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Feb. 23, 2016

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – Behind senior centerfielder Ansley Ard’s 2-for-3 day, South Carolina (9-1) stretched its winning streak to nine games with a 3-1 victory over Coastal Carolina (4-7) on Tuesday evening at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

Ard drove in the game-winner with the bases loaded in the second, knocking an 0-2 pitch back through the middle to score fellow seniors Jordan Bizzell and Lauren Masters after they reached with a bunt single and a walk, respectively. The Gamecocks made it 3-0 in the fourth when senior Alaynie Page punched a single back through the box, scoring sophomore Kamryn Watts after she started the frame with a hit.

The Chanticleers put their lone run on the board in the fifth on Alexis Alvino’s one-out home run, her second of the year. Coastal threatened later in the inning with a pair of two-out hits, but Gamecock junior Jessica Elliott (6-0) got a grounder to third to end the threat.

Elliott picked up the win with five innings of work, scattering six hits and one earned run. She struck out four. Nickie Blue collected her third save with three strikeouts in her two innings of relief. Kelsey Dominik (3-5) took the loss after allowing three earned runs on eight hits and four walks in six innings.

Key Stat:
The bottom four in the Gamecock order either scored a run (Bizzell, Masters, Watts) or drove in two (Ard).

• Joining Ard with a 2-for-3 night was junior first baseman Kaylea Snaer for South Carolina.
• Every Gamecock starter reached base safely.
• No Chanticleer had two hits.
• Dominik had a double to try to support herself, while Alvino had the round-tripper.

Head coach Beverly Smith

Anytime we get the win, we’re going to be happy. Jessica Elliott and Nickie Blue held down a very strong Coastal Carolina offense. Our team did what we needed to do to win the ballgame. I would have liked to see us be a little better with runners in scoring position today, but I was pleased with the runners we did get on and score.

Up Next:
South Carolina travel west to play in the Gaucho Classic at UC Santa Barbara. The Gamecocks take on the host Gauchos, Southern Utah and Georgia Tech in the weekend event.