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Elliott Tosses First Gamecock Shutout; SC Eliminates No. 24/24 USF 6-0
Softball  . 

Elliott Tosses First Gamecock Shutout; SC Eliminates No. 24/24 USF 6-0

May 21, 2016

Box Score | Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Behind the first career shutout of junior Jessica Elliott, South Carolina (38-22) eliminated No. 24/24 USF (45-16) with a 6-0 win on Saturday night in the Tallahassee Regional at JoAnne Graf Field.

Elliott (18-9) scattered four hits, two walks and a hit-by-pitch in her first complete-game shutout, striking out four in the win. She got the support of the Gamecock offense, with five different players adding hits, led by junior first baseman Kaylea Snaer’s RBI double.

The Gamecocks took a 1-0 lead on a two-error misplay by the Bull right fielder, first having the fly ball hit off her glove on a leap near the wall before her throw to the infield missed the cutoff, allowing Snaer score.

That lead grew to 4-0 in the third after South Carolina loaded the bases on sophomore third baseman Kamryn Watts’ single, a fielder’s choice to senior left fielder Alaynie Page and an intentional walk to Snaer. A slow grounder off sophomore second baseman Krystan White’s bat brought home Watts and kept the bags packed. An error on senior right fielder Ansley Ard’s fielder’s choice allowed Snaer’s pinch runner, sophomore Jordyn Augustus, to score. Junior designated player Victoria Williams came through with a two-out RBI single off the Bulls’ second baseman’s glove ranging far up the middle, letting White score the fourth run.

Two more Gamecocks scored in the fourth. Freshman centerfielder Kennedy Clark plated senior catcher Jordan Bizzell with a sacrifice fly, while Snaer hit her 25th double of the year off the top of the wall in left center to bring home Watts.

Bull starter Erica Nunn (27-12) took the loss, allowing six runs, four earned, on three hits and three walks in 3.2 innings of work.

Game Changer:
The Gamecocks getting on the board in the first was big, but the three-run third iced the game.

Key Stat:
USF committed three errors, contributing to the Bulls’ end.

• Snaer’s RBI double ties her with Andrea Beall (1989-92) for ninth on the Gamecocks’ all-time RBI list.
• Williams’ went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk, the latter tying her for 16th in SC’s history with Sonya Smith (1983-85).
• Watts scored two of the Gamecocks’ runs, going 1-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch.
• Four different South Carolina players collected RBI, including Clark with the sac fly as well as Snaer, White and Williams.
• Kristen Wyckoff went 2-for-2 for the Bulls, while Cassidy Boyle and pinch hitter Morgan Litchfield also had hits.

Tweet of the Game:

Head coach Beverly Smith

Well, it’s probably rare that you actually start the season with someone (USF) and end with someone, but I think that’s one of the nice thing’s about coaching is you get to see the progress of your team and certainly USF is one of those teams that had a great season, and you could see how they grew throughout the year. So I want to congratulate them on a great season, but I’m just really proud of my group today. It’s been a long day, and with a long early first game, and then a rain delay. I thought they really stayed in it. They were loose, they were having a good time in the dugout, and the difference in the game this evening was those clutch hits. We had people on; we were able to hit balls in the infield, force some errors and we made some things happen, so I’m really proud of the way they played. We got to see Kaylea Snaer turned on her wheels in the game. But Jake (Jessica Elliot) did a great job in shutting down an excellent USF offense.

On what was the difference in facing USF’s ace Erica Nunn this year after having success three times:
Well Erica Nunn had a fabulous career. You know, I think it was the heat. She threw a lot of innings, and I think she ran out of gas a little bit there during the game. But you know, that’s just part of the deal. I’m just glad we’re able to take advantage of some good pitches in the zone and get some hits and runs for the Gamecocks.

On what’s it like to get a rematch with FSU and finally playing in the championship game after three years here:
It was one of our goals in being here. Like you said, we haven’t been here on championship Sunday. This is our third time here, so we’re going with third time’s a charm, and we’re looking forward to being in the championship tomorrow.

Junior pitcher Jessica Elliott
On what was working well for her in the circle:
The difference was, after the rain delay, my changeup was probably the best it’s been all season. I think that made a huge difference.

Junior first baseman Kaylea Snaer
On what was the difference in facing Erica Nunn this year after having success three times:
I think earlier on we were swinging at pitches she wanted us to swing at, as opposed to hitter’s pitches. So, she was doing a great job. That drop ball was really falling off the table. But once we got aggressive on good pitches early in the count, we started doing really well.”

On that she had two good swings of the bat and seems to be doing well again:
Like I said, it’s just my warning track power. But I’m seeing the ball and just trying to get as far as I can around the bases for my team, so I’m just feeling it I guess.

Up Next:
The Gamecocks earned a rematch against No. 8 national seed Florida State on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 12 noon EDT at JoAnne Graf Field. South Carolina will look to make it a doubleheader by winning the first possible championship game.