Aleca Johnson fell to 7-8 and suffered the loss as she gave up three runs on seven hits. Reliever Stephanie Comeaux improved to 10-8 as she allowed only three hits in six innings pitched.
Kristin Hall went 3-for-3 for USC while Ashley Smith and Jessica Josker both went 1-for-4 and recorded an RBI. For the Bulldogs, Lindsay Hunley and Tenelda McDonald went 2-for-4, Bures went 2-for-3 and Katie Cooley went 2-for-2.
Home runs continue to haunt the Gamecocks as they gave up seven to the Bulldogs in the three game series, the most they have allowed to a team this year.
In the first inning, McKenna Hughes hit a two-out double to keep the inning alive. USC then took a 1-0 lead when Smith followed with an RBI-single to score Hughes.
MSU returned in the top of the second and tied the game 1-1 when Nakita Boyce hit a triple down the left field line and drove in Cooley.
USC took the lead again in the bottom half of the inning as Chrissy Schoonmaker was able to score from second on an RBI single by Josker.
In the third inning, MSU had runners at first and second with no outs before McDonald grounded to second base. The Gamecocks were able to turn a double play as Schoonmaker tagged Bures, who was on her way to second, and then threw to Meghan Cornett at first who tagged Bures for the second out. During the play, Hunley advanced to third but the Gamecocks were able to strand the runner as Callye Williams popped up to short for the third out.
State tied up the game in the fifth on a one-out solo home run by Hunley off of Johnson. USC then changed pitchers and brought in Kate Pouliot. Pouliot threw one and two-third innings and gave up two hits and a walk. With the scored still tied in the seventh, USC re-entered Johnson after Pouliot gave up a walk to Boyce with no outs. Johnson got the Gamecocks out of the inning with the score still tied but USC could not get anything started in the bottom half as they went down in order to force extra innings. On the first pitch in the eighth, Bures rocketed a home run deep over the left field fence to put MSU ahead 3-2. After giving up another hit, the Gamecocks eventually got out of the inning and stranded two Bulldog runners on base.
Carolina tried to rally as Hall recorded her third hit of the day, a two-out single up the middle, but it was not enough as the final out was a fly out to center field by Schoonmaker.
With the loss, the Gamecocks will now have to see the outcome of the Tennessee/LSU game before knowing their actual seeding at the SEC Tournament. With a Tennessee win, USC would be the sixth seed. With a Tennessee loss, the Gamecocks would be the seventh seed.
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