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March 16, 2016


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COLUMBIA, S.C. – Senior centerfielder Ansley Ard launched a grand slam in the sixth to lead South Carolina (20-5) to a 7-4 win over Buffalo (4-18) in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

Ard’s bomb with two outs in the sixth put the Gamecocks on top for good. Hit-by-pitches to junior first baseman Kaylea Snaer and sophomore shortstop Krystan White put two on, and with two down, junior Taylor Williams reached first on a four-pitch walk to set up Ard’s heroics. Senior left fielder Alaynie Page followed with a triple, and she scored on the first pitch from reliever Taylor Light. The Gamecocks loaded the bases again, and a hit-by-pitch to junior designated player Victoria Williams made it 7-3.

Buffalo jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third thanks to Danielle Lallos’ two-out, two-RBI single with the bases loaded and Leandra Jew’s run-scoring single. The Gamecocks got a run back in the bottom of the fourth on White’s single up the middle, scoring sophomore Tiara Duffy, who ran for Snaer after she knocked her 11th double of the year.

The Bulls tried to come back in the seventh, getting a two-out RBI single by pinch hitter Sarah Edwards, but Gamecock junior Nickie Blue (8-4) closed out the victory with a grounder to second.

Blue struck out a season-best eight in the complete-game win, giving up six hits and four walks with the four earned runs. Charlotte Miller (1-3) took the loss for Buffalo, allowing six earned runs on seven hits and two walks.

Game Changer:
Ard’s grand slam changed the course of the ball game.

Key Stat:
Ard went 2-for-2 with a walk, a stolen base and the grand slam.

• The Gamecocks did not strike out in the game for the first time this year.
• Snaer went 1-for-2 with the double, while Page went 2-for-4 with the triple and the run scored.
• South Carolina was hit five times, the third-most this season.
• White tallied a 2-for-3 day with a run and an RBI.
• Bull first baseman Savanna Norcio went 2-for-2 with a double, two walks and a run scored.
• Ashton Earnhardt scored twice, walking one and getting hit by a pitch.
• It’s Ard’s third game-winning hit this year.

Tweet of the Game: