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May 18, 2016

Weekend Information

Date: May 20-22, 2016

First Pitch: 12 PM Fri., 12 or 2:30 PM Sat., 5 PM Sat., 12 PM Sun. (All EDT)

Location: Tallahassee, Fla.

Stadium: JoAnne Graf Field

Live Video: SEC Network Fri., TBD on Sat.-Sun.

Tournament Central


Feature Stories

South Carolina Looking to Take the Next Step at NCAA Tournament
Family Influences Guide Snaer to Success
Ard Excited to Make Impact On and Off the Field
Gamecock Seniors: Changing the Culture
Gamecock Seniors: Leaving a Legacy
Page – The Loose Leader
Gamecock Freshmen Build Connection before Columbia
Unique Recruiting Trip Impacts Future Gamecocks
Accountability Program for Gamecock Softball
Plew Whitlock Returns Home
Elliott Driven for Success
Augustus Honing Leadership Skills
Video: Softball – The First 18
Gamecock Softball Part of Week of Giving
Webb Part of Mission Trip to Honduras
Gamecock Alums Reunite for Wounded Warrior Amputee Game
Page Goes Behind the Scenes at Colonial Life Arena
WWP Makes Jen Castro Gamecock for a Day

South Carolina Takes Third Straight Postseason Trip to Tallahassee Regional

  • South Carolina begins the 2016 NCAA Tournament in the same place it has spent its last two Mays in the Tallahassee Regional.
  • The Gamecocks take on American champ USF in the regional’s first game at 12 noon EDT, with the SEC Network providing the coverage.
  • The host and No. 8 national seed Florida State faces crosstown foe Florida A&M in Friday’s other contest on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
  • The winners play on Saturday at 12 noon, with the losers playing the first of Saturday’s elimination games at 2:30 p.m. at JoAnne Graf Field.

Gamecocks Have a Rich History in NCAA Tournament

  • South Carolina earned its 19th bid in the NCAA Tournament, its fourth straight under head coach Beverly Smith.
  • The Gamecocks are 34-35 in those trips, making three Women’s College World Series in their history (1983, 1989 and 1997).
  • The program has five AIAW World Series trips in its history as well prior to 1982.
  • This is SC’s fourth trip to a regional in Tallahassee and the third straight year the Gamecocks have driven to Florida’s capital city.
  • The Gamecocks went 1-2 the last two years, falling twice to USF in 2014 and UCF in 2015.
  • SC won the 1989 No. 8 Regional on FSU’s campus, beating the Seminoles 2-1 (10) in game one before taking two-of-three vs. Louisiana Tech to move to the team’s second NCAA WCWS.

More on the Tallahassee Regional

  • The Gamecocks, with an RPI of 25, have a better mark than seven of the No. 2 seeds at other sites.
  • At 21 in the last RPI report, USF is the fifth-best No. 2 seed in the country, behind Baylor, Fresno State, Texas A&M and Minnesota.
  • Florida State received the national No. 8 seed, with MEAC champ Florida A&M filling out the field.
  • When looking at each site’s top three seeds’ average RPI, the Tallahassee Regional is the toughest at 17.3, besting the Lafayette Regional’s average of 18.3.
  • South Carolina can claim the best defense in the regional by fielding percentage, while Florida State holds the advantage in most hitting and pitching categories.

South Carolina’s Offense Producing Early

  • South Carolina’s offense has been clicking early, and it starts with leadoff batters reaching base at a .418 clip.
  • On 12 occasions have the Gamecocks not gotten the leadoff runner on more than once, including in eight losses: in series openers to No. 17/15 Kentucky, No. 12/12 Georgia and No. 3/3 Auburn, in the loss to Georgia Southern, in all three games at No. 14/15 LSU and in the SEC Tourney loss to No. 10/9 Tennessee.
  • The quick start also translates into 53 first-inning runs, second most in a frame the Gamecocks have tallied (behind the 55 in the fourth).
  • When the Gamecocks score first, they are 24-5. More win-loss breakdowns are on pages 5 and 13.
  • The Gamecocks lead the SEC with 81 HBPs this year, which is the program’s single-season record, breaking the previous best of 60 in 2013.
  • Twelve came in two games, as six Gamecocks were hit against UNC Greensboro (2/19) and Michigan State (3/5).
  • The Gamecocks have struck out looking 56 times in 57 games, the third-lowest total in the SEC.
  • South Carolina also has tallied 78 RBI in 123 chances with a runner on third and less than two outs.
  • That .634 conversion rate is third in the league, behind Auburn (.665) and Tennessee (.641).
  • Leading that charge is the trio of Alaynie Page (10-for-11), Krystan White (14-for-19) and Kennedy Clark (9-for-13).

