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May 6, 2015

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BATON ROUGE, La. – Senior catcher Olivia Lawrence tied it in the sixth with a solo home run, and sophomore right fielder Victoria Williams handed the Gamecocks (37-19) the finishing blow in a 6-3 victory over No. 22/25 Texas A&M on Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the SEC Softball Tournament at Tiger Park.

Lawrence tied the game in the sixth with a two-out solo shot to right, which sparked the two-out rally. Hits by freshman Krystan White and junior Alaynie Page along with a hit-by-pitch to senior Kristen Struett brought up Williams. She drove an 0-2 pitch to the gap in left center to clear the bases and give South Carolina the 6-3 lead.

South Carolina jumped out to a 2-0 advantage on Lawrence’s single, which brought home redshirt sophomore Lauren Masters. A misplay in right let sophomore pinch runner Kate Shereyk score as well to make it 2-0.

The Aggies took the lead with a three-run third. Ashley Walters doubled home the first run before scoring on Breanna Dozier’s RBI single. Kristen Cuyos’s sacrifice fly to the warning track in right pushed home Texas A&M’s go-ahead run.

Gamecock sophomore Nickie Blue (20-7) went the distance, giving up three earned runs on six hits and six walks while striking out seven. Texas A&M’s Rachel Fox (22-13) took the loss, giving up six runs, five earned, on nine hits and three walks. She struck out five.

Game Changer:
Lawrence’s solo home run turned the tide for the Gamecocks, sparking them to the comeback win.

Key Stat:
Lawrence went 2-for-3 with two RBI and the game-tying home run.

• Page reached base in all four trips to the plate, going 1-for-1 with two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
• The run ties Page for 10th in Gamecock history with Shani Cannon (1992-95), while the hit-by-pitch puts her in a tie for fifth with Kristin Hall in single-season HBP’s.
• Senior designated player Sarah Mooney went 2-for-4 on the day.
• Only two Gamecock starters didn’t have hits, with only one not reaching base.
• Breanna Dozier stood as the only Aggie with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
• Walters also doubled and had an RBI.
• The Gamecocks win their 17th game all-time in the SEC Tournament and their second for head coach Beverly Smith, as their last win came in the first round against No. 18 Kentucky in the 2013 event in Lexington, Ky.

Tweet of the Game:

Up Next:
South Carolina takes on top-seeded and No. 2/2 Florida in the third game of day two at the SEC Softball Tournament. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. CDT at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, La.