April 17, 2005
Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina softball team discovered some hits Sunday but couldn’t produce the runs as No. 9/12 Alabama defeated the Gamecocks 9-2 to sweep the series. USC recorded 10 hits against the Crimson Tide, the first time in 10 games they reached the double figure mark. Jessica Josker went 3-for-4 while McKenna Hughes went 2-for-4. The Gamecocks are now 24-24-1 and 7-14 in the SEC.
Kate Pouliot (6-10) got the start for USC and took the loss as she gave up six runs on five hits in two innings pitched. Aleca Johnson entered the game in the third inning and allowed three runs on five hits in five innings pitched.
The Gamecocks were able to rattle two runs and seven hits off of Tide starter Stephanie VanBrakle who improved to 24-4 on the year. VanBrakle struck out eight USC batters. Chrissy Owens earned her tenth save of the season as she threw three innings in relief and allowed only three hits.
Alabama jumped off to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning as Jackie Wilkins reached on an error by Hughes and eventually came home on an RBI triple by Jordan Praytor. The Tide added a second run when Praytor scored on an RBI sacrifice groundout by VanBrakle.
Hughes provided the first run for the Gamecocks as she hit an RBI double to score Jessica Josker who led off with a single and put USC on the board 2-1. USC then loaded the bases with one out in the first as Chrissy Schoonmaker hit a grounder to third and reached on a fielder’s choice. Schoonmaker advanced to second on a throwing error by Ashley Courtney and that allowed the Gamecocks to score Lisa Longo and tie the game 2-2.
The Tide returned in the top of the second with four runs on four hits and took a 6-2 lead. USC then brought in Johnson to replace Pouliot. From there, Alabama would remain scoreless for three more innings before scoring in the sixth.
In the sixth, Capper Reed led off with a walk and was able to eventually score on a groundout by Wilkins and Jordan Praytor then followed with a triple, the second of the game for Alabama, and drove in Leah White. Alabama then extended its lead to 8-2.
The final run of the game came in the top of the seventh when Staci Ramsey hit a solo home run to left field and the Tide went up 9-2.
In the seventh, USC continued to fight as Schoonmaker drew a two-out walk to keep the inning alive. Becky Martinez then followed with a hit, her first since April 3 against Kentucky, to advance Schoonmaker to second but right fielder Whitney Wierzbicki grounded out to the third baseman to end the inning and the game.
USC had several opportunities to score but failed in their attempts as they left the bases loaded once and had runners in every inning except the sixth. The Gamecocks stranded 12 runners for the game.
With the loss, this marks the first time the Gamecocks have surrendered a sweep to Alabama.
Alabama…………. 240 002 1 – 9 10 1 (48-9, 19-5)
South Carolina…… 200 000 0 – 2 10 2 (24-24-1, 7-14)
Win-VanBrakle(24-4) Save-Owens(10) Loss-K. Pouliot(6-10)