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Feb. 28, 2015

Box Score

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gamecock sophomore Nickie Blue struck out a career-best 12 in a two-hit shutout of Marshall (13-4), as South Carolina (14-4) captured a 2-0 win over the Herd on Saturday afternoon at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

Blue (8-1) picked up her second shutout of the year in dominant fashion, retiring the first nine batters she faced and 10 in a row after Marshall’s Morgan Zerkle was caught trying to steal second after her infield hit in the fourth. With two down in the seventh, Katalin Lucas poked a single into shallow right to keep Blue from facing the minimum in the contest. Blue’s final four outs came via a strikeout.

The Gamecocks led off the first with a triple from junior left fielder Alaynie Page, and she scored on a wild pitch moments later. In the fourth, junior third baseman Jordan Bizzell drove a 1-0 pitch over the left-field wall for her second homer of the year, handing South Carolina the 2-0 advantage.

The Herd’s Jordan Dixon (12-4) went the distance as well, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk. She fanned seven.

Game Changer:
Blue had her best stuff working and did not allow a walk. In fact, she only faced three three-ball counts in the contest.

Key Stat:
Bizzell went 2-for-3 with the homer.

• Page added a stolen base to her 1-for-3 day in the fifth.
• Senior catcher Sarah Mooney and junior right fielder Ansley Ard both had hits in the win.

Sophomore pitcher Nickie Blue

I felt really confident and went right at the batters. I was really hitting my corners well today. We were expecting a lot of small ball from Marshall, but they couldn’t get on top of my best pitch, which kept them out of their game.

Up Next:
South Carolina closes its final home tourney of the year with a pair of games on Sunday against No. 24/24 South Alabama at 12:30 PM and Tennessee State at 3 PM.