Gamecocks Have Solid Pitching, Defense Too

  • South Carolina’s defense has been outstanding thus far, posting a .970 fielding percentage, which stands fourth in the SEC.
  • If the year ended today, that percentage would be the fourth best in Gamecock history.
  • Freshman Kenzi Maguire has helped the defense in her 41 starts at shortstop.
  • She has 91 assists, which is just outside the top 15 in the SEC.
  • In the circle, South Carolina has a team ERA of 2.92, which if it stands would be the first time since 2008 that a Gamecock team held an ERA under 3.00 since 2008.
  • Gamecock pitching has allowed the third-lowest home runs per game (0.44) in the SEC.

South Carolina Softball Historical Record

  • South Carolina has played 2,181 games in its softball history, going 1414-760-7 (.650) in its 41st season of sponsorship.

Snaer Owns SC Single-Season Doubles Record

  • Junior first baseman Kaylea Snaer broke the SEC single-season record on Tuesday, April 26 against Furman with her 24th double of the year.
  • Second in NCAA Division I leader in doubles, she earned a spot on the 2016 CoSIDA Academic All-District 4 team, the 17th Gamecock to garner selection.
  • Snaer’s biggest hit came in the seventh inning of the Gamecocks’ SEC Tournament win.
  • With two on and on an 0-2 count, Snaer hit her sixth homer of the year to tie the game against No. 17/15 Missouri, a game SC won an inning later on Taylor Williams’ pinch-hit homer.
  • Her double in game one at No. 14/15 LSU tied her with Georgia’s Megan Wiggins (2011) and Tennessee’s Kelli Fitzgerald (1998) for the SEC single-season record.
  • She claimed South Carolina’s record with a seventh-inning double against Georgia Southern on April 19.
  • Five times, Snaer has posted two doubles in a game, including Sunday’s game at Arkansas when she tied SC’s record.
  • Snaer saw a eight-game hitting streak end at USC Upstate, a streak that included multiple hits in each game, boosting her batting average at that time to a team-best .408.
  • Snaer hit the game-winning home run in the eighth against No. 12/12 Georgia on Monday, March 21, clinching the series win.
  • A year earlier, she ended a nine-inning contest with a single against No. 9/15 Tennessee, capturing the series for South Carolina.
  • Snaer now ranks first in SC history in doubles per game and walks per game and is in the top five in a number of other categories (see full updates on page 12).

Blue Starting to Climb Gamecock Pitching Charts

  • Junior Nickie Blue enters 2016 with her name already showing up in South Carolina’s career top 15 in many pitching categories (see page 12).
  • She once again anchors the South Carolina staff with her heavy drop ball, which produced ground outs at a 65 percent rate (506-269) in her first two years on campus.
  • Last season, Blue posted over 200 innings in the circle and an ERA under 2.00, one of two in the SEC to post such numbers (Lauren Haeger of Florida the other).
  • Blue is seven inning away from becoming the fourth Gamecock pitcher in history with back-to-back 200-inning years.
  • She would join Angie Lear (1990-91), Darlene Gareis (3 years, 1992-94) and Megan Matthews (4 years, 1999-2002) on that list.
  • Blue tossed the first five innings of the no-hitter against Western Carolina on March 1, the first no-no for the Gamecocks since the second game of 2011.
  • She added a one-hitter in a complete-game shutout of Troy on Sat., April 2, holding the nation’s 17th-ranked scoring offense entering the weekend scoreless in six innings.
  • Blue became the third pitcher to throw a shutout against Arkansas, holding the Razorbacks to three hits in the 14-0 (5) win on Friday night.
  • She also tossed at two-hitter at No. 16/14 Missouri in SC’s 3-1 win, which included forcing the Tigers’ top-three batters to go 0-for-9 in the game.

