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March 9, 2011

Box Score

MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. – Despite 2-for-4, two-RBI efforts from sophomore Samie Garcia and freshman Dana Hathorn, South Carolina (13-7, 0-2 SEC) could not hold back Mississippi State (10-10, 2-0 SEC), who used two five-run innings to defeat the Gamecocks, 11-5, in the nightcap on Wednesday at the MSU Softball Field.

Garcia also scored twice, while junior centerfielder Lauren Lackey added a 2-for-3 night with an RBI. The Bulldogs had four players with two hits, with Briana Bell leading the pack with a pair of runs scored and four RBI.

The Bulldogs used five-run innings in the third and fourth to blow the game open. Bell had a two-RBI single in the third to start the barrage, while Chelsea Raines followed with another RBI single. A blooper from Jessica Cooley dropped behind the Gamecock pitcher and plated another run, while Shelby Fisher delivered a pinch-hit single to wrap the scoring in the third.

Sam Lenahan kicked off the fourth-inning scoring with a two-RBI double to right. Bell followed with another two-RBI single and scored later on Cooley’s groundout.

South Carolina held the 1-0 lead in the first when Hathorn beat out a single to allow Garcia to score from third. But Mississippi State tied things in the bottom of the frame when Kaili Smith singled home Ali Bainbridge, who started the inning with the first of her two doubles.

The Gamecocks forced the game to go the distance with four runs in the fifth. Garcia had a two-RBI single to plate pinch runner Jackie Slawson and Lackey. Garcia moved to third thanks to a wild pitch and an illegal pitch. Sophomore right fielder Hannah Milks joined her on base with a walk, and she moved into scoring position with a stolen base. That gave Hathorn another RBI opportunity, and she beat out a chopper to let Garcia score. The throw to first got away from the Bulldogs, giving Milks the chance to race home from third.

Bulldog starter Misty Flesher (3-1) got the victory, tossing four innings and striking out four while giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits. Gamecock freshman Julie Sarratt (4-2) took the loss, giving up six earned runs on eight hits and two walks.

South Carolina opens its home SEC schedule this weekend with a three-game series against Ole Miss. Friday’s contest starts at 6 p.m. at Beckham Field, with first pitches for Saturday and Sunday afternoon scheduled for 2 p.m. and 12 noon, respectively.