Three Homers Send Gamecocks Past Gardner-Webb 9-4
March 21, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s offense scored runs in bunches and claimed a 9-4 win over Gardner-Webb on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
Gamecock senior first baseman Kaylea Snaer tallied her first career four-hit day, doubling and scoring twice out of the leadoff spot for South Carolina (20-10). Junior Alyssa VanDerveer went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI, while junior left fielder Shannon Plese knocked her first home run as a Gamecock, which proved to be the game-winner, to go with a double as part of her 2-for-3 day at the plate. Senior right fielder Victoria Williams also had two hits and a home run, while junior shortstop Krystan White went 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI.
Down 4-3 in the third, the Gamecocks hit back-to-back home runs to take the lead. Williams pulled a 2-1 pitch out to right, while Plese followed by knocking a 1-1 offering over the wall in right center. The Gamecocks tacked on another run in the fourth on Plese’s sacrifice fly, scoring White after her one-out single. A three-run fifth capped the scoring, as two scored on White’s single to right center and another came home on VanDerveer’s single to the hole on the left side.
Gardner-Webb (7-18) claimed a 1-0 lead in the first. Megan Gibbons singled to get things going with two down, and three straight walks forced her home. The Gamecocks responded in the bottom of the first with their own two-out rally. Snaer singled and freshman Mackenzie Boesel collected the first of her three walks to set up VanDerveer’s two-out, three-run blast that put South Carolina in the lead, 3-1.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs came back in the second and retook the lead. Kaylee Wacaster drove in one with her RBI single, while Gibbons brought home two more with a double. Gibbons stood as the only GWU player to collect two hits.
Gamecock junior Hayley Copeland (1-0) picked up her first career win with three spotless innings in relief. She scattered two walks and a hit while striking out three. Summer Darnell (0-4) took the loss for Gardner-Webb, allowing two earned runs on three hits and two walks.
Copeland entered in the third and kept Gardner-Webb’s offense from adding more, giving the Gamecocks the chance to come back.
The three home runs tie the most hit by the Gamecocks this season (North Carolina, 2/22).
The 14 hits ties a season best for the Gamecocks.
Sophomore Kennedy Clark went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt while drawing the start in center.
Senior Jessica Elliott also tossed two shutout innings in relief, walking two and hitting another.
The Gamecocks took the opportunity to give everyone in uniform a chance to play minus one, letting senior pitcher Nickie Blue have the day off.
The Gamecocks hit the road for a tough test in SEC play this weekend, taking on No. 9/9 Alabama in three games at Rhoads Stadium on Friday at 7:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. EDT. All three games are set to be on SEC Network + on Watch ESPN.