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Feb. 15, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. – After posting a 3-1 mark on the opening weekend of play, South Carolina looks to continue the momentum as the Gamecocks play host to Winthrop on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Beckham Field.

An improved offense helped the Gamecocks during the Palmetto State Showdown, as the team hit .333 while slugging .550 on the weekend. South Carolina hitters posted 14 extra-base hits, including home runs from four different players. Sophomore shortstop Samie Garcia proved to be a spark at the top of the lineup, getting on base at a .647 clip while stealing two bases. Senior designated player Laura Mendes led the team in on-base percentage and slugging percentage on the weekend, tallying four hits in just seven at bats, as teams pitched carefully to her. Both Garcia and Mendes made the all-tournament team.

South Carolina pitchers April Borchardt and Julie Sarratt both had strong opening weekends. Borchardt allowed just two hits in seven innings of relief work on the weekend. The freshman Sarratt tossed a no-hitter in her first collegiate game, striking out five en route to all-tournament and SEC Freshman of the Week honors.

Winthrop went 2-2 in the all-South Carolina event last weekend, posting two run-rule wins over Furman and Coastal Carolina while dropping one shortened game to PSS champion USC Upstate and another lopsided loss to Charleston Southern. Veronica Berrie led the Eagles at the plate last weekend, as the senior outfielder had a double, a triple and a homer during her 13 at bats. Pitcher Natalie Becker joined Berrie on the all-tournament team, getting one of the wins with her complete game against Coastal Carolina. She struck out 20 batters in 9.1 innings of work.

The Gamecocks own a 40-7-1 advantage over the Eagles, including winning the last three meetings. The fourth-most common non-Southeastern Conference foe for South Carolina in history, the series dates back to 1975.

Gametracker live stats will be available at, while Steve Fink will have the live audio broadcast for the web.