Gamecocks Come Back to Defeat Mercer, 3-1
April 13, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A three-run sixth handed South Carolina (24-17) a 3-1 comeback victory over Mercer (19-24) on Thursday afternoon at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
The Gamecocks loaded the bases with one out in the sixth on hits by seniors Kaylea Snaer and Victoria Williams and a hit-by-pitch to junior Krystan White. Mercer brought in Maxine Rodriguez, who got a strikeout for the second out of the frame, before the Gamecocks struck. A hit-by-pitch to senior Taylor Williams forced in the tying run, while an error on junior Kamryn Watts’ grounder brought home the go-ahead run. Insurance came when junior Tiara Duffy drew a four-pitch walk.
Mercer took the lead in the top half of the sixth on its own bases-loaded walk, issued to pinch-hitter Taylor Rodgers. Hits by Meghan Rud and Taylor Miller preceded a walk to Megan Lane that loaded the bases. Gamecock reliever Jessica Elliott (10-8) got a strikeout before losing the battle to Rodgers. But Elliott got a pop out to second to end the frame without any more damage.
Elliott got the win in relief, giving up one earned run on two hits and two walks in two innings of work. She struck out four. Senior Nickie Blue tossed the first five scoreless frames for the Gamecocks, allowing only two hits and a walk while fanning four herself. Anna O’Neill (0-2), in her first career start, took the loss, getting charged with all three runs, one earned, on four hits and two walks.
The Gamecocks’ patience in the sixth paid off, as both Snaer and Williams got hits in six- and five-pitch at-bats, respectively, ahead of the walks and hit-by-pitches.
The Gamecocks got six base-runners on via walk and hit-by-pitch, the most since drawing eight walks in the 14-0 win at No. 9/9 Alabama
Snaer’s seventh-inning hit ties her for 16th in South Carolina history with Andrea Beall (1989-92).
Kennedy Clark’s hit-by-pitch moves her into a tie for eighth in program history with Kaitlin Westfall (2009-12) and Jacqueline Wetherbee (2006-09).
Meghan Rud ranked as the only Bear with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and a run scored. The stolen base broke the school record she set in 2016.
The Gamecocks host No. 1/2 Florida State for a two-game series. First pitch on Good Friday is set for 6 p.m., while Saturday’s start is slated for 1 p.m. Dawn Staley, head coach of South Carolina’s national champion women’s basketball team, throws out the first pitch in Saturday’s game.