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Feb. 18, 2015


South Carolina at the 2015 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic
Big League Dreams Park – Cathedral City, Calif.
Thurs., Feb. 19 – Sun., Feb. 22

Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic Tournament Central

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Thurs. vs. LIU Brooklyn – 1:30 PM
Live Audio |

Thurs. vs. No. 9/8 Florida State – 6 PM
Live Audio |

Fri. vs. Stanford – 11 PM
Live Audio |

Sat. vs. No. 21/20 California – 8 PM
Live Audio |

Sun. vs. Northwestern – 12 PM
Live Audio |

15 SC Softball Notes – 2/18 Get Acrobat Reader

15 SC Softball Bios – 2/18 Get Acrobat Reader

15 SC Softball Stats – 2/14 Get Acrobat Reader

Feature on Julie Sarratt
Feature on Nickie Blue
Feature on Kristen Struett

Gamecocks Ramp up Competition in Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

  • For the second-straight year, Gamecock head coach Beverly Smith will challenge her team with a West Coast trip that includes games against two ranked foes.
  • This year, as part of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif., the Gamecocks take on No. 9/8 Florida State on Thursday and No. 21/20 California on Saturday.
  • Last season, South Carolina faced No. 3 Arizona State and No. 19 Minnesota in Tempe, Ariz.
  • Also among the Gamecocks’ opponents this weekend are perennial powers Stanford and Northwestern as well as LIU Brooklyn.
  • All five games will have an audio broadcast on Gamecocks All-Access, a subscription service that also provides access to South Carolina baseball radio broadcasts.

South Carolina Sweeps Through Gamecock Invitational

  • The Gamecocks picked up four wins over Carolina rivals in the Gamecock Invitational.
  • Twice, the Gamecocks came from behind to win, both coming in the nightcaps on Friday (9-6 vs. Presbyterian) and Saturday (5-4 vs. College of Charleston).
  • Junior left fielder Alaynie Page led the Gamecock offense, hitting two doubles and four round-trippers in the event.
  • She helped the Presbyterian comeback with a program-tying two home runs and five RBI in the game, while she started the effort against the Cougars with an inside-the-park homer.
  • Page also had 10 RBI and two stolen bases in the event and tied for the team lead with six runs scored alongside junior right fielder Ansley Ard.
  • Of those who started three games or more, only one didn’t hold a .400 on-base percentage on the week.
  • Sophomore Nickie Blue allowed one earned run in the four games, going 3-0. She pitched six innings in the one-hitter against Appalachian State.
  • Also against the Mountaineers, freshman Tiara Duffy picked up her first collegiate hit.

Page Soaring in 2015

  • Junior left fielder Alaynie Page has propelled the Gamecock offense in the early part of 2015.
  • She leads the team in 11 offensive categories, including batting average (.514), slugging percentage (1.114), runs (13), hits (18), home runs (6) and RBI (19).
  • Page is one home run from matching her freshman-year output and tying for 14th in South Carolina history on the single-season charts 10 games into 2015.
  • She’s already moved much higher on some Gamecock career charts, which can be found on page 10.

Offense Struggled in Two Straight Losses

  • In the second East Carolina game and the home opener vs. UCF, the Gamecocks did not have a single extra-base hit after posting at least two and as many as seven in the first four games, all wins.
  • Another common stat in the losses, the AAC foes hit a triple to start the first in each.

Opening Weekend Notes

  • South Carolina went 4-1 in the Pirate Classic, posting 10 runs or more in three of its first four games for the second time in three years (2013 Stetson Lead-Off Classic).
  • Both Nickie Blue and Julie Sarratt posted two wins and one shutout in the tourney, with Blue adding a save.
  • Blue joined Alaynie Page and Taylor Williams on the Pirate Classic All-Tournament Team.
  • The junior Page hit a team-best .500 while also leading the squad with seven runs and eight RBI out of the leadoff spot, four coming on a grand slam vs. Delaware State.
  • Williams hit two home runs in the 11-2 win over East Carolina on Saturday night, matching a program record.
  • Gamecocks Effie Manahan, Kate Shereyk and Kamryn Watts all posted their first career hits on RBI singles in the tourney, while Caroline Cash also tallied her first hit.
  • Junior Jordan Bizzell was never retired while at bat in the event, scoring five runs while walking five times and going 3-for-3 with a double and a home run.

