May 13, 2015
South Carolina in the 2015 Tallahassee Regional
2015 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament
Seminole Softball Complex at JoAnne Graf Field – Tallahassee, Fla.
Fri.-Sun., May 15-17
Regional Central | Tickets
Fri. 10 AM (changed from 4:30 PM start)
Watch ESPN |
Sat., May 16, 12:30 PM (Game 4) – vs. Dartmouth
Remaining possible schedule for South Carolina
Sat., May 16, 3 PM (Game 5) – Winner of Game 4 vs. Loser of Game 3 – WatchESPN
Sun., May 17, 12 PM (Game 6) – Winners of Game 3 and Game 5 – WatchESPN
Sun., May 17, 2:30 PM (Game 7) – If Necessary Game – WatchESPN
Gamecocks Take on Tallahassee Regional Field, Starting on Friday vs. UCF
- South Carolina earned its third-consecutive NCAA Tournament at-large bid and takes on American Athletic Conference champs UCF first on Friday.
- The winner takes on the victor of the Florida State/Dartmouth matchup on Saturday in the Tallahassee Regional.
- It’s the second-consecutive year the Gamecocks have been sent to Florida State, a former regional rival from before the start of SEC softball.
Gamecocks Have a Rich History in NCAA Tournament
- South Carolina earned its 18th bid in the NCAA Tournament this season and its third straight under head coach Beverly Smith.
- The Gamecocks are 32-31 in those trips, making three Women’s College World Series in their history (1983, 1989 and 1997).
- It’s their third trip to Tallahassee for regionals, adding to last year’s trip as well as one in 1989.
- The program has five AIAW World Series trips in its history as well prior to 1982.
More on the Tallahassee Regional
- The Gamecocks, with an RPI of 30, have a better mark than three of the second-ranked seeds at other sites (NC State at James Madison, North Dakota St. at Oregon, Western Kentucky at Georgia).
- UCF holds the second-highest RPI of a No. 2 seed (15), two spots behind Hofstra, who is at top-seeded Florida.
- Florida State received the national No. 9 seed, with Ivy League champ Dartmouth filling out the field.
- As far as combined RPI of all four teams, the Tallahassee Regional is the third toughest at 147, behind the Los Angeles Regional (124) and the Eugene Regional (144).
- The Knights (1st, 0.86), Seminoles (12th, 1.92) and Big Green (45th, 2.78) all have team ERAs in the top 50 of NCAA Division I.
South Carolina Team Notes
- South Carolina is the only SEC team to improve its win total in each of the past three season, going from 23 wins in 2012 to 37 so far in 2015.
- 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, joining Page on the postseason award list.
- Alaynie Page, a first-team All-SEC outfielder, has reached base at least twice in nine of the last 10 games, including reaching base four times in five of those.
- Page claimed fourth-team All-America honors from fledgling outlet College Sports Madness. Both her (1st) and Nickie Blue (2nd) earned spots on its All-SEC team.
- Olivia Lawrence has home runs in three of her last seven games, including hitting two in the finale at Mississippi.
- Lauren Masters has 117 assists at second base this year, second-most in Gamecock history (in the SEC era) in a single season and 18 shy of tying the record (Debralee Troesh, 2003).
- Page’s 94 outfield putouts this season is fourth in program history, three from tying for third (Kim Pietro, 1998).
- Assistant coach Calvin Beamon and his family welcomed into the world a new son, Cash, on Thurs., March 5.
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 60 home runs breaks 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 Wins Opener in SEC Tourney, Avenges Earlier Losses to A&M
- With its 6-3 win over No. 22/25 Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament, South Carolina avenged a sweep in College Station in March, with the Aggies taking two of the three games with walk-off hits.
- Senior Olivia Lawrence tied the game with a two-out home run in the sixth, while sophomore Victoria Williams followed with a bases-loaded double to provide the winning margin.
- Junior Alaynie Page reached base in all four plate appearances, picking up a hit and scoring a run.
- The Gamecocks fell on Thursday to the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 seed, Florida, 10-1 (5).
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 41 in the country in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
- Page leads the team in 12 offensive categories, including batting average (.446), slugging percentage (.826), runs (58), hits (82), doubles (11), triples (7), home runs (15) and RBI (45).
- The Gamecocks’ leadoff hitter has reached base 61.5 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 79 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 152 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.
- 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.
Single-Season Chart Movements
- Page owns single-season records in home runs, home runs per game, total bases and slugging percentage already, while she’s currently first in on-base percentage as well.
- With two runs, Alaynie Page ties Tricia Popowski’s tally of 60 in 1991.
- One hit for Page ties her with Kim Pietro’s mark of 83 in 1999 in sixth, while four joins her with Tina Plew’s tally of 86 in 1995, the fifth-highest mark for a Gamecock in a single season.
