Feb. 7, 2005
COLUMBIA, S.C. – After reaching double digits in hits in their first three games, the South Carolina softball team hit a wall Sunday afternoon and lost to Coastal Carolina 3-2 in the championship game of the Gamecock Invitational. Jessica Josker and Lisa Longo both went 2-for-3 and combined for four of USC’s five total hits. Kate Pouliot took the loss for the Gamecocks and fell to 0-1.
Pouliot pitched 1.1 innings and gave up three runs on five hits. With one out in the second inning, Coastal had the bases loaded for Kristina Sheppard who singled and put the Lady Chants on the board 1-0. Katey Allen then followed with another single and drove another run. Down 2-0, USC then brought in Jessica Barnes during mid-count for Pouliot with the bases still loaded. Allison Cantrell drew a bases loaded walk to take the 3-0 lead. From there, Barnes was able to retire the next two batters and got USC out of the inning.
Coastal pitcher Britney Nelson (1-0) was able to hold the Gamecocks scoreless with only two hits for the next five innings. Barnes, who recorded her first collegiate win on Saturday against Coastal, prevented Coastal from doing any more damage. In 5.2 innings, the Lady Chants were able to only get two more hits and struck out seven times, a season high for Barnes.
In the seventh, USC continued to battle as Stefanie Norman started the rally and reached safely on an error by Sheppard. Longo then followed with a single and pinch runner Margaret Person advanced to third. Ashely Smith struck out for the first out and Chrissy Schoonmaker grounded out for the second out but not before advancing Longo to second, giving USC two runners in scoring position. Becky Martinez, who recorded a hit in every game during the tournament, then singled to drive home Person and Longo and cut the lead to one.
Martinez advanced to second on an error and then Whitney Wierzbicki, was brought in to pinch run and stole third, representing the tying run. Kristi Hutchins was then brought in to pinch hit but fell short as she went down swinging, ending the game for USC 3-2.
Coastal claimed the title of the Gamecock Invitational, marking only the third win over USC for the Lady Chants.
USC returns to action Tuesday afternoon when they host Charlotte in a 3:00 p.m. doubleheader at Beckham Field.
Team 123 456 7 R H E
CC 030 000 0 3 7 2
USC 000 000 2 2 5 0
WP: Nelson (1-0)
LP: Pouliot (0-1)