April 19, 2003
Columbia, S.C. – A seventh inning three-run homer by Alabama’s Emily Currie lifted the Crimson Tide to a 3-2 victory over South Carolina, taking the series two games to one. The Gamecocks (32-14, 16-9 SEC) held the lead for the entire game and had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. Alabama (38-16, 21-6 SEC) pitcher Stephanie VanBrakel improved to 13-4 while reliever Melanie Henkes (14-3) took the loss for Carolina. Starter Stacey Johnson pitched five innings, gave up one hit and retired 16 of the 18 batters she faced. Danielle Quinones went 3-for-6 for the day and had four RBI’s. She reached base six times in the doubleheader.
Quinones broke the hitless streak in the fourth inning as she belted her fifth home run of the season, a two-out solo shot, and gave USC a 1-0 lead. The homer was the seventh for her career.
Melissa Sandel hit a hard double to third base in the fifth inning and was able to score on a triple by Kim Evans and put Carolina ahead 2-0.
In the sixth, pinch hitter Deasy Phillips broke up Johnson’s no-hitter with an infield single towards third base. Aleca Johnson was then brought into the game and walked the Tide’s next batter, Ashley Courtney. With no outs and two runners on, Carolina quickly brought in Henkes. Jennifer Reach recorded a sacrifice to advance the runners to third and second but Henkes then forced a pop fly by Lacy Prejean for the second out. Gamecock leftfielder Nancy Crane then made a diving catch to rob Jackie McClain of an extra-base hit and stopped the Alabama rally.
Alabama returned in the seventh Alabama and led off the inning with a walk and a single by Staci Ramsey to set the scene for Currie. With no outs and a 3-2 count, Currie hit her first home run of the season to give the Tide the 3-2 lead and eventual win.
Carolina attempted a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh as pinch-hitter Tia Rogers singled with a runner on but a groundout by Carolina ended the inning and the game.
The Gamecocks play their final home series of the season Wednesday when they host Furman in a 5 p.m. doubleheader. Carolina closes out regular season SEC play next weekend when they travel to Oxford, Ole Miss to take on the Rebels.