Gamecocks Drop Game Two at No. 14/13 Tennessee, 10-4
March 11, 2017
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Four errors spelled doom for South Carolina (18-6, 1-1 SEC), as the Gamecocks fell 10-4 at No. 14/13 Tennessee (20-3, 1-1 SEC) on a chilly Saturday afternoon at Lee Stadium.
The Gamecocks got on the board first on sophomore Kennedy Clark’s double, which scored senior Kaylea Snaer from first after she started the frame with a walk. An errant throw put Clark on third, and she scored when, on junior Krystan White’s single, the Volunteer centerfielder, on the infield dirt after a long run, had the ball hit off the heel of her glove and roll towards first base.
Tennessee responded with three in the first. Brooke Vines brought in the first run with an RBI single, while, in a double steal scenario, the throw behind the runner at third hit her and trickled away, letting Meghan Gregg score. A sacrifice fly allowed Vines to come home, though Gamecock centerfielder Tiara Duffy’s throw was on the money to the plate, but the umpire said the tag was not made in time. The lead grew to 4-2 when C.J. McClain reached on an error, stole second and scored after an errant throw on Jenna Holcomb’s sacrifice bunt.
South Carolina got a run back in the third on a two-out double by White, scoring Clark after she drew the walk. But Tennessee pushed the lead to 7-3 on a two-out RBI double by Aubrey Leach and Gregg’s home run to center in the fourth. The final Gamecock run came in the sixth when Duffy smashed her second home run of the year off the light pole in right center.
The Volunteers added three more in the bottom of the sixth, the first two on a pair of grounders with the bases loaded. Megan Geer drove in the last run with her single to center.
Tennessee starter Matty Moss (11-0) picked up the win with five-plus innings of work, giving up four runs, three earned, on five hits and three walks. She struck out seven. Caylan Arnold picked up her second save with two innings of work, striking out two while allowing one hit. Gamecock senior Nickie Blue (7-3) took the loss, allowing seven runs, four earned, on five hits and two walks in four innings.
The four Gamecock errors, tied for the most committed in one game this year, helped Tennessee score half of its runs.
Tennessee went 5-for-9 at the plate with runners in scoring position, compared to the Gamecocks’ 2-for-3.
Both White and Duffy went 2-for-3 with an RBI, Duffy adding the home run while White had a double. Duffy also added a stolen base.
Clark reached base three times in a two-walk, 1-for-2 day that included her RBI double and two runs scored.
Three Vols scored three times each: Leach, Gregg and McClain.
Gregg went 2-for-4 with three RBI, while McClain stole three bases in her 2-for-3 day. Leach also went 2-for-3, while Geer was 2-for-4.
Freshman Cayla Drotar saw her first action in an SEC game, tossing two innings and giving up three runs, one earned, on four hits and a walk.
The Gamecocks and Volunteers conclude the three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT on the SEC Network.