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April 30, 2016

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – On her senior day, All-American left fielder Alaynie Page provided the offense, and the Gamecock pitchers stifled the Crimson Tide batters to lead South Carolina (34-17, 6-14 SEC) to a 2-1 victory over No. 4/4 Alabama in front of a sellout crowd on Saturday afternoon at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

Page tied South Carolina’s career home run record on the second pitch she saw, putting the Gamecocks on top 1-0. She tied McKenna Hughes (2004-07) with 33 career round-trippers with the shot over the center-field wall. She followed that up by scoring the second Gamecock run in the third. She started the frame with a five-pitch walk, took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on freshman Kennedy Clark’s fly ball to right. Junior Kaylea Snaer came through with the RBI single to left center to score Page and make it 2-0 Gamecocks.

Alabama (42-10, 13-7 SEC) got on the board in the fifth on Haylie McCleney’s sacrifice fly, scoring Merris Schroder after she started the frame with a double and moved to third on Kallie Case’s single. With runners at the corners after a walk to Chandler Dare, Snaer caught a liner right at her at first and stepped on the bag for the unassisted double play that ended the inning.

South Carolina’s pitchers limited Alabama to just three hits and helped strand seven Crimson Tide runners on base. Junior Jessica Elliott (17-5) picked up the win with four innings of shutout work, scattering a hit and three walks while fanning two. Junior Nickie Blue picked up her sixth save of the year with three innings of relief, giving up one earned run on two hits and two walks. She struck out three, including two in the final frame to seal the victory.

Alabama starter Alexis Osorio (13-6) took the loss, allowing two earned runs on five hits and four walks in five innings. She struck out nine.

Game Changer:
Page’s home run set the pace, but Snaer’s double play in the fifth took momentum away from Alabama when it looked like they were gaining more.

Key Stat:
Page reached base in all four plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with the home run, two runs scored and two walks.

• Snaer also had two hits and an RBI, while sophomore Krystan White added a single.
• Snaer’s two hits move her into 16th in Gamecock history in total bases, passing Toinette Reed (1991-94).
• Four Gamecocks were hit in the contest, led by senior Jordan Bizzell’s two.
• Bizzell reached base all three times up, twice on HBPs and once on a walk.
• Junior Victoria Williams also walked and was hit by a pitch, tying her for 17th in South Carolina history in bases on balls and into a tie for fifth in HBPs.
• South Carolina now has four players with 10 or more HBPs in a game this year, surpassing the total of Gamecocks with double-digit HBPs in the previous 34 years of recorded offensive records.
• Alabama’s three hits came from Reagan Dykes, Schroder and Case.
• Sydney Booker walked twice as well.
• South Carolina picks up its first win over a top-five opponent since downing No. 3 Arizona State on Feb. 27, 2014 in Tempe, Ariz.

Tweets of the Game:

Head coach Beverly Smith

I thought the atmosphere was great today. The stands were full. It was loud, and they had an exciting game to watch at Beckham Field. We fought like Gamecocks. From Boo (Alaynie Page) setting the pace on her senior day with the home run to start us off in the first to the way our team battled on defense. Nickie Blue and (Jessica Elliott) combining to hold Alabama to three hits was awesome. Our hitters did a great job battling as well against one of the best pitching staffs in the SEC. We did a great job of being productive and getting on base. It’s called a game of inches for a reason. We need a couple of inches on some hard hits to put more on the board today.

Senior left fielder Alaynie Page
On her motivation today on Senior Day
It really began yesterday, because I thought we played a great game against them. Coming back today, I was like let’s go get it.

On her thoughts coming home after the home run
Seeing the fire and the fight that we were going to have that game in the faces of my teammates as I came home was special.

It was a great defensive presence by us. That’s what we needed in a tight game like this.

Up Next:
The Gamecocks and Crimson Tide decide the series winner on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Fans can follow the action on SEC Network + on Watch ESPN.