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Feb. 26, 2015


Box Score

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina redshirt senior Julie Sarratt flirted with a perfect game but settled for a combined two-hitter as the Gamecocks (12-4) beat Western Carolina 3-1 on Thursday afternoon at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

The Gamecocks grabbed a lead in the first, as senior centerfielder Kristen Struett hit a one-out homer. In the third, senior offensive player Sarah Mooney plated Struett with a one-out single, pushing the SC lead to 2-0.

Sarratt was perfect through the first 16 batters, walking Brooke Coggins with one down in the sixth. Pinch hitter Emily Helton stepped up and sent one to the hole on the left side that Gamecock freshman shortstop Kamryn Watts snagged but held on to, giving the Catamounts (1-3) their first hit. After a fielder’s choice, Victoria Mariscal walked to load the bases. On the 1-1 pitch, Sarratt went a little too far inside on Kara Salvo, hitting her and forcing home the lone Western Carolina run.

The Gamecocks added an insurance run in the sixth on a Catamount error. Junior third baseman Jordan Bizzell drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored after Sarratt’s grounder to third, forcing a throw to third that Western Carolina couldn’t corral.

Sarratt (6-3) tossed 6.1 innings, giving up two hits and one earned run to pick up the win. Sophomore Nickie Blue entered and got the final two outs to pick up her second save of the year. Both Gamecock pitchers fanned one. Western Carolina’s Jordan Garrett (1-1) took the loss, allowing two earned runs on three hits and four walks in four innings. She struck out four.

Game Changer:
Sarratt pitched well, keeping the Catamounts from making solid contact until the seventh.

Key Stat:
Bizzell reached base three times, twice on walks and the other on a hit by pitch. She scored the insurance run in the sixth.

• Struett went 1-for-2, scoring twice and hitting the home run. She also walked.
• Redshirt sophomore Lauren Masters reached base three times, going 2-for-2 with a walk.
• Helton had the pinch-hit single, while Taylor Sigmon got a double in the seventh for the only Catamount hits.
• Gamecock junior Alaynie Page went 0-for-4, not reaching base for the first time this season.

Up Next:
The Gamecocks host the Carolina Classic this weekend, with Charleston Southern (Fri., 5:30 PM), Marshall (Sat., 3 PM), No. 24/24 South Alabama (Sun., 12:30 PM) and Tennessee State (Sun., 3 PM) making up the field for the 10-game event.