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February 17, 2002

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina softball team (7-3) finished second in the Gamecock Invitational as they fell 2-0 to Jacksonville State (5-1), and defeated East Tennessee State (0-4) 8-0 in six innings. JSU’s Veronica Davis (3-1) held Carolina to two hits in seven innings and struck out eight. Megan Matthews (4-1) recorded her first loss of the season as she gave up two runs and two hits. Against ETSU, Stacey Johnson improved to 3-2 as the Gamecocks scored their first five runs off of five hits in the first inning.

“I am embarrassed at how we played in the first game today. We didn’t make any adjustments,” said head coach Joyce Compton. “We say we are the better team but today we weren’t. We let someone else come into our house and take one from us. They came ready to play and it showed.”

Game one remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth when Jacksonville State’s Renne Hasan doubled with two outs to score Stacy Smith, putting JSU up 1-0. An error in centerfield by Carolina allowed Hasan to score the final run of the game. For the third start in a row, Matthews recorded ten or more strikeouts. This was her first loss of the season.

The Gamecocks bounced back in the second game of the evening as they led off the first inning against ETSU with three consecutive hits. Their first run of the night came on a sacrifice fly by Amber Curtis who scored Jodi Fittro. USC had a 3-0 lead with two outs before firstbaseman Danielle Quinones hit her second career homerun, a two run shot, to put Carolina up 5-0.

“We need to have the intensity we had in the second game every time we go out,” said Compton. “We can’t just go out like this every once in awhile. We need to focus on intensity every time we are at the plate or playing defense.”

Debralee Troesh extended her hitting streak to five games as she went 2-for-3 against ETSU and was one of two to get a hit against JSU. Freshman Aleca Johnson came in for relief in the fifth inning and struck out six of the eight batters she faced. Johnson allowed one hit and one walk in two innings pitched.

The Gamecocks return to action on Wed., Feb. 20 when they host Charlotte at Beckham Field. The doubleheader is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.