March 19, 2006
COLUMBIA, S.C. – One hit was all the Kentucky Wildcats used to score two runs and defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks 2-1 to clinch the series victory. Pitcher Jessica Barnes pitched the one-hit game but the bats were silent for the Gamecocks as Megan Miller hit a two-RBI single in the fourth to lead UK to victory. South Carolina fell to 19-10 and 1-5 in the SEC, while Kentucky improved to 14-13 and 2-7 in the league.
Barnes pitched a no-hitter through 3.2 innings before giving up the single to Miller. The redshirt freshman allowed the lone hit and struck out nine despite walking nine batters. USC managed four hits as Jacqueline Wetherbee went 2-for-2 and Lisa Longo and Ashley Smith accounted for the other two hits.
In the fourth, Gina Florence led off with a walk and with one out, USC’s Christie Hamilton misplayed a ball between her legs which allowed Lori Melchi to reach base safely to give UK runners at the corners. The Wildcats’ next batter grounded out and USC intentionally walked Brooke Marnitz to load the bases. Hoping to make a play at home, Miller hit a sharp single to center field to drive home Florence and Melchi and put UK on the board 2-0.
South Carolina was able to prevent the shutout in the fifth. Wetherbee led off the inning and reached base after being hit by a pitch. Darcy Norem was then brought in to pinch run. Norem was able to advance two bases on a sacrifice bunt by Chrissy Schoonmaker. Ashley Smith then hit a single to left field to drive in Norem and cut UK’s lead in half. USC stole second and with one out, Trueblood struck out the next two Carolina batters to halt the rally and end the inning.
Trueblood held the Gamecocks to a three-up, three-down inning in the sixth but in the seventh, USC continued to fight back. Longo led off with a walk and after a single by Wetherbee, advanced to second. Schoonmaker attempted a bunt but popped up for the first out. Wetherbee and Longo then advanced to third and second on a ground out, and with two outs, the Gamecocks were threatening to score. Kristi Hutchins then entered to pinch hit and on a full count, got caught looking to strand the runners and end the game in a heartbreaking loss.
This marks the second series loss to the Wildcats for the Gamecocks. USC is still in search of their first conference series win since the 2005 season.
Samantha Allen (1-0) pitched four innings to record her first win of the season, while Trueblood pitched three innings in relief to pick up her second save of the year. Barnes fell to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in SEC play.
The Gamecocks return to action Tuesday afternoon when they host College of Charleston at 4 p.m. at Beckham Field. USC will return to the road to continue SEC play next weekend at Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss.