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March 11, 2011

Box Score

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (14-7, 1-2 SEC) fought back and answered Ole Miss (9-16, 0-1 SEC) with a six-run sixth to take a 10-7 win over the Rebels in the first game of the series on Friday night at Beckham Field.

Gamecock junior centerfielder Lauren Lackey led the way with a 3-for-3 night, scoring three times and driving in three runs with a double and a triple. Freshman second baseman Dana Hathorn went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI, while sophomore shortstop Samie Garcia added two RBI on a 1-for-2 night. Londen Ladner led the Rebels with a 3-for-4 outing, posting three RBI to go with a homer.

The six-run sixth started with a walk to Hathorn after she fell behind 1-2 in the count. She stole second and moved to third on a Rebel error. Junior first baseman Molly Brossart drove her home with a bad-hop hit to second. Another walk, this to senior catcher P.J. Fulmer, put runners on first and second for Lackey, who doubled down the left-field line to score junior pinch-runner Kylie Morin and make it a one-run game.

Ole Miss went to the pen, and Garcia greeted Rebel reliever Brittany Barnhill with a squeeze bunt, scoring junior Kelley Dillon from third to tie it at 7-7. Sophomore rightfielder Hannah Milks doubled to the gap in left center, plating Lackey. An infield single by senior Laura Mendes and a four-pitch walk to junior leftfielder Kaitlin Westfall loaded the bags for Hathorn, who drove home two with her hit to right center to cap the scoring at 10-7.

The Rebels got six of their own in the top of the sixth. Ladner doubled home a pair to make it 4-3, while Calli Overbeck drove home the tying run with a single through the middle. With runners at first and third, Natalie Nimmo swung at the first pitch of the at bat and drove it over the left-field wall for a three-run homer that put Ole Miss on top, 7-4.

The Gamecocks took the initial lead in the second on Lackey’s triple over the leftfielder’s head, scoring junior pinch runner Jackie Slawson and Hathorn. Lackey scored on a passed ball to make it 3-0. Ole Miss got a run back in the fourth on Ladner’s blast to left. South Carolina got that run back in the fifth when Garcia singled home Lackey, who reached on a bunt single and stole second.

Senior April Borchardt (3-2) got the win, tossing 1.2 innings of hitless relief. She struck out one and walked two. Kendall Bruning (2-9) took the loss for Ole Miss, giving up four earned runs on two hits and two walks while fanning two in 1.2 innings of work.

Lackey’s three runs scored tops her career best, while she matched her hit and RBI marks. Hathorn drove in two runs for the fifth time this season while also drawing her first career walk.

The Gamecocks and Rebels square off in game two of the three-game series at Beckham Field on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. One lucky young Gamecock fan will get to announce the batters in the bottom of the fifth.