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March 29, 2002

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Gamecock softball team rebounded from a tough weekend as they posted two mercy-rule victories against East Tennessee State today at Beckham Field. USC gave up only one hit and combined for 23 runs off of 26 hits, including a season high 14 runs and 15 hits in game two. The Gamecocks improved to 23-11 overall while ETSU fell to 13-15.

Megan Matthews (13-4) dominated the Buccaneers as she threw her first no-hitter of the season, recorded 12 strikeouts and only threw eight balls in the five-inning win. Of the 12 strikeouts, six were looking. ETSU’s only base runner came in the second inning when Sheryl Clarke was hit by a pitch.

USC scored two runs in the first inning then two more in the fourth. The Gamecocks finished the game with a five-run inning in the fifth. Freshman infielder Kristin Hall recorded her first career home run with a three-run shot to left field to give Carolina a 9-0 win. USC registered 11 runs off of ETSU’s Courtney Jenkins (5-5).

Game two starter Stacey Johnson (7-5) continued Carolina’s pitching success as she pitched a one-hitter in five innings. Johnson walked two and struck out six.

USC jumped to an early lead once again as they scored four runs in the first and continued to score in every inning. An explosive third inning propelled USC to its second mercy-rule win of the day as 11 batters went to the plate and USC scored seven runs off of eight hits and one ETSU error. The rout gave Carolina a 13-0 lead. In the fourth, freshman Aleca Johnson entered the lineup at shortstop and with two outs, hit her first career home run, a solo shot to center field. In the top of the fifth, S. Johnson then retired the next three batters to end the game 14-0, USC’s largest victory of the season.

The Gamecocks will take the weekend off for Easter Break then will return to SEC play and travel to Knoxville, Tenn. on Tues., April 2-3 to play Tennessee. Game times are scheduled for 4 p.m. (ET) on both days

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