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March 5, 2015

Box Score

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Behind a record-tying six home runs, two from senior catcher Olivia Lawrence, South Carolina (17-5) powered past Liberty (4-10) in a 12-3, five-inning victory on Thursday night at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

The Gamecocks struck early with two first-inning homers. With two on, sophomore first baseman Kaylea Snaer drove a ball out to center for her first shot of the year. Lawrence followed with a solo shot that cleared the wall just to the left of the scoreboard.

Liberty picked up a run in the second on Alexia Taylor’s leadoff homer to left field. But two more blasts in the second put South Carolina way ahead. Junior left fielder Alaynie Page hit a one-out shot to left, and with two down in the inning, senior offensive player Sarah Mooney lined one out to left with a runner aboard, making it a 7-1 Gamecock advantage.

The Flames scratched out a run in the third on Kelby Allen’s RBI single to right.

In the fourth, South Carolina tacked on two more home runs. Junior third baseman Jordan Bizzell sent one out with one away, while Lawrence’s grand slam tied both the team and individual single-game mark, making it a 12-2 South Carolina lead. Liberty added an unearned run in the fifth on Allen’s second run-scoring hit of the night.

Gamecock redshirt senior Julie Sarratt (9-3) went the distance, giving up three runs, two earned runs on six hits and a walk. She struck out five. Liberty’s Chandler Ball (3-5) took the loss, allowing five earned runs on four hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings.

Game Changer:
The first-inning homers set the tone at the plate for the Gamecocks in the victory

Key Stat:
Lawrence tied the single-game record with her two homers, the third time this season a South Carolina student-athlete has knotted that mark. She had a career-best five RBI and was hit by a pitch as well.

• The Gamecocks tied the team single-game home-run record set 10 years ago on this date against South Dakota State in a 15-2 (5) win in the 2005 Buzz Classic.
• Page’s second-inning shot moved her into a tie for fifth on South Carolina’s career list, tying Meghan Cornett (2002-05) and Dana Fulmer (1992-95).
• Page now has nine round-trippers on the season, also tying for fifth in a single season with Samantha Jennings (2004) and Joyce McMillin (1999).
• Mooney’s two-run homer moves her into 10th alone in Gamecock history with 16 long balls in her Gamecock career.
• Lawrence’s HBP ties her for 15th in South Carolina history with her classmate Kristen Struett and four others with 10.
• Bizzell reached base and scored all three times up, going 2-for-2 with a homer.
• Snaer’s blast was her first of the year.
• Mooney went 2-for-2 with a home run and walk.
• The contest was delayed for an hour due to rains in the area.

Tweet of the Game:

Up Next:
The Gamecocks open SEC play this weekend at home against No. 21/20 Missouri, with first pitch for the series set for Saturday at 12 noon. All three games will be shown on the SEC Network.