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April 30, 2015

South Carolina hosts Mississippi State
Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field
Fri.-Sun., May 1-3 – 7, 4 and 12 PM

Fri. 7 PM – High School Day
SEC Network + on Watch ESPN |

Sat. 4 PM – Alumni Day
SEC Network + on Watch ESPN |

Sun. 1 PM – Kristen Struett Senior Day
Sunday Run Day (kids 12 and under run the bases + post-game autographs)
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15 SC Softball Notes – 4/30 Get Acrobat Reader

15 SC Softball Bios – 4/30 Get Acrobat Reader

15 SC Softball Stats – 4/26 Get Acrobat Reader

Feature on Alaynie Page
Feature on Julie Sarratt
Feature on Nickie Blue
Feature on Kristen Struett

Gamecocks Host Mississippi State to Close 2015 Regular Season

  • South Carolina finishes its 2015 regular season with a three-game series against Mississippi State.
  • SEC Network + on Watch ESPN has the first two games, set to start at 7 and 4 p.m., respectively.
  • First pitch on Sunday is scheduled for 12 noon, with Sam Gore and Kayla Braud on the call on the SEC Network.

Ending Schedule Favorable to South Carolina

  • The SEC schedule-makers had South Carolina facing teams in the bottom half of the league standings in the final four weekends.
  • With series wins over Arkansas (13th), Kentucky (12th) and Mississippi (11th), the Gamecocks now face Mississippi State, who’s tied for eighth with Texas A&M in the SEC standings.
  • The wins have the Gamecocks in 10th in the SEC with a chance to move into the 8-9 game at the SEC Tournament, set to begin next Wednesday in Baton Rouge, La.
  • The series wins over three straight foes is the first for South Carolina since they won four straight in 2002 over Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia and Kentucky.
  • The wins at Kentucky and Mississippi matches the 2013’s squad, who won its final two road series at Auburn and at Mississippi State.

Gamecocks Win Third Straight SEC Series with Pair of Wís at Ole Miss

  • South Carolina won the series against the Mississippi Rebels with 10-2 (6) and 10-7 victories.
  • That marked the third straight SEC series win, the second on the road. See above for significance.
  • South Carolina last scored 10 runs twice against an SEC opponent in a year against Kentucky in a doubleheader sweep in Lexington on April 3, 2005.
  • It’s only the third time in history the Gamecocks have scored 10 twice against an SEC opponent in a year, the first coming vs. Kentucky in 1997.

Page Soaring in 2015

  • Junior left fielder Alaynie Page has propelled the Gamecock offense in 2015.
  • She leads the team in 11 offensive categories, including batting average (.439), slugging percentage (.815), runs (50), hits (76), doubles (11), triples (6), home runs (14) and RBI (43).
  • SEC standouts Page, Auburn’s Emily Carosone and LSU’s Bianka Bell all stand in the top 50 in the country in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • The Gamecocks’ leadoff hitter has reached base 60 percent of the time she’s led off an inning.
  • Only on three occasions has she not reached base safely in a game (Western Carolina 2/26, No. 21/20 Missouri 3/9, at No. 14/16 Kentucky-1 4/18).
  • Page moved runners up at a team-best 60.8 percentage in 74 opportunities.
  • She went 7-for-11 at No. 23/23 Texas A&M with a triple and a homer, the only Gamecock with multiple hits in two games during the weekend.
  • Page tied the school’s single-season HR record held by Sarah Mooney (12, 2014), hitting the first pitch of the Friday game out at No. 23/23 Texas A&M, part of her first career four-hit day.
  • She set a new single-season home run standard at No. 14/16 Kentucky, homering in both wins.
  • The HR on Saturday broke a tie in the 11th, and she ended the game with a double play, throwing behind a runner at second to double her off.
  • To see where she stands in other single-season lists, see the sidebar on page 11 of the notes.
  • She’s also moved much higher on some Gamecock career charts, which can be found on page 10.
  • Twice, she’s tied the school record for home runs in a game, most recently with two leadoff blasts vs. No. 9/15 Tennessee (3/13).
  • Twice, Page has posted five or more RBI, including a career-best six in the Delaware State win.

