Feb. 2, 2003
Game 1 Box Score | Game 2 Box Score
Columbia, S.C. – Before an opening day crowd of 1,038 fans, the South Carolina Gamecocks (2-0) snapped a three-game losing streak to North Carolina (0-2) and swept the Tar Heels 3-0 and 4-0. Freshman Ashley Smith recorded the first hit and scored the first run of the season for the Gamecocks, while in game two, senior Debralee Troesh hit the first home run of the year. Junior pitcher Stacey Johnson (1-0) earned the win in game one and freshman Melanie Henkes (1-0) pitched a complete game to grab her first collegiate victory.
“In the first game I think we were a little tight with our offense, but we loosened up and got those first game jitters out,” said head coach Joyce Compton. “I felt that we played solid defense all day long and I think our freshman played very well today. They did great jobs.”
In game one, the Garnet and Black broke the scoreless tie when Smith led off the fourth inning with a single and eventually scored on a one-out double by Melissa Sandel, giving USC a 1-0 lead. The Gamecocks provided cushion runs in the fifth when Meghan Cornett and Tia Rogers led off with back-to-back singles and scored on a two-out double by Danielle Quinones, taking the 3-0 lead. That was all that USC needed as Aleca Johnson came if for relief in the sixth and earned her first save of the year.
Henkes made her pitching debut in game two as she went seven innings and allowed five hits and struck out four. Shortstop Amber Curtis led USC as she went 3-for-4 at the plate, scored a run and had an RBI. The Gamecocks had a 2-0 lead in the fifth before Troesh unloaded a solo home run to left centerfield and sophomore Kristin Hall doubled to drive in Quinones, giving USC a 4-0 lead.
For the Tar Heels, freshman Crystal Cox (0-1) recorded the loss in game one while Ashley Allen (0-1) was the pitcher of record in game two.
The Gamecocks return to action next weekend as they host the Carolina Invitational Feb. 8-9. USC will host UNC-Greensboro, No. 19 Georgia Tech and Boston College.