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April 26, 2016

Box Score

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (33-16) used an 11-hit barrage to down Furman (26-26) by a score of 4-1 on Tuesday night at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

After the Paladins tallied an unearned run on AnnaRose Borrelli’s single in the first, the Gamecocks came back to quickly take the lead. The first three reached base, as freshman Kennedy Clark capped that stretch with her double off the wall in left center to score freshman Alexis Mack. With two outs and two in scoring position, senior Ansley Ard knocked a triple to right center, plating senior Alaynie Page and Clark, to make it a 3-1 South Carolina lead.

Page drove in the fourth Gamecock run in the fourth, sending in sophomore Kamryn Watts after she tallied a one-out hit and took second on Mack’s sacrifice bunt.

That was all Gamecock junior Nickie Blue (16-12) needed, as she posted a complete-game win. She scattered four hits and three walks with the one unearned run in her third-straight complete game. She only allowed two base-runners from the second to the sixth inning before two reached in the seventh on Elise Smith’s double and Emma Ogburn’s walk. Blue got a fly to left and a grounder to second to close the game. Blue had five strikeouts in the contest.

Furman starter Lindsey Burt (16-15) took the loss, giving up four earned runs on nine hits and three walks in five innings. She struck out two.

Game Changer:
Ard’s triple gave the Gamecocks a lead they never surrendered.

Key Stat:
With her third-inning double, junior Kaylea Snaer captured the SEC single-season doubles record with her 24th of the year, moving past Georgia’s Megan Wiggins (2011) and Tennessee’s Kelli Fitzgerald (1998).

• Snaer’s double ties her for sixth in Gamecock history with Meghan Cornett (2002-05), as it’s her 40th as a Gamecock. It also moves her into 17th on the total bases charts, passing Laura Mendes (2008-11).
• Page went 2-for-3 with a run, an RBI, a walk and two stolen bases.
• Those two swipes makes her the fifth Gamecock with 50 career stolen bases, while the RBI joins her with McKenna Hughes (2004-07) for fourth in SC annals.
• Page added a double as well, tying Andrea Beall (1989-92) for 12th in South Carolina’s record book.
• It’s Page’s seventh-career two-stolen-base game, the first of 2016.
• The win for Blue ties her with Sky Brown (1995-98) in ninth with 54 career victories.
• Ard hit her fourth career triple in her 2-for-3 night, driving in two.
• Mack went 3-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt, a run scored and a stolen base.
• Smith’s double led four Paladins with hits, joining Candace Johnson, Borrelli and Ogburn.

Tweet of the Game:

Head coach Beverly Smith

I was proud of the way we went to bat today. Our team was in attack mode from the beginning of the game, and I think it showed in the first. After Furman scored, we answered back quickly, which is something we always try to do. Nickie (Blue) was in the same attack mode (in the circle) as well. She threw a nice complete game for us.

On Ansley Ard’s triple:: That was the game-winning hit, and it was a big at-bat for us. She has a great ability to rise up with runners in scoring position.

Junior first baseman Kaylea Snaer
On setting the SEC single-season doubles record: It’s an honor. (The record) kind of snuck up on me. It’s exciting to be able to hold that record. When we were at LSU, (associate head coach Lisa Navas) told me I had tied the record with Wiggins. I was really surprised, because she was a great hitter. At that point, when you know, you really want to break it.

Up Next:
South Carolina hosts No. 4/4 Alabama for a three-game series to close out its action at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field for 2016. First pitch for Friday is at 6 p.m. EDT, while Saturday’s first pitch has moved to 5 p.m. It will still be on the SEC Network. Sunday’s start is slated for 1 p.m.