South Carolina Team Notes

  • Julie Sarratt tossed a three-hit shutout in the Tues., April 21 win over Georgia Southern.
  • South Carolina is 2-6 when not collecting an extra-base hit during a game, with the two win coming in consecutive games: on April 7 vs. USC Upstate and April 10-11 vs. Arkansas.
  • In games when the team has 11 or less total bases, the Gamecocks are 7-16.
  • When the Gamecocks walk twice or less, they are 6-11.
  • South Carolina is also 0-7 when scoring one or no runs.
  • SC has won its last three games (out of five this year) when its batters strike out 10 or more times (L’s vs. UCF & South Alabama, W’s vs. Western Kentucky, No. 9/15 Tennessee and No. 14/16 Kentucky).
  • South Carolina is 10-1 when its foes don’t record an extra-base hit, five coming in shutouts, with No. 14/16 Kentucky’s win on April 18 the only setback for the Gamecocks.
  • Other win-loss breakdowns can be found in the chart on page 12.
  • The Gamecocks went 9-5 during 18-day, 14-game home stand, the longest stretch of home games this season.
  • Assistant coach Calvin Beamon and his family welcomed into the world a new son, Cash, on Thurs., March 5.

Watch Us Play on the SEC Network + (At Home and On The Road in SEC Play)

  • All 31 home games will be on either the SEC Network (five games) or on SEC Network + via the WatchESPN app and
  • Also, four road SEC games will be on the SEC Network with the rest on the SEC Network +.
  • The last road non-conference game at Coastal Carolina will be streamed live via an audio broadcast for a $10 monthly fee as part of the Gamecocks All-Access page at

We Schedule Tough

  • The Gamecocks play 24 of their 56 regular-season games against teams who made the 2014 NCAA Tournament, with SC going 6-15 so far in those games.
  • A total of 41 of the Gamecocks’ scheduled games come against teams that finished in the top 100 of the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index last year. Of those, 26 are against RPI top-50 teams.
  • Thirty-one games come at home, including non-conference foes UCF, South Alabama and USC Upstate, who all made the NCAA Tournament with RPI’s in the top 30.
  • UCF (American), Florida State (Atlantic Coast), USC Upstate (Atlantic Sun) and Coastal Carolina (Big South) won their leagues’ 2014 regular-season crowns.
  • The Gamecocks are 20-17 against teams with RPI marks in the top 100 as of April 26, including five wins over top-25 squads (Cal at 16, two vs. Tennessee at 11, two at Kentucky at 22).

SEC Schedule Prepares Teams for Postseason

  • For the second-consecutive year, South Carolina won half of its SEC three-game series, marking the seventh time it’s happened since the advent of the three-game series in 2001 (2001-03, `05, `07, `14).
  • The `14 Gamecocks, with a .458 winning percentage, last had a mark in SEC play higher in 2003, when the team went 18-12 (.643). A sweep of Mississippi State would match last year’s percentage.
  • Three times, SC was swept, at Texas A&M and Florida and at home against Missouri.
  • Those three rank third (Mizzou), fourth (A&M) and fifth (UF) in SEC games in walks drawn, behind Auburn and Alabama. SC allowed 42 of its 81 walks in those nine setbacks.

Blue Bettering Herself in Sophomore Campaign

  • Sophomore Nickie Blue continues to be most successful when producing ground outs, as her 2015 rate of ground to fly outs (228-127) looks in line to her final 2014 tally (253-123).
  • Digging further into batted ball data, it shows that 58 of those fly outs are infield flys, putting her infield-to-outfield out ratio at 286-69.
  • She’s added more strikeouts, fanning 147 in 172.2 innings after posting 118 K’s in 173.1 innings as a rookie. That includes a career-best 12 in the shutout of Marshall.
  • Once Blue gets a batter to two strikes, she has given up a .122 batting average (38-of-312).
  • Also, she’s allowed two earned runs in the seventh all season (20 2/3 innings).
  • The March 16 SEC Pitcher of the Week, Blue had two complete-game wins as part of a 3-1 week.
  • That included the March 13, four-hit shutout of No. 9/15 Tennessee, South Carolina’s first win over the Lady Vols since 2003, snapping a 28-game losing streak in the series.
  • Blue returned at No. 3/3 Florida after two weeks of rest.
  • She tossed her first career one-hitter in the USC Upstate shutout on April 7 and followed that with a two-hitter against Arkansas on April 10-11.
  • She’s already moved into the top 15 in South Carolina history in a number of categories found on page 10 of the notes.

