May 8, 2016
COLUMBIA, Mo. – South Carolina (35-20, 7-17 SEC) won the hit category, but No. 16/14 Missouri (39-13, 14-10 SEC) took the category that matters in a 2-0 win on Sunday afternoon at University Field.
The Gamecocks had base-runners in every inning but left eight on base in the setback, including two in the third and fifth. Two walks put two on in the third with one down, and a groundout put both runners in scoring position. Missouri starter Paige Lowary (22-6) got a pop out on the first pitch to the next batter to end that inning. In the fifth, both sophomore Kamryn Watts and senior Alaynie Page singled, Page’s coming with two outs. Lowery posted a strikeout to close down that threat.
Amanda Sanchez launched her fifth homer of the year on a 1-0 pitch in the fourth to hand the Tigers the lead. They added another run in the fifth on Emily Crane’s single, plating pinch runner Regan Nash after she replaced Natalie Fleming, who drew a leadoff walk.
South Carolina brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh after freshman Kennedy Clark dumped a two-out hit into right. Lowary got a strike out looking, though, to close the game.
Lowary scattered five hits and two walks while collecting six strikeouts in the shutout win. Gamecock junior Jessica Elliott (17-8) took the loss, allowing two run, one earned, on three hits and five walks in six innings.
Sanchez’s home run provided the difference in a tight ballgame.
South Carolina’s eight runners left on hurt the Gamecocks’ cause.
â€¢ Page went 2-for-4, while Clark, senior Ansley Ard and Watts all had hits.
â€¢ Clark reached twice in her 1-for-3 day, drawing one of the two walks.
â€¢ Kirsten Mack had the Tigers’ other hit, and five different Missouri batters drew walks.
These two teams meet again on Wednesday in the first round of the 2016 SEC Tournament in Starkville, Miss., opening the event at 11 a.m. CDT at Nunz Park on the SEC Network.