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March 26, 2016

Box Score

AUBURN, Ala. – South Carolina (24-8, 2-6 SEC) staked an early 2-0 lead, but No. 3/3 Auburn (29-4, 5-3 SEC) scored the final five runs to claim a 5-2 win in game one on Saturday afternoon at Jane B. Moore Field.

The Gamecocks led after the first half inning of play. Sophomore second baseman Krystan White knocked a single to center, scoring freshman designated player Alexis Mack after she had a one-out single and moved to second on a two-out walk to junior first baseman Kaylea Snaer. Senior centerfielder Ansley Ard followed with a double just inside the bag at first, scoring Snaer from second.

Auburn cut the lead to 2-1 on Jade Rhodes leadoff homer in the second before taking the lead with a two-run third. A wild pitch scored Tiffany Howard from third, while Rhodes’ single to second scored the go-ahead run. Whitney Jordan made the Tigers go up 4-2 with her solo homer to left center in the fourth. Madi Gipson doubled home Kasey Cooper with two down in the fifth to put Auburn on top 5-2.

South Carolina threatened in the fifth, loading the bases with one out on a leadoff single by sophomore third baseman Kamryn Watts, a walk to senior left fielder Alaynie Page and a one-out hit-by-pitch to freshman right fielder Kennedy Clark. The Tigers brought in Makayla Martin to the circle, and she got a shallow fly to right and a liner to center that Victoria Draper ran down to her right.

Tiger starter Rachael Walters (5-2) picked up the win with 4.1 innings of work, giving up two earned runs on five hits and two walks. She struck out four. Gamecock junior Nickie Blue (11-6) took the loss, allowing five runs, four earned, on seven hits and two walks. She struck out four as well. Auburn’s Martin picked up her first save of the year with 2.2 innings of relief, scattering three hits.

Game Changer:
The third-inning error put the Tigers on top for good.

Key Stat:
South Carolina lost despite hitting three doubles.

• With her seventh-inning double, Page tied Shani Cannon (1992-95) for 17th on the Gamecocks’ all-time charts with 32.
• That hit also tied Page for 15th at South Carolina in hits with Andrea Beall (1989-92).
• Ard and freshman shortstop Kenzi Maguire also had doubles, Ard as a part of a 2-for-3 day.
• Four other Gamecocks had singles.
• Blue’s four K’s moves her into ninth alone at South Carolina with 362 in her career, while she passed Sky Brown for 10th all-time in innings.
• With the complete game, Blue joined two others in 14th, and the start tied her with Kate Pouliot (2005-08) and Brown for 12th in SC’s /> • Howard and Rhodes both had two hits, with Rhodes driving in two runs.

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