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Feb. 12, 2017

Final Stats

COLUMBIA, S.C. — For the second time in as many days the South Carolina softball team showed a flair for the dramatics, as the Gamecocks (5-0) rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the bottom of the seventh to down Charlotte (1-3) 2-1 Sunday afternoon. Mackenzie Boesel brought home Kennedy Clark for the winning run, helping the Gamecocks stave off a no-hitter through 6.1 innings by 49ers pitcher Haley Wiseman.

It was a pitcher’s duel throughout the game as Wiseman was countered ably by South Carolina freshman Cayla Drotar, who allowed just two hits in her five innings of work. One of those two hits would be a solo home run in the fourth inning for Charlotte’s Haley Pace, however, and the liner over the wall in left snapped a streak of 27.2 innings of shutout softball from the South Carolina pitching staff. Drotar went on to punch out four batters and faced just two over the minimum in her five innings before giving way to Nickie Blue to start the sixth.

Blue was faced with a tough inning right off the bat, as the 49ers put a runner on third with just one out thanks to a leadoff single. As it had all weekend, though, the South Carolina defense came through with a big play to get out of the jam. A dribbling hit down the third base line drew in Kamryn Watts, and the junior pump-faked the throw to first before whipping around to hit Kenzi Maguire at third for the tag on the ambitious Charlotte runner for the second out. Blue closed out the inning with a strikeout, then used a great 5-4-6 double play in the seventh to work around a one-out double from Charlotte and maintain the 1-0 score.

The Gamecock offense still found ways to get on base without recording a hit early on, drawing three walks and four hit batters to try and spark the offense, but they would not be able to advance a runner into scoring position until the sixth inning. A pair of hit batters and a two-out walk drawn by Kaylea Snaer loaded up the bases, but a liner from Tiara Duffy was hit right to Charlotte’s first baseman to end the inning.

The bad fortune was turned around in the seventh inning, as Kennedy Clark broke up the no-no with a one-out single to right field to move up pinch runner Lauren Stewart. Maguire followed suit with a single to center field, but Stewart was held up at third after freezing on the sharply hit line drive. South Carolina tied the game up at 1-all on the next batter, when pinch hitter Alyssa VanDerveer drew a walk with the bases loaded. A slow chopper to shortstop from Boesel five pitches later would give Clark all the time she needed to scamper home for the 2-1 win.


South Carolina’s infield defense made two key plays that kept Charlotte’s offense out of favorable positions late in the game. Kamryn Watts’ throw back to get the runner at third with only one out in the sixth wiped out a good scoring opportunity. In the seventh, Charlotte had a runner at second with one out, but Kaylea Snaer made a heads-up play to throw out the runner at third after they tried to move up a base on a grounder to third base. That double play ended the inning and kept the Gamecocks in contention with just a one-run deficit.


Aside from Charlotte’s four hits, South Carolina’s pitching staff did not walk or hit a single batter in the game and threw a combined 91 pitches (66 strikes).


The Gamecocks finished the five-game Carolina Classic schedule with a team batting average of .296 while their pitching staff limited the opposition to just a .119 average.

Krystan White finished the tournament as the team’s leading offensive producer, hitting .600 with a .643 on-base percentage and eight runs batted in.

Through her first two starts in the circle, Drotar has allowed just a .091 batting average to opponents and a single walk over 10 innings.