Watch Us Play on the SEC Network + (At Home and On The Road in SEC Play)

  • All 31 home games will be on either the SEC Network (five games) or on SEC Network + via the WatchESPN app and
  • Also, four road SEC games will be on the SEC Network with the rest on the SEC Network +.
  • The 13 road non-conference games will be streamed live via an audio broadcast for a $10 monthly fee as part of the Gamecocks All-Access page at
The Last Meeting
LIU Brooklyn 5
South Carolina 9
February 14, 2014
Boca Raton, Fla.
South Carolina Downs LIU Brooklyn 9-5 to Start Friday
9704299.jpeg Behind freshman first baseman Kaylea Snaer’s three-RBI day, South Carolina (4-1) defeated LIU Brooklyn (1-5) 9-5 in Friday’s first game for the Gamecocks in the Florida Atlantic Strike Out Cancer Tournament at the FAU Softball Stadium.

Scouting LIU Brooklyn

  • The Blackbirds are 1-9 on the year, picking up a one-run win over Georgia Tech during their opening weekend at Florida Atlantic.
  • Since then, the squad has lost eight straight, starting with a 8-0 (5) loss to Arkansas at FAU.
  • Five of the nine losses came in five-inning contests.
  • Whitney West, a returning NFCA All-Region performer, leads the offense, posting 11 hits so far.
  • Angie Vazquez tops the team with six RBI and has one of the two home runs.
  • Nicole Archer has two doubles.
  • Lauren Morizi led LIU in 2014 with a .335 batting average and 18 doubles.
  • No pitcher has an ERA under 6.50 or an opponent batting average lower than .300.

The Last Meeting – LIU Brooklyn vs. South Carolina – Feb. 14, 2014

  • The Gamecocks won 9-5 during the FAU Strike Out Cancer Tournament.
  • Kaylea Snaer hit a home run and drove in three in a 2-for-3 day.
  • Julie Sarratt took the win, tossing five innings while striking out seven. She allowed three unearned runs.

Roster Notes

  • Seven position player starters return for the Gamecocks from last year’s squad.
  • In the circle, only 28 innings depart, while the duo of Nickie Blue and Julie Sarratt return after going 35-22 with 11 saves last year.
  • Back from 2014 are team leaders in home runs (Sarah Mooney, 12), runs batted in (Kaylea Snaer, 35), walks (Snaer, 31) and stolen bases (Ansley Ard, 9).
  • SC lost four seniors who combined to start 157 games, including every start at second base and shortstop as well as 54 of 58 starts in right field.
  • The top offensive loss is Ashlyn Masters, who started a team-high 56 games and led the way in 10 categories: at bats (174), batting average (.362), on-base percentage (.447), runs (47), hits (63), doubles (19), triples (3), total bases (112), slugging percentage (.644) and sacrifice flies (3).
  • South Carolina looks to replace highs of 53 percent of its sacrifice hits and sacrifice flies (8 of 15 in both) as well as 51 percent of doubles (42 of 82).
  • In the rest of the offensive categories, the Gamecocks bring back from 53.8 percent (at bats and triples) to 70.7 percent (home runs) of their production from 2014, a season where the Gamecocks set four team offensive records.
  • Seven freshmen join the squad to put the roster at 22 for the second-straight year.
  • The team is dominated by South Carolina natives, with 36.4 percent of the roster (eight players) hailing from the Palmetto State. California is second with four players.
  • The Gamecocks hail from 10 states this year, with the freshmen coming from California, Delaware, Pennsylvania and the Palmetto State.
  • Nickie Blue and Hayley Copeland are the first Gamecock duo who are both over six-feet tall.
  • While both Williams’ and sophomores by class, Taylor and Victoria are not sisters.
The Last Meeting
South Carolina 3
Florida State (FSU Tournament) 8
February 17, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla.
No. 22 FSU Contains Gamecocks in 8-3 Win
South Carolina suffered its second loss of the season as they fell 8-3 to No. 22 Florida State in their final game of the FSU Sunshine State Tournament. The Gamecocks went 2-2 at the tourney and are now 8-2 on the year. Melissa Hendon (1-1) took the loss as she gave up six runs on six hits in five innings pitched. McKenna Hughes hit two home runs to provide USC all three runs.