South Carolina Team Notes

  • This South Carolina senior class owns a win over each SEC team in regular-season play, the first group to accomplish this since the 2006 group beat its 10 SEC foes in four years.
  • South Carolina pitchers Nickie Blue and Jessica Elliott combined for the first no-hitter in six years for the Gamecocks on Tues., March 1, blanking Western Carolina in a 1-0 victory.
  • The Gamecocks posted a 10-game winning streak from Feb. 26-March 8, the second time under Beverly Smith and the fourth since the start of 1998 (others in 2002, 2009 & 2014).
  • South Carolina is the only SEC team to improve its win total in each of the past three season, going from 23 wins in 2012 to 38 in 2015.
  • Two of South Carolina’s signees for next season, Cayla Drotar and Mackenzie Boesel, made the USA Today High School/American Family Insurance All-USA Preseason Softball Team.
  • The Gamecocks started the season 9-1, the best start since the team went 12-1 to begin 2009.

Some Win-Loss Breakdowns

  • The Gamecocks bring home 70.3 percent (71-of-101) of runners from third with less than two outs in wins and just 31.8 percent (7-of-22) in the 20 losses.
  • With runners in scoring position, the Gamecocks hit .345 (132-of-383) in wins and .140 (20-of-143) in setbacks.
  • That trend is more pronounced in bases loaded situations: .339 (21-of-54) versus .083 (2-of-24).
  • South Carolina has scored two runs or less 20 times, going 5-16 in those.
  • All the losses came against SEC foes (3 vs. No. 17/15 Kentucky, 1 vs. No. 12/12 Georgia, 2 at No. 3/3 Auburn, 2 vs. Mississippi, 3 at No. 14/15 LSU, 2 vs. No. 4/4 Alabama, 2 at No. 16/14 Missouri, vs. No. 10/9 Tennessee).
  • South Carolina is 3-10 when not collecting an extra-base hit during a game.
  • In games when the team has 10 or less total bases, the Gamecocks are 11-17.
  • When the Gamecocks draw zero or one walk, they are 7-12.
  • SC’s pitchers do better with runners on in wins (.177, 69-of-390) than in losses (.310, 87-of-281).
  • The other thing Gamecock pitching does better in wins is end innings, with foes batting .194 (54-of-279) in triumphs and .298 (48-of-161) in losses with two down.
  • South Carolina is 18-3 when its foes don’t record an extra-base hit, seven coming in shutouts.
  • Other win-loss breakdowns can be found in the chart on page 13.

We Schedule Tough

  • The Gamecocks played 23 of their 55 regular-season games against teams who made the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
  • Ten of those come against Women’s College World Series participants, the season opener vs. Michigan and three each in SEC play at Auburn and LSU and at home against Alabama.
  • A total of 37 of the Gamecocks’ scheduled games came against teams that finished in the top 101 of the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index last year.
  • The Gamecocks played four defending regular-season conference champs: Michigan (Big Ten), Longwood (Big South), SIUE (Ohio Valley) and USC Upstate (Atlantic Sun).
  • This year, three foes (Michigan, Longwood and USF [American]) claimed their league’s titles.
  • Against this year’s NCAA Tournament field, the Gamecocks are 8-16, including going 3-14 against seven of the 16 national seeds.
  • Versus teams ranked in the NFCA Top 25, SC has gone 5-16, with all 21 games coming against teams ranked 17 or better.
  • That includes a 1-7 mark against the NFCA’s top 10 at game time.
  • Three former Gamecocks turned assistant coaches visited SC this spring: Chelsea Hawkins (UNC Greensboro), Kaela Jackson (Michigan State) and Chrissy Schoonmaker (Connecticut).

