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Feb. 22, 2015

Box Score

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Northwestern’s Brianna LeBeau drove in five runs off the bench, including the eventual game-winning three-run home run to lead the Wildcats (4-9) to a 6-4 win over South Carolina (11-4) on the final day of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.

With two on, LeBeau drove the 1-0 pitch over the wall to left center to hand the Wildcats the final three runs of the game. The runners reached on a single, a walk and an error by SC’s third baseman, with Andrea DiPrima thrown out at home on a strong throw by Gamecock junior left fielder Alaynie Page after the error.

South Carolina threatened in the seventh, loading the bases twice. An error allowed Page to reach to start the frame, while a single by senior centerfielder Kristen Struett and a walk to senior catcher Sarah Mooney followed. A wild pitch got away from Wildcat catcher Caylor Arnold, but she quickly retrieved the ball and threw it to the covering Amy Letourneau to nab Page at the plate.

A strikeout by Letourneau got the second out of the seventh, but redshirt sophomore second baseman Lauren Masters drew a walk to keep the inning alive and load the bases again. Letourneau bounced back to get a grounder to third, ending the Gamecock threat and the game.

South Carolina posted a 1-0 lead thanks to a first-inning round-tripper by Struett, her first home run of 2015. Northwestern responded in the fourth with four-straight singles, taking a 3-1 lead. DiPrima and Andrea Filler reached to start the rally, setting up pinch-hit RBI singles by Letourneau and LeBeau’s, the second scoring two runs.

The Gamecocks responded a three-run fifth, as Mooney had a bases-loaded infield single to score one. Masters followed with her hit back through the middle, bringing home the other two to give South Carolina the 4-3 lead.

Letourneau (2-7) picked up the win with three innings of relief, giving up three earned runs on four hits and three walks. Julie Sarratt (5-3) took the loss for the Gamecocks in relief, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits and a walk.

Game Changer/Key Stat:
LeBeau’s entry into the game swung the contest, as she drove in five of Northwestern’s six runs with her 2-for-2 day at the plate.

• Page walked twice as well but failed to get a hit for the first time in 2015.
• Struett reached base all four times to the plate, going 3-for-3, scoring twice and hitting the home run.
• Mooney went 2-for-3 with a double.
• The final six hitters of the Gamecocks’ order combined to go 2-for-19 with two walks (both by Masters).
• All eight runners left on were credited to the latter two-thirds of the order.
• DiPrima went 3-for-4 for Northwestern, while Filler and Letourneau scored twice.
• South Carolina ends the weekend going 3-2 in the premier collegiate showcase event, including a win over No. 21/20 California on Saturday night.

Up Next:
South Carolina starts a 14-game home stand on Wednesday against Western Carolina. First pitch at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. EST.