May 7, 2015
BATON ROUGE, La. –
Sophomore third baseman Taylor Williams hit her seventh home run of the season, but it wasn’t enough as No. 2/2 Florida (50-5) claimed a 10-1 victory in five innings in the 2015 SEC Softball Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday at Tiger Park.
Williams’ homer left Tiger Park in a hurry to start the fifth, one of the Gamecocks’ (37-20) four hits.
The Gators got on the board in the first on a bases-loaded error, a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch and a sacrifice fly. Kirsti Merritt’s bunt single helped Florida make it 4-0 in the second, as Kelsey Stewart scored from second on the play. A double steal scored Nicole DeWitt to push the Gators’ advantage to 5-0.
Merritt’s sacrifice fly in the third made it 6-0, and two more sacrifice flies in the fourth gave Florida the 8-0 lead. With two outs and a runner on, Stewart yanked a pitch over the right field wall for her second homer of the year, making it 10-0.
Florida’s Lauren Haeger (24-0) scattered two hits and a walk in her four innings in the victory. South Carolina’s Julie Sarratt (17-12) took the loss, giving up 10 runs, seven earned, on nine hits and five walks. She struck out four.
The error in the first inning took its toll on the Gamecocks and put the Gators up for good.
Stewart went 4-for-4 with the two extra-base hits, two RBI and three runs.
â€¢ Justine McLean went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, the only other Gator with two hits.
â€¢ Janell Wheaton tallied two sacrifice flies, while DeWitt stole two bases en route to two runs scored.
â€¢ Gamecock junior Alaynie Page went 1-for-3, while sophomore Victoria Williams and freshman Krystan White also added singles.
â€¢ The Gamecocks did not strike out at the plate for the second time all season.
South Carolina returns home to await its fate in the NCAA Softball Tournament. The team will have a private gathering to watch the selection show, which runs on Sunday night at 10 p.m. EDT on ESPNU.