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Feb. 27, 2003

Columbia, S.C. – The 16th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks look to build on a two-game win streak this weekend as they travel to the Strawberry Fest Tournament in Plant City, Fla. With a 9-5 overall record, this marks the final leg of a three-week road stint for the Gamecocks. On Friday, USC will play Troy State at 3 p.m. and Western Michigan at 7 p.m. Saturday’s action will pit Carolina against Central Michigan at 11 a.m. and Oakland (Mich.) at 1 p.m. The Gamecocks will wrap up play on Sunday with a 1 p.m. game against Virginia Tech.

The Strawberry Fest Tournament also marks the first tournament this season that the Gamecocks are the only nationally ranked team. Heading into the weekend, junior shortstop Amber Curtis leads the team in hitting with a .400 average. Freshman Ashley Smith leads the team in RBI with 11 followed by senior Debralee Troesh with 10. Troesh also leads the team in home runs with four. So far this season, USC is 7-5 in tournament play.

On the pitching side, junior Stacey Johnson has been the go-to-girl for USC as she posts a 5-3 record and a 1.07 ERA in 10 appearances.

The Gamecocks post a 16-8 record against the teams in the tournament. Leading the series against Central Michigan 10-4, USC last faced the Chippewas last year and earned a 2-0 victory. This marks the first meeting against Oakland and Troy State while USC leads Virginia Tech 3-1. The series is tied 3-3 against Western Michigan.