Scouting USF

  • The Bulls won the American regular-season title, going 15-3 in the league, but they fell in the tournament finals to Tulsa, punching the Golden Hurricanes’ ticket to the big dance.
  • Leading USF is senior Erica Nunn, who has provided a spark both in the circle and at the plate.
  • The ace has tossed 208.1 innings, fanning 214 while walking 71 while compiling a 1.65 ERA.
  • Nunn has allowed a .207 batting average and only eight home runs, but she has plunked 18 batters.
  • At the plate, Nunn has provided a lift with 10 doubles and 30 RBI, both tied for third on the team.
  • Cheyenne Eggens (Fr.) and Susan Wysocki (So.) both have seen some work behind Nunn.
  • At the plate, the Bulls double foes to death, with 87 on the year, and have racked up 70 stolen bases in 95 tries.
  • Junior Kristen Wyckoff leads that group with 20 stolen bases in 26 tries while leading the team with a .487 on-base percentage.
  • The unselfish Bulls do use the sac bunt, posting 39 on the year, while also adding 20 sacrifice flies.
  • Junior Juli Weber has a team-best 18 doubles and .421 batting average while ranking second with 38 RBI and 13 swipes in 16 chances.
  • Senior Lee Ann Spivey, after leading USF in nearly every offensive category last year, powers the lineup with 15 home runs and 41 RBI.
  • Sophomore Mia Fung also has 10 doubles and nine home runs while adding 11 stolen bases in 15 tries.
  • Senior Monica Santos has 11 doubles, second on the team, and she’s tied with Nunn with 30 RBI.
  • Sophomore Astin Donovan has 11 stolen bags and a team-best 10 sacrifice hits.

Ties Between South Carolina and USF

USF and South Carolina Against Common Foes

  • Against nine common foes, USF went 7-4, and SC went 6-5.
  • Both beat Illinois State, USC Upstate, Winthrop, Georgia Tech and UConn, while both fell to national seeds Michigan, Auburn and Tennessee.

SC Series History vs. the Bulls

  • South Carolina owns a 21-10 advantage in the all-time series, including an 8-5 mark in neutral-site meetings.
  • The Bulls took both meetings in the 2014 Tallahassee Regional, 6-0 and 3-2.

The Last Meeting – South Carolina at USF – Feb. 12, 2016

  • South Carolina picked up its first win of the year against USF by a 7-1 score in Tampa.
  • The leadoff batter reached base in all seven innings for the Gamecocks, who were powered by Victoria Williams’ homer in her 2-for-4 day.
  • Kennedy Clark doubled and matched Williams with two RBI, while Kamryn Watts added two singles.
  • Both Weber and Nunn had two hits for the Bulls, with Nunn adding a double.
  • All five runs the Gamecocks scored off of Nunn were earned in her five innings of work.

Scouting Florida A&M

  • The Lady Rattlers went 27-28 on the year but 11-5 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, tying for second in the league’s Southern Division.
  • They won the first three games of the tournament to advance into the championship round and bounced back from a defeat to Bethune-Cookman to claim the title with an 8-1 lead.
  • FAMU’s speed leads them, stealing 99 bases in 119 tries, and they also have 16 triples.
  • Senior Jessica Nathan is tops in NCAA Division I with 10 triples and leads FAMU with 25 steals.
  • Nathan also leads the team with 10 doubles and ranks second in home runs (5) and RBI (29).
  • Junior Tashayla Irvis tops the Lady Rattlers with .473 on-base percentage, 24 walks and nine sac hits while standing second with 21 stolen bases.
  • Five Lady Rattlers, including Nathan, have over 20 RBI, topped by junior Amber Fullwood’s 30.
  • Redshirt senior Kieifi Myrick leads FAMU with six homers and is tied with sophomore Toni Anderson with 27 RBI.
  • Myrick also has 10 stolen bases, fourth behind junior Whitney Farris’ 18.
  • Junior Kenya Pereira tops the Rattlers with 182 innings of work, striking out 135 while walking 96, posting a 3.50 ERA.
  • Sophomore Veronica Burse has a 4.18 ERA in 127.1 innings, fanning 77 and walking 73.

Ties Between South Carolina and Florida A&M

  • Lady Rattler assistant Constance Orr played at North Carolina from 2010-13, the first for Orr the final one that Gamecock head coach Beverly Smith served as associate head coach at Chapel Hill.

Florida A&M and South Carolina Against Common Foes

  • Both downed UConn, the Gamecocks a 5-4 win in 10 while the Lady Rattlers downed them twice 2-1 in a tournament at Florida Atlantic.
  • Troy beat FAMU 11-2 (5), the same Trojans that SC swept 8-0 (6) and 10-7 in a two-game series.