Scouting Florida State

  • Five position starters are back from the Seminoles’ Women’s College World Series squad.
  • Also back is 2014 USA Softball Player of the Year Lacey Waldrop.
  • Last season, Waldrop led NCAA Division I with 38 wins while ranking third in the nation with a 1.13 ERA and 12th in strikeouts with 287.
  • Waldrop has a 1.16 ERA in 2015, fanning 52 against 13 walks in 36.1 innings of work.
  • Jessica Burroughs, in 29 innings, has a 1.21 ERA, striking out 36 while walking eight.
  • The offense was no slouch in 2014, ranking 12th in the nation with a .416 on-base percentage and 27th with a .493 slugging percentage.
  • Back is Maddie O’Brien, who led the Seminoles in 11 categories, including 24 home runs, 17 doubles, 83 RBI and 56 walks.
  • So far this season, she’s drawn 11 walks.
  • Alex Powers has the team lead in doubles, homers and RBI so far this year.
  • The Seminoles play their first games outside of Tallahassee this weekend, taking on Tennessee immediately before facing the Gamecocks.

Series History vs. the Seminoles

  • Longtime regional rivals, Florida State holds a slim 22-19 lead in the series that dates back to 1985.
  • The teams played every year for 12 seasons (1985-96).
  • In neutral-site games, Florida State has won six of 11.

The Last Meeting – South Carolina at Florida State – Feb. 17, 2007

  • No. 22 Florida State defeated South Carolina 8-3 during the Sunshine State Tournament in Tallahassee, desping McKenna Hughes’ two-homer day for the Gamecocks.

Scouting Stanford

  • Every starter returns for the Cardinal, who went 30-25 last year.
  • Stanford finished ninth in NCAA Division I in doubles (1.60 per game) and 10th in triples (0.31).
  • Speedsters Hanna Winter, Leah White and Tylyn Wells, who stole 16, 14 and 13 bases last year, respectively, have four stolen bases as a group so far this year.
  • Kylie Sorenson led the team in power categories last year, and three of her eight hits have gone for extra bases this season.
  • Kayla Bonstrom tops the Cardinal this year with two home runs and 11 runs scored.
  • In the circle, innings leader Madi Schreyer returns, and she has a 1.88 ERA in 22.1 innings so far.
  • Freshman Haley Snyder has tossed 41.1 innings thus far, going 5-4 but struggling otherwise.
  • As a staff, Stanford’s pitchers have walked 44 batters in 69 innings this season.

Ties Between South Carolina and Stanford

  • Stanford’s Erin Ashby and Jessica Plaza came from the same SoCal A’s group that produced Gamecocks Kaylea Snaer and Hayley Copeland.

Stanford and South Carolina Against Common Foes

  • Both teams played North Carolina, with Stanford falling 7-5 in Tempe, Ariz., while the Gamecocks beat the Tar Heels at home 6-3.

Series History vs. the Cardinal

  • The teams have faced off twice, with Stanford winning one and the other ending in a tie.

The Last Meeting – South Carolina vs. Stanford – Feb. 25, 2001

  • Rains in Columbus, Ga., halted the Gold Bracket semifinal game between Stanford and SC, with neither team scoring in the five-inning game that was declared a tie.
  • Jessica Mendoza doubled in the contest for the Cardinal, while the Gamecocks had Amber Curtis reach on a walk.

We Schedule Tough

  • The Gamecocks play 24 of their 56 regular-season games against teams who made the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
  • A total of 41 of the Gamecocks’ scheduled games come against teams that finished in the top 100 of the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index last year. Of those, 26 are against RPI top-50 teams.
  • Thirty-one games come at home, including non-conference foes UCF, South Alabama and USC Upstate, who all made the NCAA Tournament with RPI’s in the top 30.
  • UCF (American), Florida State (Atlantic Coast), USC Upstate (Atlantic Sun) and Coastal Carolina (Big South) won their leagues’ 2014 regular-season crowns.