A Look Back at Blue’s Freshman Year

  • In 2014, Blue garnered a spot on the inaugural NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year listing of the 25 finalists and earned SEC All-Freshman Team accolades.
  • Her seven saves stood atop the NCAA Division I stat rankings.
  • Her top wins of 2014 were complete-game victories at ranked opponents: a 3-2 victory at No. 3/3 Arizona State and a 1-0 triumph at No. 15/17 Georgia.
  • Against the Bulldogs, Blue struck out a then-career best seven and held UGA to its lowest hit total of the season to that date, allowing only three.
  • She also tossed a shutout in the 8-0 (5) win over No. –/24 LSU (4/20).
  • Blue earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors on Feb. 24 after picking up a win and two saves in relief as well as her first career shutout vs. Michigan State.

South Carolina Staff Has Top Credentials

  • Gamecock head coach Beverly Smith has now been a part of 10 NCAA Tournament teams as a coach (eight at UNC, two at South Carolina).
  • Associate head coach Lisa Navas has been to four NCAA Tournaments as an assistant coach (two at SC, one each at UNC and Missouri) and eight as a head coach (six Division II at Barry, two at NC State). Her 1998 Barry squad played in the national championship game.
  • Assistant coach Calvin Beamon has three titles to his credit as a player, the biggest a College World Series title at Texas during 2005.
  • He also won the NJCAA Division I title in 2003 at the College of Southern Nevada and a high school state championship at Smoky Hill High School in Cherry Creek, Colo.

South Carolina Makes History with Series Win at No. 14/16 Kentucky

  • For the first time in South Carolina Softball history, the Gamecocks won a series on the road against a ranked SEC foe, winning twice at No. 14/16 Kentucky.
  • A five-run first inning powered South Carolina’s Friday night win, while junior Alaynie Page capped the victory with her record-setting 13th home run of the year, surpassing the previous SC high.
  • Senior Sarah Mooney hit a bases-loaded double in the first to put South Carolina ahead for good.
  • After falling in Saturday’s first game, the Gamecocks came back to claim a 7-6 win in 11 innings to take the series.
  • Page hit the go-ahead home run in the top of the 11th and ended the game with a double play.
  • With one out and runners at second and third, Page caught a shallow fly and threw behind the runner at second to double her off and end the game.
  • Page slugged 1.000 on the weekend with the two home runs and a double among her five hits. She also walked twice.
  • It’s South Carolina’s second series win over a ranked foe, matching last year’s wins over Texas A&M and Auburn, both home series.

Gamecocks Get Back on Winning Track with Series Win over Arkansas

  • South Carolina picked up a series win over Arkansas, taking the first and third games 8-0 (6) and 8-3.
  • The Razorbacks claimed game two 5-4 (8), a game where SC committed three errors.
  • Nickie Blue continued her dominance, tossing a two-hitter in the first game against Arkansas.
  • In the series, she fanned 10 and didn’t walk a batter in 11.2 innings of work.
  • At the plate, the top four in the order combined to go 19-for-38 with 12 of the 20 runs scored.
  • Alaynie Page and Kristen Struett both had six hits and four runs, with Struett adding two doubles.
  • Victoria Williams and Kaylea Snaer had back-to-back home runs in Sunday’s triumph, with Williams’ blast providing the go-ahead runs.
  • Jordan Bizzell had a triple, stole two bases and was hit three times in the series.
  • Friday’s game was suspended in the second inning due to lightning and rain, the second-straight year for that to happen at home in SEC play.
  • The April 19, 2014 game vs. LSU also was halted on Friday in the fourth and completed Saturday.

