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Feb. 11, 2017

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — A stellar defensive effort supported senior Nickie Blue’s shutout in the circle, while junior Tiara Duffy closed out the win with head’s-up baserunning, leading South Carolina (3-0) to a 1-0 win over Longwood (0-3) on day two of the Carolina Classic.

Duffy led off the home half of the ninth with her second double of the day, one-hopping this one off the centerfield wall. After sophomore Kenzi Maguire took a hit-by-pitch, on the first pitch to the next batter, Duffy dashed for third. The Lancer shortstop didn’t make it in time to cover the bag and catch the throw, letting Duffy streak home to end the game, 1-0.

Blue (1-0) pitched a fantastic game, using 94 pitches in the nine-inning blanking. She struck out five while only allowing five base runners (two walks, three hits) in the win.

The Gamecock defense produced sparkling plays in the game in nearly every inning. Junior third baseman Krystan White had six assists and finished a play with a quick tag at third that denied the Lancers a run. Maguire and second baseman Mackenzie Boesel combined for a double play to end a threat in the second before producing another nice play with Boesel picking up a deflection from Maguire and throwing out a runner at first to start the third. Also in the second, junior catcher Jordyn Augustus pounced on a bunt in the second and threw out the lead runner at third just ahead of the twin killing that ended that threat.

Longwood reliever Elizabeth McCarthy (0-2) took the loss, tossing one-plus inning and giving up the unearned run on one hit.


Duffy’s read of the defense produced the stolen base and game-winning run in one fell swoop.


Blue tallied 14 ground-ball outs in the nine-inning shutout, using that shutdown infield defense.


Duffy went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, while Maguire had one as well.

The second-inning double play is the first of the year for the Gamecocks, who ranked 40th in NCAA Division I in the category last season.

Blue moved up on several career lists in the win, including seventh on the innings list at 597.0, tying for seventh in wins (58) and tying for 10th in shutouts (13).


Quoting Head coach Beverly Smith

I thought our pitching and defense were first rate. We had six 1-2-3 innings, and when we got to points in the game where we needed a pitch, Nickie Blue hit the right spot. Defensively, we turned a double play, and Krystan White at third made a couple of great plays for us. Tiara Duffy came through in the clutch when we needed her to. We can learn a lot from that game from an offensive perspective, but I was proud of my team. They continued to fight and scratched and clawed for that win today.

Up Next

South Carolina wraps up the opening weekend of play with two on Sunday, facing Presbyterian at 12:30 p.m. before taking on Charlotte at 3 p.m. Both games will be on SEC Network + on Watch ESPN.