Scouting California

  • The top five hitters and three pitchers return for the Bears, who went 23-29 a year ago.
  • Also returning is Britt Vonk, an Olympian for the Netherlands who missed 2014.
  • Freshman Jazmyn Jackson and Vonk led the team in the early going with on-base percentages over .620 and with three and five stolen bases, respectively.
  • Nine games in, the Bears have already half of their 2014 season total in stolen bases.
  • Cheyenne Cordes and Danielle Henderson hit 13 and 12 homers, respectively, in 2014, and both have three blasts as well as three doubles already this year.
  • Returner Kylie Reed ranked as the eighth toughest in NCAA Division I to strike out, while Henderson stood 12th in walks per game at 0.83.
  • Stephanie Trzcinski holds a 0.59 ERA in 23.2 innings this year, fanning 10 and walking six.
  • Last year she led the team with 116.1 innings, a .299 opponent batting average and 86 strikeouts.

Series History vs. the Bears

  • The Gamecocks lost the only previous meeting against Cal on March 28, 1986 in the Houston Classic.

Gamecocks vs. Ranked Opponents

  • South Carolina is 100-239-1 (.296) against opponents ranked in the NFCA top 25 since 1995.
  • Broken down by site, the Gamecocks are 45-77 (.369) at home, 17-108 (.148) on the road and 38-54-1 (.414) in neutral-site outings.
  • In 2014, the Gamecocks went 6-13 against teams ranked in the NFCA poll at the time of the game, including a 2-8 mark on the road.
  • Twice, the Gamecocks won an SEC home series against ranked teams, downing Texas A&M and Auburn, the first time in history that had happened in the same season.
  • South Carolina is now 2-24 against top-five opposition on the road, with one win being the 3-2 victory at No. 3/3 Arizona State on Feb. 27, 2014.
The Last Meeting
Northwestern 3
South Carolina 1 (9)
March 9, 2013
Clearwater, Fla.
Gamecocks Drop a 3-1 Decision in Extra Innings to Northwestern
8670599.jpeg A leadoff homer in the ninth propelled Northwestern (13-9) to a 3-1 win over South Carolina (13-5) in the first game of Saturday’s action at the USF Under Armour Showcase at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.

Scouting Northwestern

  • Northwestern is 3-6 on the season, with two of the losses coming to ranked Pac-12 teams.
  • Back after missing 2014 is junior pitcher Amy Letourneau, who had a 2.43 ERA, fanned 288 and walked 181 batters in 218.2 innings in 2013.
  • Letourneau has struggled thus far, walking 24 and hitting seven more while striking out 16 in 26 innings for a 6.73 ERA.
  • Kristen Wood, who tossed most of 2014’s innings, returns as well. She held a 3.73 ERA, striking out 233 against 133 walks in 184 innings. In 29.2 innings this year, she has 29 K’s and 14 walks.
  • Five offensive starters are back from a group that ranked 10th in scoring in NCAA Division I (6.55 runs per game) and fourth in on-base percentage (.432) and eighth in batting average (.332).
  • Brianna Lebeau topped the Wildcats with 11 home runs and 43 RBI.
  • More of a speed team in 2014, the Wildcats have six stolen bases thus far in 2015.
  • Andrea DiPrima and Andrea Filler both have two home runs already, with DiPrima also walking eight times.

Ties Between South Carolina and Northwestern

Northwestern and South Carolina Against Common Foes

  • Both teams own wins over North Carolina, the Wildcats opening 2015 with a 7-3 win in Tempe, Ariz., while the Gamecocks beat the Tar Heels at home 6-3.

Series History vs. the Wildcats

  • The teams have played 10 times, with each winning five. The last four have gone to Northwestern.

The Last Meeting – South Carolina vs. Northwestern – March 9, 2013

  • A leadoff homer in the ninth led Northwestern to a 3-1 win over South Carolina in Clearwater, Fla.
  • Amy Letourneau won the game with a 198-pitch effort, scattering four hits and six walks while striking out 14.

