Gamecock Offense Knocks 12 Hits, Defeats No. 1/2 Florida State 7-2
April 14, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A relentless offensive attack and a strong outing by freshman Cayla Drotar led South Carolina (25-17) to a 7-2 win over No. 1/2 Florida State (38-3-1) in front of a sellout crowd on Friday night at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
The Gamecocks, down 1-0 after the Seminoles scored a run on Cali Harrod’s stolen base and a two-base throwing error, responded in the fourth with a five-run frame. Senior Victoria Williams reached base on a hit-by-pitch to get things started, and junior Alyssa VanDerveer knocked a single through the left side to put two on. After an out, junior Tiara Duffy stepped up and drilled the first pitch she saw over the wall in right, putting South Carolina on top for good.
Two more Gamecock runs came home that fourth inning on junior Kamryn Watts’ bunt single and senior Kaylea Snaer’s sacrifice fly. Florida State got one run back in the fifth on Alex Powers’ bases-loaded sacrifice fly, but the Gamecocks added two more in the bottom half on VanDerveer’s fifth home run of the season, which brought home sophomore Kennedy Clark after her infield single started the stanza.
Drotar (5-2) pitched well in the start, going five-plus inning and scattering four hits and four walks while giving up two earned runs. FSU’s Jessica Burroughs (20-2) took the loss, allowing four earned runs on five hits while tallying two strikeouts.
Duffy’s blast rocked the Seminoles and gave the Gamecocks all the momentum.
Four Gamecocks had multiple hits, led by VanDerveer’s 3-for-4 night. She scored twice and drove in two runs.
South Carolina owns four wins over No. 1-ranked teams in the NFCA Coaches Poll (since 1995), with this being the first since downing UCLA in the first championship game of the 2002 NCAA Regional in Columbia.
Duffy went 2-for-3 with the three-run homer.
Drotar helped herself at the plate, knocking the first two doubles of her career in a 2-for-3 outing.
Senior Taylor Williams also went 2-for-3 with a run scored. She also made a running grab going toward the wall that ended the first.
Nickie Blue tossed the final two innings for the Gamecocks, shutting down FSU’s offense with only one walk given up. She fanned two, tying her for fourth in Gamecock history with Stacey Johnson (2001-04).
Snaer’s sacrifice fly ties her for fifth in program history in RBI with McKenna Hughes (2004-07).
The 12 hits for South Carolina marks the ninth time the team has posted double-digit hits this season. It’s also the ninth multi-home run game for the Gamecocks in 2017.
The Seminoles recorded four hits: Carsyn Gordon’s triple, Powers’ double and singles by Morgan Klaevemann and Jessica Warren. Harrod walked twice and stole a base.
TWEET OF THE GAME
— Gary Meyerl (@Meyerlistic) April 15, 2017
Quoting head coach Beverly Smith
This is a signature win. Florida State is an outstanding opponent, but this is who you have to beat to achieve the goals this team has been talking about this year. I liked the way my team came out aggressive at the plate. We put a lot of hits on an excellent pitching staff. I’m proud of their fight. My players were fearless today, and they went out and got a big win.
Our defense played really well today. We made some nice catches in the outfield. Our infield took some hard shots and got outs. Cayla has continued to improve all season, and today was indicative of what she’s capable of.
On Tiara Duffy’s home run:
It was the big; it was the tone-setter. We had a lot of great production up and down our lineup today.
No. 1/2 Florida State and South Carolina wrap up the weekend on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. Dawn Staley, the head women’s basketball coach for South Carolina’s national championship team, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.