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April 26, 2015


Box Score

UNIVERSITY, Miss. – South Carolina (34-18, 8-13 SEC) rode senior Olivia Lawrence’s record-tying two home runs to a 10-7 victory over Ole Miss (29-21, 6-15 SEC) to clinch the series on Sunday afternoon at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.

The Gamecocks struck first when sophomore offensive player Victoria Williams followed senior centerfielder Kristen Struett’s fifth triple of the year with an RBI single. After a walk and a fly out, redshirt sophomore second baseman Lauren Masters had a home run robbed by Miranda Strother in center, who reached and got a glove on the ball over the wall and brought it back into the park. Strother didn’t hang on, however, letting two runs score to make it 3-0.

Ole Miss answered with a two-RBI single by Alyssa Invergo in the second, making it a one-run game. South Carolina made it a 4-2 game in the fourth on freshman shortstop Krystan White’s sacrifice bunt that the Rebels threw away, letting freshman pinch runner Kamryn Watts score from second. But the Rebels tied it at 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth on a two-RBI single by Invergo, the third-straight hit of the frame.

South Carolina retook the lead in the fifth with two home runs, first a two-run shot by Lawrence followed two batters later by a solo homer from sophomore third baseman Taylor Williams. Lawrence made it 10-4 with a three-run home run.

The Rebels did not go away, scoring three times in the sixth singles by Courtney Syrett and Elantra Cox to make it 10-7. The frame ended on a double play started by Masters, who ranged up the middle to pick up the grounder, touched second and then threw home after seeing a runner trying to score. The throw beat the runner, and Lawrence blocked the plate to keep the Gamecocks’ lead at three. The Rebels had two runners reach in the seventh, but Gamecock sophomore Nickie Blue got a line out and a strikeout to end the contest.

Blue (17-7) pitched five innings of relief, allowing five runs, four earned, on 10 hits and two walks to get the victory. She struck out six. Madi Osias (11-13) took the loss, giving up all 10 runs, nine earned, on nine hits and five walks in 5.2 innings.

Game Changer:
Lawrence’s first home run broke a tie, and her second proved to be the winning margin for the Gamecocks in the victory.

Key Stat:
Lawrence tied career highs with two home runs and five RBI, both set in the Liberty game on March 5.

• That’s the fifth time a Gamecock has hit two home runs in a game this year, the second time Lawrence has this year.
• Sophomore Kaylea Snaer’s first-inning walk pushed her into the top 10 in Gamecock history in that category, tying two others with 61.
• Struett’s triple in the first gives her seven in her career, tied for 16th in SC’s annals with four others, while her hit-by-pitch moved her into a tie for eighth with former teammate Evan Childs (2009-12).
• Lawrence’s two blasts move her into the top 20 in Gamecock history, tying four others in 14th with 12.
• The Williams’ Victoria and Taylor both had two-hit days, with Victoria scoring twice and driving in a run while Taylor had the homer.
• Struett scored twice in a 1-for-3 day.
• Junior Alaynie Page walked twice, once intentionally.
• The Rebels’ Invergo went 3-for-4 with four RBI, while Cox went 2-for-4 with two RBI.
• With four home runs on the weekend, South Carolina ties the single-season record with 53 home runs in a season.
• The series win is the Gamecocks’ third straight in SEC play this year, last done in 2002, when South Carolina won a series at Tennessee and three straight at home against Auburn, Georgia and Kentucky.
• The Gamecocks have won two straight road SEC series, matching the 2013 team’s wins at Auburn and Mississippi State.

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Up Next:
The Gamecocks host Mississippi State to close the 2015 regular season. Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.