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April 17, 2015


Box Score

LEXINGTON, Ky. – South Carolina (30-16, 5-11 SEC) used a five-run first and junior Alaynie Page’s record-setting 13th home run of the year to pick up a 6-4 victory at No. 14/16 Kentucky (27-15, 4-12 SEC) at John Cropp Stadium on Friday evening.

In the first, redshirt sophomore Lauren Masters tallied an infield single with the bases loaded to plate the first run, while a fielder’s choice allowed senior Kristen Struett to score the second. Senior catcher Sarah Mooney then laced one under the outstretched glove of the diving Wildcat shortstop, clearing the bases with the double to make it 5-0. The Wildcats got two runs back on Griffin Joiner’s two-run homer in the bottom of the first.

Page drove a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left for her 13th home run of the year, setting a new single-season record for South Carolina while growing the Gamecocks’ lead to 6-2. Kentucky drew within two on Nikki Sagermann’s two-run blast to left in the fifth.

SC sophomore Nickie Blue (15-7) went the distance in the victory, giving up four earned runs on seven hits and three walks. She struck out six. Kentucky’s Kelsey Nunley (11-10) took the loss, allowed six earned runs on six hits and a walk.

Game Changer:
Mooney’s double to the wall in left center capped South Carolina’s big first inning, handing the Gamecocks a lead they wouldn’t give up.

Key Stat:
Page went for 2-for-3 with two runs scored, a homer and a walk.

• Page’s record-setting home run is her first since March 20 at Texas A&M in South Carolina’s 31st game of the year.
• Page is now seventh in a single season at South Carolina in total bases (126) and tied for seventh in RBI (41).
• Her RBI also tied her for 16th in Gamecock history in RBI, joining two others with 89 in her career.
• Blue’s win ties her with Kate Pouliot (2005-08) and Kim Sheridan (1993-96) in 13th on the career lists at South Carolina.
• Bizzell’s HBP ties her with Page in sixth in Gamecock history.
• Three different Gamecocks had doubles: Masters, Mooney and Struett.
• South Carolina picks up its first win at a ranked opponent’s stadium since April 5, 2014 at No. 15 Georgia.
• Seven different Wildcats had hits, led by the two two-run homers by Joiner and Sagermann.
• Sylver Samuel scored twice for Kentucky.

Tweet of the Game:

Head coach Beverly Smith

Tonight’s win was a great team win. We had a lot of great quality at-bats throughout the lineup. We put a lot of pressure on their defense. Nickie Blue pitched an excellent, excellent game, holding down a very good Kentucky offense. I felt like our kids’ focus and intent was there. It was a fun ball game to be a part of.

On the big first inning:
In the first inning, you saw some gritty at-bats. Our kids were just in there fighting every pitch. They put the ball in play and made things happen.

The other big thing for us was the double play that Jordan Bizzell turned in the bottom of the sixth. We had one out and runners at first and second, and Bizzell turning that double play was huge for us.

Junior left fielder Alaynie Page
It was a great team win. We came out and hit them in the mouth early with five runs. We were just prepared. It was a great win.

On the home run:
I was seeing (Nunley) pretty well in my first at-bat. After I popped up in the second, I knew it was an easy adjustment. She kept throwing me a rise ball. I knew I had to be aggressive, put a good barrel on a ball. It felt good. I knew it was out when I hit it.

Up Next:
The Gamecocks and Wildcats are scheduled to continue the series at 3 p.m. on Saturday at John Cropp Stadium. With weather forecasts putting Sunday’s game in doubt, officials will talk on Saturday morning to see if a doubleheader will be needed on Saturday.