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Feb. 19, 2016

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (5-1) improved its win streak to five games with its second-consecutive run-rule win, downing UNC Greensboro (4-3) 11-3 in five innings on Friday evening at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

Entering the fifth leading 4-3, the Gamecocks came alive at the plate to close out the win. An error allowed sophomore Tiara Duffy to reach to start the frame, and no batter after her was retired. Duffy moved to second after she beat a throw to second, and junior Taylor Williams walked to load the bases. Senior Lauren Masters was hit by a pitch, forcing in Duffy, and senior Alaynie Page followed with a double to drive in two more.

A hit-by-pitch to freshman Kenzi Maguire loaded the bags again, and freshman Kennedy Clark drove in a run with a single. Junior Victoria Williams doubled to the gap in left-center, sending home two more. Junior Kaylea Snaer launched one into the right-field corner, getting credit for only a double as the lead runner scored to end the game, 11-3.

The Spartans struck in the first with a two-out single by Stephanie Bryden, driving home Nicole Thomas from third. But South Carolina answered in the bottom half on Victoria Williams’ first double of the night, scoring Page.

That Gamecock lead grew to 4-1 in the second on three unearned runs. Maguire had a two-RBI single, and Clark sent her in with her hit to right center. UNC Greensboro cut the lead to 4-3 in the top of the third on Danielle Vega’s bases-loaded single through the middle.

Gamecock junior Nickie Blue (2-1) picked up the win, striking out three while giving up three earned runs on five hits and two walks. Bryden (3-1) took the loss, allowing nine runs, five earned, on six hits and two walks in four-plus innings in the circle.

Game Changer:
A double play turned by the Gamecocks in the third helped halt UNC Greensboro’s momentum.

Key Stats:
South Carolina had six players hit by a pitch in the win and posted five doubles as a team.

• The top half of the Gamecocks’ lineup went 9-for-16, while the bottom four all reached base safely either by HBP or walk.
• Victoria Williams went 3-for-4 with three RBI to lead the Gamecocks.
• Page scored three runs and drove in two while going 1-for-3 with a double.
• Freshmen Maguire and Clark both drove in two, with Maguire scoring twice and Clark tallying two hits.
• Snaer went 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI.
• UNCG’s Lindsay Thomas tripled in a 2-for-3 day.
• Longwood split on day one of the Carolina Classic, losing to Ohio 2-1 before bouncing back to beat UNC Greensboro 9-1.

Tweet of the Game:

Head coach Beverly Smith

I was glad to see our bats come alive. We had runners in scoring position in multiple innings, and our hitters made it count after making a nice adjustment in the fifth. I really think the double play we turned in the third shifted things back our way, and we closed out a good UNC Greensboro team.

Up Next:
South Carolina continues the Carolina Classic with the second game in Saturday’s slate, hosting Ohio at 12:30 p.m. EST.