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May 5, 2015


South Carolina at the 2015 SEC Softball Tournament
Tiger Park – Baton Rouge, La..
May 6-9
No. 9 Gamecocks vs. No. 8 Texas A&M Aggies
Wed. at 5 PM EDT on SEC Network
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Feature on Alaynie Page
Feature on Julie Sarratt
Feature on Nickie Blue
Feature on Kristen Struett

South Carolina Takes on Texas A&M in SEC Tournament First Round Wed.

  • After capturing the ninth seed in the 2015 SEC Softball Tournament, South Carolina gets to face No. 8 seeded Texas A&M on Wednesday at 4 p.m. CDT from Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, La.
  • The winner advances to take on top-seeded Florida at 3 p.m. CDT on Thursday.
  • The SEC Network has the coverage of the first two days, with Beth Mowins, Jessica Mendoza and Holly Rowe calling the action.

Gamecocks Take Momentum into Postseason with Series Win over Mississippi State

  • South Carolina continued its roll with a home series win over Mississippi State, its fourth-straight SEC series win to close out the 2015 regular season.
  • In Friday night’s win, junior Alaynie Page posted her fourth four-hit day of the year, tallying a triple and a home run.
  • The Bulldogs hit Page three times while walking her three more in the final two games.
  • The three home runs in Sunday’s win all came in the third inning, the first time under Beverly Smith that the Gamecocks had three round-trippers in the same frame.
  • SC’s Sunday 9-1 (6) win was the first for a Mississippi State foe when the Bulldogs scored first.
  • Over the final 10 innings of the weekend, South Carolina out-scored Mississippi State 13-1.
  • Sophomore Kaylea Snear had four extra-base hits in her 6-for-11 weekend, driving in six runs.

South Carolina Takes Advantage of Ending Schedule

  • 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), Mississippi (11th) and Mississippi State (T-9th), the Gamecocks took the No. 9 seed in the SEC Tournament.
  • South Carolina also defeated No. 9/15 Tennessee in two of three games, the first series triumph over a top-10 ranked foe under Beverly Smith.
  • That sets the Gamecocks up to face eighth-seeded Texas A&M. No. 10 seed Mississippi State takes on Missouri in the 7-10 game.
  • The series wins over four-straight foes matches the 2002 group’s victories over Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia and Kentucky in consecutive series.
  • The wins at Kentucky and Mississippi matches the 2013’s squad, which won its final two road series at Auburn and at Mississippi State.

Page Soaring in 2015

  • Junior left fielder Alaynie Page became the second Gamecock under head coach Beverly Smith to earn first-team All-SEC honors from the coaches in this year’s vote (Lauren Lackey, 2012).
  • First-team All-SEC honorees Page, Auburn’s Emily Carosone and LSU’s Bianka Bell all stand in the top 40 in the country in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • Page leads the team in 13 offensive categories, including batting average (.444), slugging percentage (.833), runs (57), hits (80), doubles (11), triples (7), home runs (15) and RBI (45).
  • The Gamecocks’ leadoff hitter has reached base 61.8 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 61 percentage in 77 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 in the third game at Kentucky 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.
  • With her 4-for-4 tally in the first game against Mississippi State, which included a triple and a home run, Page broke a 24-year-old record at South Carolina for total bases in a season.
  • Page’s 150 total bases surpasses 1991 first-team All-American Tricia Popowski’s tally.
  • To see where she stands in other single-season lists, see the sidebar on page 11 of the notes.
  • 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.

Offensive Records Falling Regularly for Gamecocks under Smith

  • South Carolina currently has five team offensive records in 2015 with a few others under threat.
  • The 58 home runs breaks last year’s mark for the best in program history, while the HR per game, RBI 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, 21 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 Team Notes

  • South Carolina’s next win ensures it improves its record for a third-straight year. The Gamecocks would be the only SEC team to accomplish this feat.
  • Julie Sarratt tossed a three-hit shutout in the Tues., April 21 win over Georgia Southern.
  • Tiara Duffy claimed a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team, announced on Tuesday.
  • Assistant coach Calvin Beamon and his family welcomed into the world a new son, Cash, on Thurs., March 5.

We Schedule Tough

  • The Gamecocks played 24 of their 56 regular-season games against teams who made the 2014 NCAA Tournament, with SC going 8-16 in those games.
  • A total of 41 of the Gamecocks’ scheduled games came 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 came 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 21-18 against teams with RPI marks in the top 100 as of May 3, including five wins over top-25 squads (Cal at 18, two vs. Tennessee at 11, two at Kentucky at 23).

SEC Schedule Prepares Teams for Postseason

  • For the second-consecutive year, South Carolina won at least 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).
  • Three times, SC was swept, at home against Missouri and on the road at Texas A&M and Florida.
  • Those three rank third (UF), tied for fourth (A&M) and sixth (Mizzou) in SEC games in walks drawn, behind Auburn and Alabama. SC allowed 42 of its 93 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 (245-140) looks in line to her final 2014 tally (253-123).
  • Digging further into batted ball data, it shows that 65 of those fly outs are infield flys, putting her infield-to-outfield out ratio at 310-75.
  • She’s added more strikeouts, fanning 152 in 185.2 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 .130 batting average (43-of-332).
  • Also, she’s allowed four earned runs in the seventh all season (21 2/3 innings), two coming in the Friday night start against Mississippi State (5/1).
  • 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.

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.

Gamecocks Win Pair at Ole Miss

  • South Carolina won the series against the Mississippi Rebels with 10-2 (6) and 10-7 victories.
  • The Gamecocks 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.
  • For the second time this season, senior Olivia Lawrence hit two home runs in a game and tallied five RBI, these proving to be deciding factors in Sunday’s win.

South Carolina Staff Has Top Credentials

  • Gamecock head coach Beverly Smith has 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 at UK, posting five hits, a double and two home runs. She also walked twice.
  • It’s South Carolina’s second series win over a ranked foe after taking two of three from No. 9/15 Tennessee, 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 took the first and third games of the Arkansas series, 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.

Scouting Texas A&M

  • The Aggies are 38-17 on the season, finishing with a 12-12 mark in SEC play.
  • Texas A&M utilize the long ball, led by freshman Tori Vidales’ 18 on the year. She leads the Aggies in 10 offensive categories.
  • The only person to top her in doubles is Ashley Walters, who has 13 to Vidales’ 10.
  • Brittany Clopton has 10 steals in 11 tries and seven sacrifice hits, both tops for Texas A&M.
  • Cali Lanphear also has walked 34 times and ranks second on the squad with nine homers, 40 RBI and a .448 on-base percentage.
  • Kristen Cuyos has eight home runs, while April Ryan has seven, with both hitting six doubles.
  • Breanna Dozier has seven home runs as well, two coming against the Gamecocks.
  • Reagan Boenker and Erica Russell get on base via free passes, tallying 25 and 27, respectively.
  • Rachel Fox does most of the work in the circle for the Aggies, tossing 208.1 innings. She’s struck out 171 and walked 71, going 22-12 with a 3.12 ERA.
  • Fox has allowed 32 doubles and 18 home runs among her 212 hits.
  • Katie Marks has 57 K’s and 32 BB’s in 105.2 innings, boasting a 3.18 ERA and a 13-2 record. She’s allowed 16 home runs.

Ties Between South Carolina and Texas A&M

  • Aggie junior pitcher Katie Marks spent her freshman year at South Carolina before transferring to be closer to her family in Katy, Texas. She is still close friends with many Gamecocks, including Ansley Ard and Lauren Masters.

Texas A&M and South Carolina Against Common Foes

  • Both teams defeated Stanford in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, SC with a 6-2 win and A&M with a 4-0 victory.
  • Both won series from Kentucky and Ole Miss (A&M swept the Rebels) and were swept by Florida.
  • The Gamecocks took the series from Mississippi State, while the Aggies lost 2 of 3 on the road against the Bulldogs.
The Last Meeting
South Carolina 2
Texas A&M 5
March 22, 2015
College Station, Texas
Gamecocks Fall to No. 23/23 Texas A&M 5-2 to Close Series
No. 23/23 Texas A&M (24-7, 6-3 SEC) gained a 5-2 win in Sunday’s second game over South Carolina (21-12, 2-7 SEC) behind a three-RBI day by catcher Ashley Walters.

SC Series History vs. the Aggies

  • The Aggies own a 19-13 advantage in a series that dates back to 1981, when the teams met in the AIAW World Series.
  • In neutral site games, the Gamecocks are 6-7, dropping the last three.

The Last Series – South Carolina at Texas A&M – March 20-22, 2015

  • The Aggies swept a series in College Station, winning twice in their last at-bat.
  • Despite Alaynie Page’s 4-for-5 day, Texas A&M won game one on Friday in 10 innings, 3-2, on a Gamecock error.
  • Breanna Dozier’s second home run of the weekend came with two outs in the seventh and handed Texas A&M the 4-3 win in Sunday’s first game.
  • Both Page and Kristen Struett had two hits in that contest, with Struett adding an RBI double.
  • The Aggies capped the sweep with a 5-2 win in Sunday’s second game, with Ashley Walters driving home three of A&M’s runs.
  • Sarah Mooney had a two-run home run in the finale for the Gamecocks.

Gamecocks vs. Ranked Opponents

  • South Carolina is 105-252-1 (.295) against opponents ranked in the NFCA top 25 since 1995.
  • Broken down by site, the Gamecocks are 47-82 (.364) at home, 19-115 (.142) on the road and 39-55-1 (.416) in neutral-site outings.
  • This season, SC is 5-13 against foes ranked by the NFCA at game time, including two wins over both No. 9 Tennessee and No. 14 Kentucky.
  • That is one win shy of tying last year’s record against ranked foes, the best under Beverly Smith.
  • The South Carolina series win over Tennessee was the Gamecocks’ first series win over a top-10 foe since 2009 (No. 4 Alabama).
  • Twice last year, the Gamecocks won an SEC home series against ranked teams, downing Texas A&M and Auburn, the first time in history that had happened in the same season.

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.

Some Win-Loss Breakdowns

  • South Carolina is 2-6 when not collecting an extra-base hit during a game, with the two wins 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 7-17.
  • 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 (W’s vs. Western Kentucky, No. 9/15 Tennessee and No. 14/16 Kentucky, L’s vs. UCF & South Alabama).
  • South Carolina is 10-1 when its foes don’t record an extra-base hit, five coming in shutouts. 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.

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.

Gamecocks Takes 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.

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 only 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.

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.

South Carolina Softball Historical Record

  • South Carolina has played 2,119 games in its softball history, going 1376-736-7 (.651) in its 41st season of sponsorship.
  • Beverly Smith is the second person to serve five seasons as South Carolina’s head coach, joining NFCA Hall-of-Fame coach Joyce Compton.

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.

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.