April 30, 2006
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina scored five runs in the fifth inning to spark a 7-1 victory against 19th-ranked Auburn on Sunday. The win improved the Gamecocks to 28-27 overall and 8-18 in the SEC while the Tigers dropped to 33-17 overall and 14-13 in conference play. The win gave Carolina their first series win against the Auburn Tigers since 2003.
Sara Ghezzi hit a homerun to straight away center field to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Carolina would answer back with two runs in the bottom half of the fourth. Chrissy Schoonmaker led off the inning with a single to center. Lisa Longo would advance Schoonmaker to second with a sacrifice bunt. Christie Hamilton would deliver a two out single down the left-field line to score Schoonmaker to tie the game at one. Hamilton would later score on blooper by Margaret Person that was just out of the reach of shortstop Ashley Griffin to give the Gamecocks a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers would threaten the Carolina lead in top of the fifth loading the bases with no out. Hamilton then retired the next three batters in order to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Carolina scored five runs to extend their lead to 7-1. McKenna Hughes extended Carolina’s lead to 4-1 with a two run homer to left center in the bottom of the fifth inning. The home run was the seventh of the season and the 22nd of her career. The 22 is the second most in USC history and is two shy of career leader Joyce McMillin.
Jacqueline Wetherbee launched a three run homer to right scoring Hamilton and Darcy Norem. The homer for Wetherbee was her fifth and it marked the first time this year that the Gamecocks hit two homers in the same inning. Hamilton, Wetherbee, and Margaret Person, Carolina’s 7-8-9 hitters, combined to go 5-for-8 with five RBI. All five RBIs by those three batters were driven in with two outs.
Hamilton, 15-14, pitched 4.1 innings allowing one run on four hits while striking out seven. Auburn’s Holly Currie, 17-10, took the loss allowing two runs on six hits in 3.2 innings.
The Gamecocks will return to action next weekend in the regular season series finale in Gainesville, Fla. against the Florida Gators. Carolina will play the Gators on Saturday in a double-header starting at 1 pm while the Sunday game is scheduled to start 1 pm. Carolina is battling Ole Miss for the eighth-place spot in the 2006 SEC Tournament.