From Texas A&M to USC Upstate

  • South Carolina rebounded from a sweep at No. 23/23 Texas A&M with five non-conference wins.
  • Against the Aggies, two of the losses came in A&M’s last at-bat, once in extra innings and once in the seventh.
  • Four of the wins came at home, including a run-rule shutout of North Florida, a one-run win over Furman and a run-rule victory over College of Charleston.
  • Also in that stretch was a 15-10 slugfest at UNC Wilmington, a 3-hour, 5-minute affair.
  • In four of the innings at UNC Wilmington, South Carolina sent eight batters to the plate and scored three runs.
  • In this stretch, Victoria Williams and Kaylea Snaer had nine and seven RBI, respectively.
  • Both juniors Alaynie Page (.593) and Jordan Bizzell (.581) posted stellar on-base percentages, with the duo scoring 14 runs combined in the five games.
  • Redshirt senior Julie Sarratt threw all but a third of an inning in the five games with a 2.43 ERA.
  • The Gamecocks fell in shortened games at No. 3/3 Florida despite scoring first in two of the games.
  • South Carolina responded to the tough go of things in Gainesville with a one-hit shutout of defending Atlantic Sun champ USC Upstate 3-0 on Tuesday, April 7.

Scouting Mississippi State

  • The Bulldogs are 34-16 on the season and 9-12 in SEC play.
  • State brings a solid offense into the weekend, including one that utilizes speed, ranking 16th in the country in stolen bases (1.82 per game).
  • Ten Bulldogs have multiple stolen bases, including five with six or more.
  • Loryn Nichols has not been caught in 29 stolen base attempts, while Kayla Winkfield is 23-for-26 in the stolen base category.
  • The Bulldogs have 50 home runs on the year, led by Caroline Seitz’s 13 and Julia Echols’ nine.
  • Seitz also has 14 doubles, and 50 RBI, both leading the team.
  • Katie Anne Bailey has a team-best 40 runs scored and eight triples, half of the Bulldogs’ total.
  • She’s tied for third on the team in RBI with Mackenzie Toler, while Amanda Ivy stands second with 37 runs batted in.
  • Alexis Silkwood does most of the work in the circle, tossing 200.2 innings with a 2.65 ERA.
  • Silkwood has struck out 187 but walked 98 in 41 appearances, which includes 21 complete games.
  • Toler is the best of the next three pitchers, but she’s allowed 10 home runs in 30 innings of work.
  • Defensively, the Bulldogs have given up errors on the infield, with Seitz, Winkfield and Echols tallying 37 between them. First baseman Erika Gaul has eight as well.
  • Mississippi State has allowed 30 stolen bases in SEC play, second-most in the league.

Ties Between South Carolina and Mississippi State

  • Bulldog Mackenzie Toler and Gamecock Caroline Cash played for the Atlanta Vipers.
  • MSU’s Alexis Silkwood and SC’s Jordyn Augustus both played at one time for the Beverly Bandits.

Mississippi State and South Carolina Against Common Foes

  • The two SEC foes have faced six common opponents in league play, with the Bulldogs going 8-10 against Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
  • The Gamecocks are 6-12 against those same foes.
  • South Carolina won series from the Rebels and Lady Vols, teams that the Bulldogs went 1-5 against (swept by UT, lost twice at Ole Miss).
  • Both also faced Georgia Southern recently, with the Gamecocks winning 8-0 (6) while the Bulldogs won 6-2 and 7-5 (9) in Statesboro last weekend.

SC Series History vs. the Bulldogs

  • The Gamecocks are 25-27 all-time against the Bulldogs, including an 8-11 mark in Columbia.
  • South Carolina swept Mississippi State in Starkville in 2013, the last meetings.

The Last Series – South Carolina at Mississippi State – April 26-28, 2013

  • The Gamecocks swept a critical series against Mississippi State in what will be the final trip for South Carolina to the MSU Softball Field.
  • Home runs by Kelley Dillon and Alaynie Page helped South Carolina to a 8-3 win on Friday night.
  • Page went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, an inside-the-park homer and three RBI. Centerfielder Kristen Struett went 2-for-4.
  • Behind the second-straight shutout performance of the week from Audrey Broyles, South Carolina claimed a 3-0 win over Mississippi State on Saturday at the MSU Softball Field.
  • Broyles tossed a three-hitter and faced two over the minimum, while Samie Garcia and Struett both had two hits with a double, Struett scoring once and Garcia driving in one.
  • Seventh-inning home runs from Dana Hathorn and Ashlyn Masters propelled South Carolina to a 5-4 victory on Sunday to sweep the series at Mississippi State.
  • Garcia went 4-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI to lead the Gamecocks. Masters went 2-for-3 with the homer, her second of the weekend and third of the season, and two RBI.