- Page’s next triple ties her for 10th with Tina Plew’s 1997, when she had eight.
- A home run for either Kaylea Snaer or Sarah Mooney would tie either for eighth with seven others.
- Three walks for Page tie her with Tricia Popowski’s 1991 tally in second, while she’s five from tying the single-season record set by Dana Fulmer in 1995.
- The next walk to Snaer ties her with two others in seventh, while two would push her into a three-way tie for fourth.
- One hit-by-pitch to Jordan Bizzell will tie her for second with Dana Hathorn’s 2014 total of 12.
- One sacrifice fly for Snaer or Kristen Struett would put either into a tie for seventh with seven others.
- One Julie Sarratt start ties her for 12th in school history with Trinity Johnson’s 1997 season.
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).
- The five series wins in 2015 was last done in 2005, when the team took six of eight three-game sets.
- 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.
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.
- Fifteen foes made this year’s field, with South Carolina owning a 13-17 mark against those.
- 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 were 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 2014 NCAA Tournament with RPI’s in the top 30.
- This year, South Carolina faced regular-season champs from the SEC (Florida), ACC (Florida State), American (UCF), Conference USA (Western Kentucky), Atlantic Sun (USC Upstate) and Big South (Longwood) as well as the tourney champs of the Sun Belt (South Alabama).
- The Gamecocks are 22-19 against teams with RPI marks in the top 100 as of May 10, including five wins over top-25 squads (Cal at 20, two vs. Tennessee at 9, two at Kentucky at 25).
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.
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 (253-146) is close her final 2014 tally (253-123).
- Digging further into batted ball data, it shows that 67 of those fly outs are infield flys, putting her infield-to-outfield out ratio at 320-79.
- She’s added more strikeouts, fanning 159 in 192.2 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 .127 batting average (44-of-347).
- Also, she’s allowed four earned runs in the seventh all season (22 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.
South Carolina Softball Historical Record
- South Carolina has played 2,121 games in its softball history, going 1377-737-7 (.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.
- The only American Athletic Conference champ in history, UCF has a 48-7 record on the season.
- With the best ERA (0.86) in NCAA Division I this year, the Knights lean on aces Mackenzie Audas and Shelby Turner.
- Turner leads the country with a 0.75 ERA in 196.1 innings, completing 20 of her 27 starts.
- She’s 16th with her 259 strikeouts and fourth in hits allowed per seven innings (3.39).
- Mackenzie Audas is third in NCAA Division I with her 0.95 ERA and second in hits allowed (3.34).
- Audas has 246 strikeouts in 169.2 innings, standing eighth with 10.1 K’s per seven innings.
- At the plate, the Knights are unselfish, posting 54 sacrifice hits.
- Kahley Novak has 41 stolen bases in 47 tries, ranking eighth in the country with three swipes every four games.
- Novak has a team-high 16 sacrifice hits, followed closely by Brittany Solis’ 14.
- Kalyn Cenal has a team-best 11 home runs and ranks second with 36 RBI.
- Jessica Ujvari has 37 RBI and seven home runs.
- Two other Knights have 30+ RBI.
- Farrah Sullivan has a team-high .419 on-base percentage and 11 stolen bases, just one behind Maddy Schroeder’s 12.
UCF and South Carolina Against Common Foes
- The squads have faced six common foes (Arkansas, East Carolina, Florida, LIU Brooklyn, Missouri and North Florida), with UCF going 7-1 against them compared to SC’s mark of 6-9.
- The Gamecocks were swept by SEC foes the Tigers and Gators for seven of those losses, with the Knights falling to the Gators 2-1 but beating Missouri 1-0.
SC Series History vs. the Knights
- UCF has taken all three previous meetings in the series, with this being the first neutral-site encounter between the two teams.
The Last Meeting – South Carolina at UCF – Feb. 11, 2015
- The first four UCF players had hits and scored in a 4-1 win at Carolina Softball Stadium.
- South Carolina loaded the bases on three occasions, scoring a run in the sixth in that spot on junior left fielder Alaynie Page’s fielder’s choice.
- The Gamecocks left 12 on base and struck out 11 times, four times looking.
- Knight starter Shelby Turnier tossed a complete game, fanning 11 while scattering five hits and six walks.
- The Ivy League champs, the Big Green are 25-16 on the year and won the championship series with a sweep of Penn.
- Pitching and defense are both ranked 45th in NCAA Division I with a 2.78 ERA and a .968 fielding percentage.
- Kristen Rumley is the top pitcher on the team, posting a 1.99 ERA in 151.1 innings.
- Rumley has struck out 125 batters while walking 25, standing 18th in the country with a 1.16 walks-per-seven-innings average.
- Morgan McCalmon has 85 strikeouts and 35 walks in 89.1 innings, tallying a 2.43 ERA.