South Carolina Staff Has Top Credentials

  • Gamecock head coach Beverly Smith has now been a part of 10 NCAA Tournament teams as a coach (eight at UNC, two at South Carolina).
  • Associate head coach Lisa Navas has been to four NCAA Tournaments as an assistant coach (two at SC, one each at UNC and Missouri) and eight as a head coach (six Division II at Barry, two at NC State). Her 1998 Barry squad played in the national championship game.
  • Assistant coach Calvin Beamon has three titles to his credit as a player, the biggest a College World Series title at Texas during 2005.
  • He also won the NJCAA Division I title in 2003 at the College of Southern Nevada and a high school state championship at Smoky Hill High School in Cherry Creek, Colo.

Offensive Records Falling Regularly for Gamecocks under Smith

  • South Carolina set six team offensive records in 2014, four cumulative and two per-game.
  • The 53 homers, 210 walks, .385 on-base percentage and .464 slugging percentage all topped previous marks.
  • Per-game marks broken include home runs (0.91) and walks (3.62), both set the previous year.
  • Sixteen team single-season records have been set in Smith’s first four years, eight each in both cumulative and per-game stats.
  • Smith’s teams have set the home run and slugging percentage records now in three-straight seasons.
  • The 210 walks snapped a mark (173) set in 1992.

Gamecocks Have a Rich History in NCAA Tournament

  • South Carolina earned its 17th bid in the NCAA Tournament in 2014 and its second straight.
  • The Gamecocks are 32-31 in those trips, making three Women’s College World Series in their history (1983, 1989 and 1997).
  • The program has five AIAW World Series trips in its history as well prior to 1982.

South Carolina Softball Historical Record

  • South Carolina has played 2,074 games in its softball history, going 1348-719-7 (.652) in its 41st season of sponsorship.
  • With the first game of 2015, Beverly Smith becomes the second person to serve as the Gamecocks’ coach for five seasons at South Carolina, joining NFCA Hall-of-Fame coach Joyce Compton.

Gamecocks Picked to Finish 10th in SEC Coaches Preseason Poll

  • In a poll of the SEC coaches, South Carolina was picked to finish 10th in 2015.
  • Last season, the Gamecocks finished in a tie for eighth, three spots better than what the league’s coaches predicted in the preseason.
  • Of note, all nine teams picked ahead of SC appeared in both preseason national rankings.
  • Defending national champion Florida was the coaches’ selection to take the 2015 league crown.
  • The past two years, the SEC has sent 11 teams into the NCAA Tournament, with two of the last three NCAA champions hailing from the league.

This Is How Tough 2014 Was (Especially in the SEC)

  • When looking at last year’s RPI, the Gamecocks went 13-19 against top-100 RPI teams during regular-season play, with the only loss outside of the top 100 coming to Maryland (147).
  • South Carolina rebounded to beat Maryland the next day.
  • Overall, South Carolina was 7-17 against RPI top-50 squads.
  • South Carolina played 11 of the 63 other teams in the NCAA Tournament in the regular season, going 9-16 against those squads.
  • Six of those 11 were SEC foes, teams that the Gamecocks went 6-12 against during the year.
  • Five opponents earned national seeds, with the Gamecocks posting a 2-10 mark against them (No. 2 Alabama, No. 4 Georgia, No. 9 Arizona State, No. 10 Tennessee, No. 16 Minnesota).

The Pitchers Reigned Supreme

  • Both Julie Sarratt and Nickie Blue won SEC weekly awards in 2014.
  • Blue had seven saves, tied for the most in 2014 in NCAA Division I and second in a single season at South Carolina, and Sarratt four, tied for fifth in Gamecock history.
  • Both were better in relief (Sarratt 1.12 ERA, Blue 2.01) than starting (Sarratt 3.08, Blue 3.68).
  • The group posted a 29-inning scoreless streak from the final game at Florida Atlantic till the final game of the Gamecock Invitational.
  • Longer than that stretch was the Gamecock pitchers’ no-homer stand, a 72-inning stretch from the 4th against Ohio through the end of the UNC Wilmington game.
  • As a team, the Gamecock pitchers allowed 0.53 homers, 0.08 triples and 0.73 doubles per game, which stood second, sixth and fourth in the league, respectively.
  • The staff gave up 123 runs in the first three innings of games (174 IP) and only 98 runs in the innings 4-7 this season (in 195.2 innings).