SC Series History vs. the Lady Rattlers

  • The Gamecocks are 3-1 all-time against FAMU, all neutral-site affairs.
  • That includes a 1999 meeting in the NCAA Tournament in Fresno, Calif., a 2-0 SC victory.

The Last Meeting – South Carolina vs. Florida A&M – Feb. 15, 2014

  • Two Gamecock errors, including one on the last play, handed Florida A&M a 5-4 win in Orlando, Fla.
  • Alaynie Page, the only Gamecock starter remaining from that game, went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
  • Kieifi Myrick, the last Rattler who played in the game, went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base.

Scouting Florida State

  • The Seminoles earned the No. 8 national seed with a 48-8 overall record and a 21-2 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play, winning both the league’s regular season and tournament title.
  • FSU’s offense is fifth in the country per game in both scoring (7.55) and stolen bases (2.48).
  • That speed has contributed to their foes committing 86 errors, tallying a .943 fielding percentage.
  • Five Seminoles have double-digit steals, led by Morgan Klaevemann (So.) with 46 in 50 tries.
  • She also leads the way with 64 runs scored and 44 walks.
  • Freshman Cali Harrod has 23 swipes while drawing 26 walks.
  • Junior Alex Powers is among the top hitters in the country, hitting .395, best on the team, while standing second on the team with 11 doubles, 14 home runs and 56 RBI.
  • She’s third on FSU with 17 stolen bases, while she’s tied for second with sophomore Jessica Warren with five sac flies.
  • Warren has 17 big flies and 70 RBI, both tops on the team, while she’s been hit 21 times, over 40 percent of the Seminoles’ season tally.
  • Zoe Casas (Fr.) has a team-best 13 doubles and stands third in NCAA Division I with six sac flies.
  • Junior Ellie Cooper has five triples and 10 sacrifice hits, both team highs.
  • The last two double-digit steal players are freshman Carsyn Gordon and senior Victoria East, both with 10.
  • Junior Jessica Burroughs is the returning ace for the Seminoles, fanning 203 with 54 walks in 168 innings, putting her with a 2.04 ERA.
  • Redshirt freshman Meghan King has tossed a few more innings (172.2) and has a 2.27 ERA, striking out 113 while walking 37.

Ties Between South Carolina and Florida State

Florida State and South Carolina Against Common Foes

  • There are four common opponents between the Gamecocks and the Seminoles, FSU going 7-3 against Michigan, Auburn, North Carolina and Virginia Tech, and SC going 2-4 against them.
  • Both were perfect against the like ACC foes, the Gamecocks beating both in the first week of the year while the Seminoles swept the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill and at home vs. the Hokies.

SC Series History vs. the Seminoles

  • Longtime regional rivals, Florida State holds a slim 23-19 lead in the series that dates back to 1985.
  • The teams played every year for 12 seasons (1985-96).
  • In Tallahassee against the Seminoles, the Gamecocks are 7-12.

The Last Meeting – South Carolina vs. Florida State – Feb. 19, 2015

  • A 10th-inning walk sent No. 9/8 Florida State to a 4-3 win over South Carolina at the Big League Dreams Park Wrigley Field setup.
  • Jessica Warren had a game-tying double in the eighth and the game-winning bases-loaded walk.
  • Jessica Burroughs tossed a complete game, giving up five strikeouts and three walks.
  • Nickie Blue took the tough-luck loss, giving up four runs, one earned, in 9.1 innings for SC.

Single-Season Chart Movements

  • Kaylea Snaer has already broken the program’s single-season doubles record of 21, set by current volunteer assistant Tina Plew in 1995.
  • Alaynie Page’s next homer ties her with Debralee Troesh’s 2003 total of 10 in fifth,
  • Two RBI for Page ties her for sixth with two others, while four matches her production from last year, which stands fifth in SC history.
  • One RBI for Snaer ties her with Page and two others in eighth.
  • One sacrifice fly for Page, Snaer or Krystan White would put that person into a tie for seventh with seven others.
  • Page’s next free pass ties her with four others in 10th.
  • The next walk to Kennedy Clark ties her with Page and two others in 14th for a year.
  • The next stolen base for Page ties her with two others in 11th, while Alexis Mack is one from tying six in 15th.
  • Jessica Elliott’s next appearance ties three others in sixth, while two ties her with two in fourth.
  • Elliott’s next start ties her with two others in eighth, while two starts brings her even with two more in sixth.
  • Blue’s next save matches her NCAA-leading total from her freshman year of seven, which ranks second in program history.

