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Feb. 17, 2016

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – In front of an energetic crowd of 1,232 paid, South Carolina (4-1) powered past North Carolina (2-4) 9-1 in five innings on Wednesday afternoon at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

The Tar Heels took the initial 1-0 lead in the second after Kendra Lynch tripled down the right-field line and scored on Katie Bailiff’s sacrifice fly to right. That would be all junior Jessica Elliott (3-0) allowed in her four innings of work. She scattered four walks and only gave up the triple in the victory.

Aggressive base running helped South Carolina break through in the fourth. With runners at second and third, a grounder went back to the pitcher. She looked to first but was alerted to the runner at third breaking home. By the time she released the throw, sophomore Jordyn Augustus was sliding in, and the throw got away from the catcher, letting sophomore Krystan White score on the play as well.

Those two runs sparked a six-run fourth, with seniors Lauren Masters and Ansley Ard driving in the next two runs, while freshman Kenzi Maguire also drove one in. The final run scored on a Tar Heel error when an attempted double-play relay throw went high at first, letting senior left fielder Alaynie Page score.

An inning later, the Gamecocks closed things out. Ard singled home the seventh run, while Page drove in two to shorten the game.

Lynch (2-3) took the loss for the Tar Heels, allowing five earned runs on four hits and a walk in three-plus innings.

Game Changer:
The hesitation that allowed one runner to score and the bad throw that put the go-ahead run across in the fourth turned the tables.

Key Stat:
Seven Gamecock starters reached base safely, six on hits, in the victory.

• Page went 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI.
• Junior first baseman Kaylea Snaer went 2-for-3, the only player on either team with multiple hits.
• Both Masters and junior designated player Victoria Williams doubled in the fateful fourth inning.
• Senior catcher Jordan Bizzell and freshman Alexis Mack both scored twice, with Bizzell stealing a base.
• UNC shortstop Kristen Brown and third basemen Darby Rosen both walked twice.

Tweet of the Game:

Head coach Beverly Smith

What a perfect day. Opening Day, it was gorgeous outside, the crowd was full. There was a lot of excitement in the air and I thought our players played right into that. It was a great day for Gamecock softball.

Up Next:
The Gamecocks host the Carolina Classic this weekend at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. UNC Greensboro, Ohio, Longwood and Winthrop make up the field of the three-day round-robin event.