Awards Poured in for 2014 Gamecocks

  • Gamecocks Nickie Blue and Kaylea Snaer both garnered spots on the SEC All-Freshman Team as voted on by the league’s coaches.
  • It’s the first time since 2008 for South Carolina to received multiple people on any combination of the SEC’s postseason awards.
  • Snaer (3rd team 1B) was joined by Ashlyn Masters (2nd team DP/U/Non-P) on the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Southeast Region squads.
  • Chelsea Hawkins gained a spot on the 2014 SEC Softball Community Service Team, while Julie Sarratt made it the year before.
  • Both Masters and Kristen Struett claimed spots on the 2014 Tallahassee All-Regional Team.
  • Blue started the team’s weekly recognition haul with her Feb. 24 SEC Freshman of the Week win.
  • Sarratt garnered SEC Pitcher of the Week honors on March 17 after helping the Gamecocks take the series from nationally-ranked Texas A&M.
  • Masters (March 31) and Codee Yeske (May 5) both won SEC Player of the Week awards, the first time since 2005 the team had won two in a year.
  • Blue also earned a spot on the first listing of 25 for the NFCA’s inaugural National Freshman of the Year award.

Blue Best in Big Games

  • Nickie Blue garnered a spot on the inaugural NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year listing of the 25 finalists.
  • Her seven saves stood atop the NCAA Division I stat rankings.
  • Blue led the SEC in two categories: saves (7) and wild pitches (19).
  • When Blue pitched, she produced double the ground-ball outs (253) versus fly outs (123).
  • Lefties had more trouble against Blue with two strikes, hitting .173 (24-of-139) (and .221 overall)with 57 of her strikeouts against lefty batters in 133 less at-bats than vs. righties.
  • Blue earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors on Feb. 24 after picking up a win and two saves in relief as well as her first career shutout vs. Michigan State.
  • Her top-two wins on the season were complete-game victories at ranked opponents in the 3-2 victory at No. 3/3 Arizona State and the 1-0 triumph at No. 15/17 Georgia.
  • Against the Bulldogs, Blue struck out a career-best seven and held UGA to its lowest hit total of the season to that date, allowing only three.
  • She also tossed a shutout in the 8-0 (5) win over No. –/24 LSU (4/20).

Savvy Veteran Sarratt Striking Down Foes

  • Julie Sarratt picked up SEC Pitcher of the Week honors on March 17 after going 2-0 with a save the week prior, which included a complete-game, nine-strikeout win over No. 13/15 Texas A&M.
  • The 2013 leader in wins, ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts, Sarratt had 12 career marks in South Carolina’s top 15 after her third year active on the roster.
  • Sarratt’s fanned 140 batters in 170.1 innings, a rate (5.75 K/7IP), over a strikeout better her career standard (4.56 K/7IP) entering the year.
  • Sarratt struck out a career-high 10 in the win over Maryland, while she sat down nine in her complete-game victory over No. 13/15 Texas A&M, her best in an SEC game.
  • She was at her best with two strikes against right-handed hitters, holding them to a .155 batting average (30-of-193) with 85 of her K’s in those circumstances.

Snaer Drove The Middle of the Order

  • Kaylea Snaer started the first 46 games of her freshman year (2014) before an arm injury took her out of the lineup for three weeks. She returned to start all three games of the Tallahassee Regional.
  • While out, the Gamecocks managed to go 6-3 without their RBI (35) and walks (31) leader.
  • She had eight homers (T-7th) and 31 walks (T-5th), both in SC’s top 10 in a season.
  • The first freshman to lead the Gamecocks in RBI since Jill Semento in 2008, Snaer earned third-team All-Southeast Region honors from the NFCA at first base.
  • Earning a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team, she had 14 hits in 20 league games, with nine going for extra bases (4 2B, 5 HR).
  • Snaer’s posted two or more hits 11 times and multiple RBI in 12 games, the latter tops on the team.
  • Eighteen of Snaer’s 35 RBI came with two outs.