2016 Accolades and Accomplishments for Alaynie Page

  • Senior Alaynie Page is the only Gamecock in history with 20 home runs and 50 stolen bases in a career.
  • She tied McKenna Hughes for South Carolina’s career home-run record (33) on Sat., April 30, part of her leading the Gamecocks to a 2-1 win over No. 4/4 Alabama.
  • She scored both runs, going 2-for-2 with the homer and two walks against the Crimson Tide.
  • She reached base at a .550 clip in the first five home games, stealing four bases, posting six RBI and hitting her second homer of the season.
  • Her two home runs against No. 12/12 Georgia on Sun., March 20, the third time in her career to post two round-trippers in a game, helped the Gamecocks take the 5-4 win.
  • She provided all the offense in the Charleston Southern win, posting the first run with an RBI single while walking, moving to second on a sacrifice, taking third on a wild pitch before scoring the game-winner on a passed ball.
  • Page drove in four, including her seventh homer of the year, in the UNCW win.
  • Page was selected as one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, which stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®.
  • The returning first-team All-American also ranked as 50 players placed on the USA Softball National Player of the Year watch list.

Ard Advancing on All Fronts

  • Senior outfielder Ansley Ard has become the Gameocks’ clutch hitter this season.
  • Six times, she’s produced the game-winning hit: vs. Coastal Carolina, Western Carolina, the first game against Buffalo, in the second Georgia game, vs. Furman and at No. 16/14 Missouri.
  • Her grand slam against the Bulls propeled the Gamecocks to the 7-4 win, while she tied game two with an RBI bunt single.
  • She hit a walk-off home run against the Bulldogs on Sunday night on the SEC Network, two innings after starting the rally that tied the game with a hit.
  • Those moments helped Ard capture the SEC Player of the Week as well as the College Sports Madness Field Player of the Week on March 21-22.
  • She had a two-out, two-run triple that provided the edge in the 4-1 win over Furman on April 26.
  • Ard also went 2-for-3 with a two-RBI single that led the Gamecocks to a 3-1 win at No. 16/14 Missouri.
  • For Ard, however, something bigger was when she learned she had made it into physical therapy school on the same day that she won the game vs. Coastal Carolina, which she started this week
  • She’s also quite proud of her one-inning appearance in the circle vs. Southern Utah on Feb. 26, picking up the win without allowing a run in her firsr pitching chance since high school.

Clark Leading Gamecock Newcomers at the Plate

  • Freshman outfielder Kennedy Clark has started all but two games and leads the team in on-base percentage (.447) while tying for third with four home runs.
  • Clark tied the program record with two round-trippers in the Ohio win.
  • The freshman has driven home nine runners from third with less than two outs in 13 tries while also advancing runners at a .584 clip (66-for-113).
  • Clark shared SEC Freshman of the Week honors for the week of March 6 with Kentucky’s Abbey Cheek after hitting .588 with seven RBI, both team highs, in a 5-0 week.

Other Newcomer Contributions for South Carolina

  • The other four newcomers to the 2016 Gamecocks have all made their presence known.
  • Junior Jessica Elliott has gone 17-9 with a 2.84 ERA in 44 appearances.
  • Alexis Mack, a freshman who set Ohio high school’s all-time stolen base record, is second on the team in stolen bases (14), runs scored (35) and batting average (.353).
  • Mack has moved up runners at a .607 clip, tops on the team, hitting mainly in the No. 2 spot in her 39 starts. Her team-best eight sacrifice bunts has helped in this situation.
  • Freshman Kenzi Maguire has started 41 games at shortstop and is tied for the team lead with 14 HBPs, second in a single season at South Carolina.
  • Mack, Maguire and Clark, hitting 2-3-4 in the lineup, combined to go 15-for-23 in wins over UConn and Kennesaw State, scoring nine runs and driving in eight as a group.
  • Finally, Lex Hull is 6-for-31 and has started behind the plate in eight Gamecock wins.

