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April 1, 2003

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina scored six runs in the fourth en route to a 9-1 five-inning victory over the Tennessee Lady Vols (31-13, 4-6) to take game one of the Tuesday doubleheader. The Gamecocks improved to 25-8 overall and 9-3 in the SEC as they recorded 11 hits and Carolina’s top four hitters went 8-for-12 in the lineup. SEC Pitcher of the Week Stacey Johnson (12-4, 5-1 SEC) held Tennessee to one run on three hits for her ninth complete game of the season.

USC came out attacking in the first inning with three straight singles and a double to score threes runs and jump out to a 3-0 lead early on. Carolina loaded the bases three times in the fourth as every batter in the starting lineup reached base.

Ashley Smith led off the explosive fourth inning for the Gamecocks with a walk and Carolina brought in Samantha Jennings to pinch run for the catcher. Melissa Sandel recorded the first out of the inning with a pop up but Nancy Crane followed with a bunt single and advanced Jennings to second. Kim Evans then singled to load the bases for Amber Curtis. Curtis doubled and advanced to third on the throw as she drove in Jennings and Crane. Evans got caught in a rundown play and was tagged out on her way to home plate. With two outs, Carolina continued to roll as they registered back-to-back-to-back hits by Jodi Fittro, Debralee Troesh and Danielle Quinones. Troesh’s double scored Fittro and gave USC a 7-0 lead. With runners at second and third, Meghan Cornett walked to load the bases for the second time in the inning. Smith, who led off the inning, returned for her second at bat and singled to drive in Quinones and Troesh and put USC ahead 9-0. USC loaded the bases one more time in the inning as Sandel walked with runners at second and third but pinch hitter Kristin Hall grounded out for the final out.

In Tennessee’s top of the fifth, Johnson held the Lady Vols to just one hit for four and two-thirds innings before walking Sarah Fekete and giving up a single to Kathryn Card to spark a rally attempt for Tennessee. Kristi Durant then singled to drive in UT’s lone run, scoring Fekete and preventing Johnson from a shut out.

The victory extended Carolina’s win streak to seven straight games over Tennessee and also snapped the Lady Vols current win streak at seven.