- Both pitchers hit as well, driving in 21 runs each.
- Rumley ranks second on the Big Green with .364 batting average with nine doubles, while McCalmon has five homers.
- Leading hitter Katie McEachern stands seventh in on-base percentage in NCAA Division I with a .601 mark, while she’s eighth in hit-by-pitches wiht a 0.41 average per game.
- McEachern are also in the top 25 in both batting average (.449) and slugging percentage (.860) while also leading the team in doubles (12), home runs (10) and stolen bases (11).
- Karen Chaw has seven homers and a team-best 29 RBI, while Maddie Damore has six homers and 27 RBI.
- Lourlin Lara has eight stolen bases while standing third on the team with a .330 batting average.
Dartmouth and South Carolina Against Common Foes
- The Gamecocks and Big Green played three common foes: Marshall, Liberty and College of Charleston, with SC going 4-0 and Dartmouth going 0-4 against those teams, with three losses coming in one-run games.
- Dartmouth opened its year with a win over Auburn, the first loss for the Tigers.
Ties Between South Carolina and Dartmouth
- The Big Green’s assistant Bianca Mejia played on the NPF’s Carolina Diamonds for Gamecock associate head coach Lisa Navas.
Series History vs. the Ivy League
- If Dartmouth and South Carolina play, it will be the first meeting between the teams.
- The Gamecocks are 14-0 all-time vs. Ivy League foes with wins over Princeton, Brown and Yale.
Scouting Florida State
- The Seminoles rely on their pitching to win games, ranking 12th in the country with a 1.92 ERA.
- Florida State, the Atlantic Coast Conference champs, has defending National Player of the Year Lacey Waldrop in the circle, who has struck out 222 batters in 201.2 innings of work.
- Waldrop’s 1.49 ERA ranks 16th in the country, while her 4.13 hits allowed per seven innings is 12th.
- Jessica Burroughs has a 2.33 ERA in 156 innings, fanning 198 and walking 60. She’s 16th in the country with 4.49 hits per seven innings allowed.
- At the plate, Jessica Warren has stepped up, hitting 16 home runs and 50 RBI.
- Maddie O’Brien and Alex Powers have been walked 68 and 53 times while hitting 11 and 9 home runs, respectively.
- Powers also leads the Seminoles with 12 doubles, just ahead of Warren’s 10.
- Morgan Klaevemann has a .401 batting average and 16 of FSU’s 44 stolen bases.
- Alex Kossoff and Ellie Cooper both have eight sacrifice hits, while Macey Cheatham has 10.
Florida State and South Carolina Against Common Foes
- The Gamecocks and Seminoles have played three common SEC foes (Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee and five like non-conference foes (Georgia Southern, Western Kentucky, California, USC Upstate and North Florida).
- FSU went 6-5 in those games, while the Gamecocks went 10-6 against them.
- Both were perfect against Georgia Southern, North Florida, USC Upstate and Western Kentucky.
- The Gamecocks went 2-1 against Kentucky, which split at FSU, while both Tennessee and Cal beat the Seminoles in the Nutter Classic, teams the Gamecocks went 3-1 against.
SC Series History vs. the Seminoles
- Longtime regional rivals, Florida State holds a slim 23-19 lead in the series that dates back to 1985.
- The teams played every year for 12 seasons (1985-96).
- In Tallahassee, the Gamecocks are 7-12.
The Last Meeting – South Carolina vs. Florida State – Feb. 19, 2015
- A 10th-inning walk sent No. 9/8 Florida State to a 4-3 win over South Carolina at the Big League Dreams Park Wrigley Field setup.
- Jessica Warren had a game-tying double in the eighth and the game-winning bases-loaded walk.
- Jessica Burroughs tossed a complete game, giving up five strikeouts and three walks.
- Nickie Blue took the tough-luck loss, giving up four runs, one earned, in 9.1 innings for SC.
Gamecocks vs. Ranked Opponents
- South Carolina is 106-253-1 (.296) 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 40-56-1 (.418) in neutral-site outings.
- This season, SC is 6-14 against foes ranked by the NFCA at game time, including two wins over both No. 9 Tennessee and No. 14 Kentucky.
- The Texas A&M win in the SEC Tournament ties 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.
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.
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 7-18.
- When the Gamecocks walk twice or less, they are 6-12.
- South Carolina is also 0-8 when scoring one or no runs.
- Conversely, when scoring five or more runs, the Gamecocks are 29-1.
- When holding opponents to three runs or less, South Carolina is 33-3.
- 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.
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.
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 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.
- Arkansas claimed game two in extra innings, 5-4 (8), a game where SC committed three errors.
- Nickie Blue continued her dominance, tossing a two-hitter in the first game against the Razorbacks.
- 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 in the fourth on Friday 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.