Gamecocks Seemingly Swing Momentum with Series Win vs. Tennessee

  • South Carolina took two-of-three games from No. 9/15 Tennessee over March 13-15, the first series win over a top-10 SEC team for Gamecock head coach Beverly Smith.
  • Nickie Blue garnered SEC Pitcher of the Week accolades after her two wins over the Lady Vols, shutting out the high-powered UT offense in Friday’s triumph.
  • The Gamecocks run-ruled Tennessee on Friday night, the first time UT has lost a shortened game since the 2010 NCAA Women’s College World Series.
  • Alaynie Page homered twice in the game, both leadoff homers in the first and third, while Kaylea Snaer started the second with a leadoff homer.
  • Friday’s win ended South Carolina’s 28-game losing streak to Tennessee that dated back to 2003.
  • Snaer added the game-ending hit in the 7-6 (9) victory on Saturday night, the win that secured the series for the Gamecocks.

Offensive Records Falling Regularly for Gamecocks under Smith

  • South Carolina currently has four team offensive records in 2015 with a few others under threat.
  • The 53 home runs ties last year’s mark for the best in program history, while the HR per game, on-base percentage and slugging percentage marks are all bests currently.
  • Last year, SC set six team offensive records in 2014, four cumulative and two per-game.
  • With this year’s factored in, 20 team single-season records have been set in Smith’s tenure.
  • Smith’s teams have set the home run and slugging percentage records now in four-straight seasons.

South Carolina Softball Historical Record

  • South Carolina has played 2,106 games in its softball history, going 1367-732-7 (.651) in its 41st season of sponsorship.
  • With the first game of 2015, Beverly Smith became the second person to serve as the Gamecocks’ coach for five seasons at South Carolina, joining NFCA Hall-of-Fame coach Joyce Compton.

Rough Start to SEC Play for the Gamecocks vs. Missouri

  • The Gamecocks took three tough losses to No. 21/20 Missouri to start SEC play.
  • The Tigers hit five home runs in the series, one-third of the number the Gamecock pitching staff had allowed to that point.
  • South Carolina went homerless in the stretch.
  • While six of the 11 Gamecock hits went for doubles, SC managed five run on the weekend.
  • Alaynie Page tallied two of those doubles, one of three Gamecocks with multiple hits in the series.
  • Freshman Tiara Duffy, in her first SEC start, scratched out two hits on Monday night, the first of the SEC Network’s weekly coverage of the sport.

Alum Codee Yeske Trying to Make USWNT in Baseball

  • Former Gamecock infielder Codee Yeske (2012-14) is among 36 invitees to the 2015 USA Baseball Women’s National Team Trials, set for May 22-24, 2015.
  • Also on the invitee list is former volunteer assistant Laura Trout.

Long Ball City vs. Charlotte and Liberty in Final Tune-Ups for SEC Play

  • South Carolina hit eight home runs in its two midweek games on March 3 and 5, including six in Thursday’s 12-3 (5) win over Liberty
  • The six homers tied a school record set on the same March 5 date in 2005 against South Dakota St.
  • The HRs against Liberty also tie for the most by a 2015 SEC team with Florida (vs. Mercer, 2/22).
  • Senior Olivia Lawrence tied both the school and individual mark with her fourth-inning grand slam, as she tallied her second round-tripper of the night and the team’s sixth.
  • Junior Alaynie Page had blasts in both contests as well as in the final game of the Carolina Classic.
  • Sophomore Kaylea Snaer’s home run vs. the Flames marks her first extra-base hit of the year, one year after ranking second on the team with eight homers, five of which came in SEC play.

