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Feb. 21, 2010

Box Score

ORLANDO, Fla. – A valiant comeback effort by South Carolina (6-3) fell just short, as the Gamecocks dropped a 5-4 decision to Troy (6-1) in the final contest for the squads in the UCF Invitational.

The Garnet and Black had hits from juniors April Borchardt and P.J. Fulmer and seniors Adele Voigt and Lindsay Walker. Rocky Paige led Troy, going 3-for-3 with two doubles and two runs scored. Courtney Cherry went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI.

Troy got a run in the second thanks to an RBI double by Sarah Harris. After Paige singled and Cherry reached after getting hit by a pitch, Harris laced one to center, allowing pinch runner Ashley Adkins to score. The shortstop Walker relayed the throw from Voigt and got Cherry at the plate thanks in part to Fulmer’s blocking of the plate. Fulmer then fired to third ahead of Harris to end the frame.

South Carolina tied it in the fourth, starting the comeback as junior Laura Mendes hit one off the pitcher’s glove to lead off the inning. After moving into scoring position on Walker’s sacrifice bunt and advancing to third on sophomore Evan Childs’ fly ball, Mendes scored with two down on Fulmer’s single under the third baseman’s glove.

The Trojans, however, didn’t let the game stay tied for long. Paige doubled home Belinda White after her leadoff single to retake the lead before scoring herself on Cherry’s shot to right. Troy added another in the fifth on an RBI double by Hayden Gann, which plated Kortney Cooper after her leadoff single. Another Trojan run came across in the sixth when Paige scored on Cherry’s RBI double.

The Gamecocks tried to tie it in the seventh, loading the bases after a pair of Trojan fielding errors and a single by Voigt. Borchardt followed with a one-out hit to score freshman Briana Hamilton. Another Troy error allowed sophomore Lauren Lackey to cross the plate. A fielder’s choice brought home Voigt and left Carolina with the tying run on third. But Trojan pitcher Ashlyn Williams got out of the inning with a grounder to second.

Williams (5-1) went the distance, giving up four unearned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out eight. Junior Ashley Chastain (2-2) picked up the loss, giving up two earned runs on three hits in 3.1 innings.

South Carolina returns home for midweek games against Charlotte and Campbell on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Both games are set for 4 p.m. starts at Beckham Field.