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April 11, 2015

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (28-16, 3-11 SEC) led through five innings, but Arkansas (15-26, 1-13 SEC) claimed a 5-4 come-from-behind victory in eight innings on Saturday afternoon at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

Shelby Hiers sent the first pitch she saw in the eighth over the wall in center to put Arkansas in the lead for the second time in the game to make it 5-4.

Arkansas initially tied the game in the sixth on Stephanie Canfield’s three-run home run to right, scoring Devon Wallace and Kasey Fagan after they posted one-out singles. Those were the only three hits allowed by Gamecock redshirt senior Julie Sarratt, who was masterful through five, giving up two walks without a hit through 5.1 innings. She walked one more batter before giving way to Nickie Blue (14-7).

The Razorbacks took the 4-3 lead in the seventh on Fagan’s single that found a spot over third in the grass near the left field line, scoring Claire Clark from second. The Gamecocks tied things in the bottom of the seventh on sophomore right fielder Victoria Williams’ groundout, which allowed junior left fielder Alaynie Page to score from third.

South Carolina posted three runs in the first on sophomore first baseman Kaylea Snaer’s double, an error by the Razorback right fielder and junior Jordan Bizzell’s single to right. From there, Arkansas starter Sydney Wright (10-9) held the Gamecock bats down until they scored the tying run in the seventh.

The Gamecocks looked to be in business after back-to-back singles by Page and senior centerfielder Kristen Struett started SC’s half of the fifth. A sacrifice bunt move the duo into scoring position, but Wright, after intentionally walking Snaer, got a grounder to second that Parker Pocklington turned into a double play to end the threat.

Wright gave up four runs, three earned, on seven hits and five walks while striking out four in the eight-inning complete-game win. Blue took the loss, allowing two earned runs on six hits in 2.2 innings. She struck out two.

Game Changer:
The home run by Canfield tied the game, but the double play that ended the Gamecock fifth may have been the start of the momentum shift.

Key Stat:
Fifteen of the Gamecocks’ 20 outs from balls in play came in the infield.

• SC’s leadoff hitter Page went 2-for-4 with her run, while No. 2 batter Struett went 3-for-4 with a seventh-inning double (that came two feet from clearing the wall) and a run scored.
• Williams walked twice, driving in one run and scoring another, while Snaer went 1-for-2 with her RBI double and two intentional walks.
• The Gamecocks’ 5-9 hitters combined to go 1-for-18 and leave the seven runners on base, six in scoring position.
• Wallace and Fagan both tallied two hits for the Razorbacks, while Canfield and Hiers had the home runs.
• A paid attendance total of 1,452 watched the contest, the second-largest tally for Carolina Softball Stadium this season.

Tweet of the Game:

Up Next:
The Gamecocks and Razorbacks battle to see who wins the series at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.