Carolina Classic Catch-Up

  • The Gamecocks went 3-1 in the Carolina Classic, their final non-conference weekend of 2015.
  • In the 10-3 win over Charleston Southern, senior Kristen Struett posted her first four-hit game, going 4-for-4 with a double and three runs scored.
  • The 2-0 shutout of Marshall by sophomore Nickie Blue was quite impressive, as Blue faced one hitter over the minimum, striking out 12.
  • On the weekend, Blue fanned 21 batters and walked one in 16 innings.
  • South Carolina run-ruled Tennessee State 8-0 (5), with seven of the eight runs coming via the long ball (3-run HR by Jordan Bizzell, 2-run HRs by Victoria Williams and Alaynie Page).
  • The only setback came against No. 24/24 South Alabama, 4-1, where the Jags fanned 12 Gamecock hitters.
  • South Carolina’s only run in the USA game came after Page tripled and Struett drove her in.
  • Struett (1 hit, 1 walk, 1 HBP) and Page (2 hits) accounting for five of the six SC base runners.
  • The Gamecocks lost to the Jaguars despite turning two double plays in the game.
  • With the contest against South Alabama, the Gamecocks have hosted non-conference games in consecutive years against ranked foes (No. 16 Minnesota on March 19, 2014).

First Trip to the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic for South Carolina A Success

  • The Gamecocks went 3-2 in the trip to the Palm Springs area, picking up two wins over Pac-12 foes in consecutive games.
  • South Carolina downed Stanford 6-2 and No. 21/20 California 3-1 in the event, marking the first time the Gamecocks had two wins over a Pac-12 team in the same season since 2007 (W’s over Oregon in 2007 Columbia Regional).
  • When was the last time SC beat two different members of the current Pac-12 in a year? 1996 (W 2-1 vs. Utah, W 1-0 vs. No. 1 Arizona).
  • Never had South Carolina beaten two different Pac-12 teams in the same weekend before.
  • Redshirt senior Julie Sarratt returned to form during the event, picking up two wins, including the complete-game victory over the Bears.
  • Sarratt also homered in that win, capping a streak of four-consecutive hits over three games, driving in runs with three of those.
  • Overall, Sarratt and Blue combined for a 2.06 ERA, the sixth-best mark in the 35-team event.
  • Junior left fielder Alaynie Page kept up her strong play, pushing her hitting streak to 14 games before drawing two walks in an 0-for-2 outing vs. Northwestern to snap the skein.
  • Page hit .375 in the event and walked four times, most on the squad.
  • Senior centerfielder Kristen Struett matched Page in hits (6) and runs (4) in her native California.
  • Struett went 3-for-3 while hitting her first homer of the year against Northwestern.
  • Other notable performances include Taylor Williams’ 3-for-4 day vs. LIU Brooklyn and Sarah Mooney and Victoria Williams’ two-hit days with a double each vs. Stanford
  • For the second-straight year, Gamecock head coach Beverly Smith challenged her team with a trip over the continental divide that included games against two ranked foes.
  • This year, as part of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif., the Gamecocks took on No. 9/8 Florida State and No. 21/20 California.
  • Last season, South Carolina faced No. 3 Arizona State and No. 19 Minnesota in Tempe, Ariz.

South Carolina Sweeps Through Gamecock Invitational

  • The Gamecocks picked up four wins over Carolina rivals in the Gamecock Invitational.
  • Twice, the Gamecocks came from behind to win, both coming in the nightcaps on Friday (9-6 vs. Presbyterian) and Saturday (5-4 vs. College of Charleston).
  • Junior left fielder Alaynie Page led the Gamecock offense, hitting two doubles and four round-trippers in the event.
  • She helped the Presbyterian comeback with a program-tying two home runs and five RBI in the game, while she started the effort against the Cougars with an inside-the-park homer.
  • Page also had 10 RBI and two stolen bases in the event and tied for the team lead with six runs scored alongside junior right fielder Ansley Ard.
  • Of those who started three games or more, only one didn’t hold a .400 on-base percentage on the week.
  • Sophomore Nickie Blue allowed one earned run in the four games, going 3-0. She pitched six innings in the one-hitter against Appalachian State.
  • Also against the Mountaineers, freshman Tiara Duffy picked up her first collegiate hit.

Offense Struggled in Two Straight Losses

  • In the second East Carolina game and the home opener vs. UCF, the Gamecocks did not have a single extra-base hit after posting at least two and as many as seven in the first four games, all wins.
  • Another common stat in the losses, the AAC foes hit a triple to start the first in each.