Gamecocks Off the Diamond

  • The 2015 Gamecocks posted the team’s best GPA at 3.442.
  • Thirteen Gamecocks garnered NFCA Scholar-Athlete honors in 2014-15, the most under in the past five seasons.
  • Victoria Williams became the 16th Gamecock selection to CoSIDA’s Academic All-District team with her pick last year.
  • Off the 2015 roster with 22 students, 19 Gamecocks earned SEC Academic Honor Roll nods last year.
  • Sophomore Jordyn Augustus is one of 15 South Carolina students on the Columbia campus selected to participate in the Carolina Leadership Initiative for this academic year.
  • Many Gamecocks have been on mission trips during their summers, including Augustus, Effie Manahan and Macey Webb.
  • The softball team has won the department’s Community Outreach Team of the Year twice under Bev Smith in 2011 and 2013.
  • Gamecock signees Mackenzie Boesel, Cayla Drotar and Alexis Lindsey, during their official visit this fall, joined the team and community helping Columbia recover from the historic floods that devastated the Midlands in early October.

Gamecocks Have Memorable Weekend in Series Win at Arkansas

  • Both of South Carolina’s wins at Arkansas came with notes galore.
  • Friday night’s 14-0 win in five innings marked the largest margin of victory for the Gamecocks in SEC play and the most runs scored in an SEC game by South Carolina.
  • The Gamecocks tallied 19 hits, also a high mark in SEC play.
  • Eleven different Gamecocks had hits, including all nine of the starters.
  • On Saturday, the Gamecocks rebounded from a 5-1 deficit to take a 7-5 win, scoring five runs in the seventh to complete the comeback.
  • That’s the first win for SC when entering the seventh trailing since March 30, 2014, when the Gamecocks came back to down Mississippi on Sunday 7-6 with a pair of bases-loaded walks.
  • Sophomore Krystan White drove in the game-winning run with her first career triple.
  • The Gamecocks won their fifth-consecutive series against the Razorbacks, including their third straight at Bogle Park.
  • The series win also stretches a streak of gaining at least one road SEC series win to four years.

White Hits Her Way into Lineup

  • Sophomore Krystan White has hit her way into the lineup this spring, starting with a career-best day against Winthrop, going 3-for-4 with a homer and five RBI against the Eagles.
  • She’s now drawn 42 starts and played all four spots in the infield.
  • She’s driven in 14 runners from third with less than two outs in 19 tries.
  • She tied her career high with a 3-for-4 Saturday against Troy while adding three RBI in the series finale.
  • Her first career triple capped the seventh-inning comeback in the Saturday win at Arkansas.

Offensive Records Falling Regularly for Gamecocks under Smith

  • In head coach Beverly Smith’s first six years, the Gamecocks have broken team offensive records 25 times (tracked on page 15 in these notes), already adding to the total this year.
  • This year, the Gamecocks have been hit 70 times, already tops in SC history.
  • South Carolina snapped four more team offensive records in 2015: home runs (60), HR per game (1.00), on-base percentage (.391) and slugging percentage (.473).
  • Smith’s teams have set the home run and slugging percentage records now in four-straight seasons and the on-base percentage mark in each of the last three.
  • While not a record, the Gamecocks have hit .291 over the past four seasons, 75 points higher than the year before Smith came to Columbia.

Gamecock Pitching Making Strides

  • Beverly Smith’s pupils in the circle have improved greatly in her first five seasons.
  • Gamecock pitching has improved its strikeout-to-walk ratio in each of the past three seasons.
  • Junior Nickie Blue, who led the nation in saves as a freshman, posted over 200 innings in the circle and an ERA under 2.00 in 2015, one of two in the SEC to post such numbers (Lauren Haeger of Florida the other).
  • Blue’s 165 strikeouts last season rank 14th in Gamecock history.
  • Graduate Julie Sarratt put her name in the career top 10 for pitchers in eight major categories, including a tie for third in appearances (142).

