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Feb. 17, 2011

Tournament Central

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The South Carolina Gamecocks hit the road for the first time in 2011, as they take on Villanova, Georgetown, Michigan State and Florida Gulf Coast in the Homewood Suites/Hilton Garden Inn FGCU Tournament.

The Gamecocks enter the weekend with a 3-2 record after winning their first three games of the year during the Palmetto State Showdown. Sophomore shortstop Samie Garcia leads the squad with a .500 batting average, four runs and three stolen bases. She ranks as the only Gamecock with a hit in all five games.

South Carolina’s pitching staff has held foes to a .188 batting average in the early going, helped by freshman Julie Sarratt’s no-hitter. Both her and senior April Borchardt hold ERAs under 1.00.

Both Georgetown and Villanova are making their 2011 debuts this weekend. Villanova were picked to finish seventh in the BIG EAST race this year, while the Hoyas ranked 13th. The host FGCU Eagles come in at 2-3 on the season and was selected fourth in the Atlantic Sun coaches preseason poll. Michigan State enters the event with a 3-2 mark, with both losses coming against Tennessee during the Stetson Lead-Off Classic.

The Gamecocks have never faced Georgetown and Florida Gulf Coast, while they hold a 2-1 advantage on Villanova. The Wildcats won the most recent meeting last spring in Orlando, Fla. Michigan State and South Carolina have split their two meetings, with the Gamecocks taking the last one in 2002 in Plant City, Fla.