Opening Weekend Notes

  • South Carolina went 4-1 in the Pirate Classic, posting 10 runs or more in three of its first four games for the second time in three years (2013 Stetson Lead-Off Classic).
  • Both Nickie Blue and Julie Sarratt posted two wins and one shutout in the tourney, with Blue adding a save.
  • Blue joined Alaynie Page and Taylor Williams on the Pirate Classic All-Tournament Team.
  • The junior Page hit a team-best .500 while also leading the squad with seven runs and eight RBI out of the leadoff spot, four coming on a grand slam vs. Delaware State.
  • Williams hit two home runs in the 11-2 win over East Carolina on Saturday night, matching a program record.
  • Gamecocks Effie Manahan, Kate Shereyk and Kamryn Watts all posted their first career hits on RBI singles in the tourney, while Caroline Cash also tallied her first hit.
  • Junior Jordan Bizzell was never retired while at bat in the event, scoring five runs while walking five times and going 3-for-3 with a double and a home run.

Smith Has Former Staff Members and Gamecock Players Coaching

  • Gamecock head coach Beverly Smith has a growing collegiate coaching tree from her short time at South Carolina.
  • Two former student-athletes (Ashley Chastain and Kelley Dillon) are on the College of Charleston staff.
  • Her first two volunteer assistants serve as full-time assistants at Connecticut (Chrissy Schoonmaker) and at George Washington (Laura Trout).
  • Former top assistant Janelle Breneman took over at UNC Greensboro as the head coach after two years with the Gamecocks and Smith in Columbia.

Gamecocks Have a Rich History in NCAA Tournament

  • South Carolina earned its 17th bid in the NCAA Tournament in 2014 and its second straight.
  • The Gamecocks are 32-31 in those trips, making three Women’s College World Series in their history (1983, 1989 and 1997).
  • The program has five AIAW World Series trips in its history as well prior to 1982.

Roster Notes

  • Seven position player starters return for the Gamecocks from last year’s squad.
  • In the circle, only 28 innings depart, while the duo of Nickie Blue and Julie Sarratt return after going 35-22 with 11 saves last year.
  • Back from 2014 are team leaders in home runs (Sarah Mooney, 12), runs batted in (Kaylea Snaer, 35), walks (Snaer, 31) and stolen bases (Ansley Ard, 9).
  • SC lost four seniors who combined to start 157 games, including every start at second base and shortstop as well as 54 of 58 starts in right field.
  • The top offensive loss is Ashlyn Masters, who started a team-high 56 games and led the way in 10 categories: at bats (174), batting average (.362), on-base percentage (.447), runs (47), hits (63), doubles (19), triples (3), total bases (112), slugging percentage (.644) and sacrifice flies (3).
  • South Carolina looks to replace highs of 53 percent of its sacrifice hits and sacrifice flies (8 of 15 in both) as well as 51 percent of doubles (42 of 82).
  • In the rest of the offensive categories, the Gamecocks bring back from 53.8 percent (at bats and triples) to 70.7 percent (home runs) of their production from 2014, a season where the Gamecocks set four team offensive records.
  • Seven freshmen join the squad to put the roster at 22 for the second-straight year.
  • The team is dominated by South Carolina natives, with 36.4 percent of the roster (eight players) hailing from the Palmetto State. California is second with four players.
  • The Gamecocks hail from 10 states this year, with the freshmen coming from California, Delaware, Pennsylvania and the Palmetto State.
  • Nickie Blue and Hayley Copeland are the first Gamecock duo who are both over six-feet tall.
  • While both Williams’ and sophomores by class, Taylor and Victoria are not sisters.

Gamecocks Picked to Finish 10th in SEC Coaches Preseason Poll

  • In a poll of the SEC coaches, South Carolina was picked to finish 10th in 2015.
  • Last season, the Gamecocks finished in a tie for eighth, three spots better than what the league’s coaches predicted in the preseason.
  • Of note, all nine teams picked ahead of SC appeared in both preseason national rankings.
  • Defending national champion Florida was the coaches’ selection to take the 2015 league crown.
  • The past two years, the SEC has sent 11 teams into the NCAA Tournament, with two of the last three NCAA champions hailing from the league.