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Big Third Inning Leads Gamecocks Past USC Upstate 7-5
Softball  . 

Big Third Inning Leads Gamecocks Past USC Upstate 7-5

March 15, 2017

Box Score

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A big third inning from South Carolina’s offense sent the Gamecocks (19-7) past USC Upstate (23-5) for a 7-5 victory on a chilly Wednesday night at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

The Gamecocks sent 10 batters to the plate in that third, scoring seven of them. Singles by freshman pitcher Cayla Drotar and senior first baseman Kaylea Snaer preceded a hit-by-pitch to freshman Mackenzie Boesel. With the bases loaded, sophomore Kennedy Clark poked a single through the left side to score the first run. Junior shortstop Krystan White came up next and launched a grand slam to put South Carolina on top for good. After a single by junior Tiara Duffy, senior Victoria Williams delivered with a home run to straightaway center, making it 7-1 Gamecocks.

USC Upstate, who held a 1-0 lead after the first thanks to Karla Beasley’s RBI double, closed the gap to 7-4 in the fourth on Alicia Dorgan’s three-run homer. The final Spartan run crossed in the fifth when Abbie Millete doubled to score pinch-runner Gemma Miller. After that, the Gamecocks called on senior Nickie Blue, who needed one pitch to get out of the fifth, to shut the door on USC Upstate.

Blue posted six strikeouts over the next two innings to capture her third save of the season and the 20th of her career, which ties her for fifth on the NCAA Division I charts.

Drotar (4-1) picked up the win, giving up five earned runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings. She struck out two and didn’t walk a batter. Spartan Lexi Shubert (10-3) took the loss, allowing six earned runs on six hits in 2.1 innings of action.

Game Changer

The seven-run third, coming after the Gamecocks made adjustments in their second trip through the order against Shubert, swung everything towards the Garnet and Black.

Key Stat

The seven-run third was most runs scored in a single inning this season for South Carolina.


White went 2-for-4 with the grand slam.

Clark went 2-for-2 with a walk, a run and an RBI.

With her home run, Williams moves into a tie for 15th in program history with 13 career blasts, tying teammate Taylor Williams as well as former teammate Olivia Lawrence (2011-14).

The Gamecocks didn’t commit an error in the field and turned a double play to end the third.

Millete led Upstate’s offense, going 3-for-4 with the RBI double, while Beasley went 2-for-4 with an RBI double as well.


Quoting head coach Beverly Smith

I was really proud of the team, coming through their second at-bat, they really made an adjustment to the pitcher. From our standpoint, it was very impressive how our batters made the adjustment. We were able to load the bases, and Krystan White was able to come through with the big grand slam, which was a big momentum changer for us. In that same inning, Victoria Williams was able to knock one out too, but everybody who got on base before them had great at-bats and adjustments from their first at-bat.

On Cayla Drotar’s performance
She did a good job. It wasn’t her best performance, but she was able to get some innings under her belt. She’s still a young pitcher. What I liked was she started that third inning at the plate with a hit. She’s going to be a special player for us.

Quoting junior shortstop Krystan White

On the grand slam
Going in facing her, I knew (Shubert) was tough, because we faced her previously, and we didn’t have much success against her. That at-bat, I got to two strikes, battling anything close, and I took a swing, and it worked out in my favor. It definitely felt really good, and it was good to put some runs on the board.

Up Next

South Carolina steps back into conference play with a three-game set against No. 2/1 Florida. First pitch on Friday has been moved back to 7 p.m. EDT at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field, with Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) still at their normal times. All three games will be on SEC Network + on Watch ESPN.