Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

May 3, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Down to their last four games and still within reach of a .500 record, South Carolina hosts Winthrop on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. While the Gamecocks have already celebrated Senior Day, it will be the last home game for four South Carolina seniors. An audio broadcast and Gametracker live stats can be found at for free.

Gamecocks Fighting for .500 Finish; At-Large Berth
Every team’s goal is to make it to postseason play. The Gamecocks have lots of work to attain that goal. It will take three wins (in four games) for South Carolina’s name to be heard in the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee’s room in two weeks. The squad was eliminated from SEC Tournament consideration after the sweep to No. 5/7 Florida.

Scouting the Winthrop Eagles
The Eagles return to action after a 10-day layoff with a 15-31 overall record. Winthrop is led by Chelsey Schoenfeldt at the plate and in the circle. She is a .383 hitter, leading the team in most offensive categories including a .437 on-base percentage and a .633 slugging percentage. In the circle, she’s gone 8-13 with a 3.62 ERA. She does not strike out many though, with 62 K’s in 131.2 innings. Foes are hitting .299 against her. Natalie Becker has been a solid pitcher as well, striking out 101 in 92.1 innings to go with a 3.64 ERA. She’s also walked 72 batters while allowing a staff-low .243 batting average.

Besides Schoenfeldt at the plate, Megan Chapman is dangerous, scoring 28 runs and stealing a team-best 14 bases. No other Eagle holds a batting average over .300 or an on-base percentage over .340.

Series History Versus the Eagles
South Carolina is 41-8-1 all-time against their rivals from Rock Hill in a series that dates back to 1975. In games that are known to have been played in Columbia, the Gamecocks are 24-2, dropping the earlier meeting this season and the first game of the doubleheader in 2007.

Last Meeting vs. Winthrop – March 2, 2011
Gamecock designated player Laura Mendes had a career day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and a home run to lead South Carolina to a 6-1 win over Winthrop in front of a capacity crowd at Terry Field. Mendes compiled the fifth three-hit game for a Gamecock this season, finishing a single short of the cycle. She added three RBI and two runs scored as well. Junior centerfielder Lauren Lackey and sophomore right fielder Hannah Milks both had two hits and a run scored as well, with Milks contributing an RBI. Junior leftfielder Kaitlin Westfall and freshman second baseman Dana Hathorn also added RBI singles.

Carolina in the Month of May
For games documented in the month of May since 1986, the Gamecocks are 67-61 overall, including a 25-18 mark in all May regular-season games. When broken down into SEC games in the fifth month, the record comes in at 12-13.

Great Start to the Season
The Gamecocks have eclipsed their record from last year. With 25 wins overall and six in Southeastern Conference action, South Carolina surpassed its win totals in both categories from 2010 before the halfway mark of this year, which the Gamecocks officially hit in the last game of the Auburn series.

Offensive Improvement Easy to See
The Garnet and Black have a batting average that is 50 points better than last year (.266-.216), an on-base percentage 56 points improved (.343-.287) and a slugging percentage 95 points better (.383-.288).After 52 games in 2011, the Gamecocks have posted 78 more runs, 102 more hits, 13 more doubles, nine more triples, 14 more homers, 32 more walks and 63 more stolen bases. They also have 99 less strikeouts in 152 at bats entering the Winthrop game.

And the Pitching Has Picked Up, Too
The Gamecock offense is not the only thing that has improved. The pitching staff has stepped it up as well. The team’s ERA stands more than a run and a half better than a year ago (3.21-4.97). South Carolina has tossed three more complete games and six more shutouts than the year before, and opponents are hitting 70 points less (.249-.319) against the team this season. In nearly 40 more innings, the Gamecocks have 12 more strikeouts but 16 less walks.

South Carolina Confident with Two Runs Scored
The Gamecocks own a 24-13 record when they score two runs or more in a game. That includes a 20-7 mark when posting three or more.

No Southpaws Please!
South Carolina has not figured out lefty pitchers this year, going 1-7 against starting southpaws. The team’s batting average against lefties is just .228.

The Speed Proves Its Worth When Not There
South Carolina has gone 5-15 in games when it has not stolen a base. When swiping two or more, the Gamecocks are 16-6.

Showing Off the Wheels
South Carolina has recorded 76 stolen bases already in 2011. That total is the third-highest in history and trails just two Gamecock teams in history: 1992 (79) and 1995 (87). The Gamecocks will steal more bases than games played for just the fourth time in history, joining 1992, 1994 and 1995.

And it’s not one person doing the work on the bases. Seven different Gamecocks have tallied four or more stolen bases, led by Hannah Milks with 16. Four have tallied double figures in thefts, making the 2011 team the first in South Carolina’s recorded history (since 1983) to have four individuals steal 10 or more bases. Only eight times has more than one Gamecock made it to 10+ SB in a year. Joining Milks in double figures are Samie Garcia (15), Lauren Lackey (14) and Dana Hathorn (11).

The Long Ball Effective for Gamecocks
South Carolina has already hit 23 home runs on the season, matching the high of 2006 and 2007 in the past six years. It has been a big help to the squad this season, as the Gamecocks are 16-5 in games in which they have hit a homer. South Carolina has won just three games when the team did not record at least one triple or one home run.

Offensive Onslaughts More Prevalent than Last Three Seasons
On five occasions, South Carolina has tallied 10 or more runs in a game this season. That matches the total of 10-or-more run games in the 2007-10 seasons combined, a total of 207 games. The Gamecocks have also shortened five games this season, topping the total from the last three years.

Some Gamecocks Prefer Home; Others Like Playing the Foe
Of the Gamecocks who like playing at Beckham Field, count Samie Garcia as the biggest fan. Her line of .388/.447/.518 is best on the team at home, and all three of her triples have come at Beckham. The only thing is Garcia has yet to homer at home, with all the bombs coming on the road. April Borchardt has done her best pitching in Columbia, posting a 3.22 ERA off Marion St., while she has a 6.12 ERA when throwing in the other team’s park.

A trio of players seem to like playing on the road better. Hannah Milks hits 172 points better on the road than at Beckham Field, while Dana Hathorn (.300 road, .183 home) and P.J. Fulmer (.255 road, .154 home) have bad splits as well. Of note, only six of Hathorn’s team-high 27 RBI have come at home. Ashley Chastain has pitched better on the road (2.86 ERA) than at home (4.00 ERA).