Roster Notes

  • Seven position player starters return for the Gamecocks from last year’s squad.
  • Every major offensive category leader from 2015 returns for the Gamecocks, 14 of those by Alaynie Page.
  • SC lost four seniors who combined to start 143 games, including every start at catcher and 57 of 60 starts in centerfield.
  • The Gamecocks return over 70 percent of its offense in most categories, from 79.9 percent of their walks to 71.7 percent of the home runs.
  • The highest percentage lost in any offensive category is triples at 37.5, with five of those by Kristen Struett.
  • Forty of the Gamecocks’ 41 stolen bases return.
  • In the circle, 53.1 percent of the innings return, most by staff ace Nickie Blue.
  • Blue also brings back 61.4 percent of the team’s strikeouts.
  • Five newcomers join the squad, led by NJCAA Pitcher of the Year Jessica Elliott.
  • The team is dominated by South Carolina natives, with 28.6 percent of the roster (six players) hailing from the Palmetto State. California is second with four players.
  • The Gamecocks hail from 11 states this year, with the newcomers coming from California, Florida, Kentucky and Ohio.
  • Nickie Blue and Hayley Copeland are the first Gamecock duo who are both over six-feet tall.
  • While both Williams’ and juniors by class, Taylor and Victoria are not sisters.

Where They Go Next on Career Charts

  • Alaynie Page is six hits from tying Toinette Reed (1991-94) in eighth all-time.
  • One double for Alaynie Page ties her with Laura Mendes (2008-11) in 11th, while two joins her with fellow All-American Karen Sanchelli (1985-88) in a tie for 10th. Three would bring her even with two others in eighth.
  • It takes two triples for Page to tie Ashton Payne (2006-09) for fourth in program history.
  • One home run for Page breaks the tie with McKenna Hughes (2004-07) and gives Page the all-time homer mark outright.
  • One blast for Taylor Williams brings her even with former teammate Olivia Lawrence (2012-15) in 15th, while two homers for Victoria Williams ties her for 20th with five others, including teammate Taylor, who tallied 12.
  • Snaer is one RBI from matching Andrea Beall (1989-92) in ninth.
  • One walk for Victoria Williams ties her with Sonya Smith (1983-85) in 16th. Lauren Masters is two walks from joining the quartet that includes Williams in 17th.
  • Victoria Williams needs one HBPs to join two others in fifth.
  • Two more HBPs join Masters or Kenzi Maguire with grad assistant manager Samie Garcia (2011-13) in eighth.
  • Taylor Williams needs one HBP to join Masters, Maguire and two others in ninth, while Kennedy Clark is one from tying Evan Childs (2009-12) and T. Williams in 11th.
  • Snaer’s next sacrifice fly joins her with Sondra Hall (1997-2000) in fourth, while Page and Krystan White are one in back of Laura Mendes (2008-11), who ranks 12th.
  • One stolen base for Ansley Ard ties her for 11th with Payne.
  • Nickie Blue needs 13.1 innings to tie Gretchen Koenig (1985-88) in eighth.
  • Blue is two wins away from tying Koenig for seventh on the victories list.
  • Her next solo shutout ties Blue with two others in 11th.
  • Blue is seven strikeouts shy of tying Darlene Gareis (1992-95) in seventh with 410.
  • One save ties Blue for the school record, held by Aleca Johnson (2002-05).

South Carolina Staff Has Top Credentials

  • Gamecock head coach Beverly Smith has been a part of 11 NCAA Tournament teams as a coach (eight at UNC, three at South Carolina).
  • Associate head coach Lisa Navas has been to five NCAA Tournaments as an assistant coach (three at SC, one each at UNC and Missouri) and eight as a head coach (six Division II at Barry, two at NC State). Her 1998 Barry squad played in the national championship game.
  • Assistant coach Calvin Beamon has three titles to his credit as a player, the biggest a College World Series title at Texas during 2005.
  • He also won the NJCAA Division I title in 2003 at the College of Southern Nevada and a high school state championship at Smoky Hill High School in Cherry Creek, Colo.
  • Volunteer assistant Tina Plew Whitlock played on the last Gamecock team to make the Women’s College World Series and has coached teams to the NCAA Tournament at the Division II level.

Preseason Nuggets for the Gamecocks

  • Fledgling outlet College Sports Madness honored senior Alaynie Page on its Preseason All-America second team, while she also made the Preseason All-SEC team from the site and the league’s coaches.
  • Junior Nickie Blue made College Sports Madness’s All-SEC second team in the preseason.
  • In a preseason poll of SEC coaches, the Gamecocks ranked 11th of 13. It’s a prediction South Carolina has bettered in each of the previous two seasons.