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Feb. 20, 2003

Columbus, Ga. –
The 16th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks travel to Columbus, Ga. this weekend to face some of the country’s top teams in the NFCA Lead Off Classic. With a 7-4 overall record, USC is scheduled to play No. 5 Washington, Temple and No. 15 Michigan. USC faces Washington at noon and Temple at 2:30 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 21.

This marks the Gamecocks’ sixth appearance in the Lead Off Classic and USC holds a 20-7-1 record. This is Carolina’s first appearance since 2001 when the Gamecocks went 3-1-1. In 1997 the Garnet and Black went undefeated with a 6-0 record.

USC is 12-8 against the three teams they are facing in the Classic. The Gamecocks lead the series against Temple 2-0. The last meeting between the two teams was in ’94 when Carolina won 10-1. In the USC-Michigan series, the Wolverines lead 6-4. Carolina lost to Michigan 5-0 last year at the Strawberry Fest Tournament. The series against Washington is tied 4-4. USC lost to the Huskies last year 8-1 at the Florida State Tournament. USC’s last victory over Michigan was a 2-0 win in 1997, while the Gamecocks last win over Washington came in 2001 by a score of 5-3.

Heading into the tournament, Carolina is 2-3 against ranked teams.