March 5, 2006
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Jacqueline Wetherbee hit a two-out, two-run home run in the fourth inning to lift South Carolina (17-5) 2-1 past Memphis (8-7) in the final day of the Tar Heel Invitational Sunday morning. USC went 5-0 in the tournament and claimed the title. Jessica Barnes recorded the victory and improved to 2-1, while Melanie Henkes picked up her first save of the season. Nicki Johnson took the loss for the Tigers and fell to 4-3. McKenna Hughes hit two doubles to go 2-for-3 at the plate and scored the tying run.
Hughes and Christie Hamilton were named to the all-tournament team along with Wetherbee. For the tournament, Wetherbee went 8-for-14 to hit .571. She hit four home runs, scored five runs and had nine RBI. Hughes went 8-for-14 and hit .571 with six runs, including three doubles, one home run and had three RBI. Hamilton went 5-for-15 with four runs, including two home runs, two doubles and six RBI. Hamilton also went 2-0 in 12 innings pitched with 12 strikeouts.
With a single and two walks, the Gamecocks loaded the bases with one out in the first inning, but Nicki Johnson struck out the next two USC batters to get out of the inning unscathed.
USC found themselves in the same situation in the third when two hits and a walk loaded the bases but the Gamecocks were unable to convert into runs.
Kimmi Hayden led off the fourth with a single to left center field to record the Tar Heel’s second hit of the game. Barnes then retired the next two batters but Lindsey Pridgen followed through with a double to score Hayden and put the Tigers on the board 1-0.
In the bottom half of the fourth, the Gamecocks responded when Wetherbee hit a two-out, two-run home run to propel USC to a 2-1 lead. McKenna Hughes, who was at third after reaching safely on her second double of the game, scored the tying run.
Henkes entered the game in the fifth with Carolina in the lead. Henkes pitched three innings, gave up one hit and struck out three for her save.
The Gamecocks now begin SEC play March 11-12 when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide.