April 9, 2006
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Junior McKenna Hughes hit a solo home run, her sixth on the season, in the first inning to lift the South Carolina Gamecocks (24-20, 4-13 SEC) to a 1-0, game two victory over the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks (17-25, 5-12 SEC). With the win, USC swept the doubleheader and claimed the series, the first of the season for the Gamecocks.
Kate Pouliot (4-5) held Arkansas to three hits in six innings pitched and registered five strikeouts. Christie Hamilton pitched the seventh inning to record her first save of the season. Carolina recorded one run in five hits off of Katy Henry (9-11), who took the loss for Arkansas. Henry also struck out five USC batters.
The drama reached its peak in the top of the seventh after Sandra Smith led off with a bunt single to spark a Lady’ Back rally. Kayla Johnson grounded to third and the Gamecocks’ Chrissy Schoonmaker attempted a play at second but the runner was declared safe. Arkansas had two runners on with the winning run standing at first before USC recorded an out. Hamilton walked the next batter to load the bases but she maintained her composure as she struck out Dayna Huckabee swinging for the second out. The Gamecocks sealed the win on a groundout by pinch hitter Carrie Egnor for the sweep.
With the home run, Hughes now has 21 for her career and is now second all-time among USC leaders. She now passes Tricia Popowski, who had 20.
The Gamecocks return to action on Thursday when they travel to Coastal Carolina for a non-conference doubleheader. USC returns to SEC action on April 18-19 when they head to Knoxville, Tenn. for a three-game series with No. 5 Tennessee.