May 5, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Getting contributions throughout the lineup, South Carolina (31-21, 7-14 SEC) tallied a 5-4 win on Friday night over No. 18/19 LSU (37-16, 11-11 SEC) at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
Eight batters came to the plate in the four-run fifth that led the Gamecocks to the win. Freshman second baseman Mackenzie Boesel singled, and she beat the throw on junior catcher Jordyn Augustus’s sac bunt to put two runners on base. Senior left fielder Taylor Williams successfully sacrificed that duo into scoring position. Junior Shannon Plese knocked a pinch-hit single past the Tigers’ third baseman to bring home one.
Junior centerfielder Tiara Duffy followed with a single to the hole at short, scoring Augustus to tie the game. After an infield pop, senior right fielder Victoria Williams drove a 1-2 pitch to the gap in right center, scoring two to put the Gamecocks on top 5-3.
LSU got the scoring started in the fourth with Amber Serrett’s RBI on a grounder and Emily Griggs’ two-RBI single. The Gamecocks broke through with a run in the bottom half on junior designated player Alyssa VanDerveer’s RBI single to right center, scoring Duffy after she started the frame with an infield single, the first of the night for South Carolina.
South Carolina senior Nickie Blue entered in a save situation in the seventh and fought back after putting the first two Tigers on to get two strikeouts. An RBI single by Shemiah Sanchez brought the Tigers within a run, but Victoria Williams made a running catch near the foul line to end the game and give Blue her 21st career save, moving her into a tie for third in NCAA Division I history.
Gamecock senior Jessica Elliott (15-9), who was honored alongside Taylor Williams in the first of three ceremonies this weekend for South Carolina, picked up the win, scattering three runs, two earned, on four hits and five walks in six innings of work. LSU starter Allie Walljasper (13-4) took the loss, giving up a season-high five earned runs on six hits. Both starters struck out two.
The Gamecocks got on a roll in the fourth, and Taylor Williams’ sacrifice bunt helped South Carolina get the big inning going.
South Carolina, beating its seventh ranked team this season, picked up its first win while not drawing a walk in the game.
Duffy went 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI to lead the Gamecocks.
Victoria Williams had the two-RBI double to put SC ahead for good, moving into a tie for 12th in Gamecock history with 106 career runs driven in, joining Ashley Smith (2003-06).
Emily Griggs and Amanda Doyle both went 2-for-4 for LSU, with Doyle adding a double.
The Tigers’ Sahvanna Jaquish was walked three times, once intentionally, breaking LSU’s single-season bases-on-balls record with 58 on the season.
It’s the fourth-straight weekend South Carolina downed a top-25 opponent, previously beating No. 1/2 Florida State (4/14), No. 7/7 Auburn (4/23) and No. 22/25 Georgia (twice, 4/28 and 4/30).
TWEET OF THE GAME
Everyone is stepping up tonight!!! Keep the bats on 🔥🔥@GamecockSoftbll
— Tenesha Duffy (@duffytee77) May 6, 2017
Quoting head coach Beverly Smith
Today’s game was great. It started off with Senior Day. Our emotions were high. Both Jessica Elliott and Taylor Williams, on their day, both showed out a little bit. It’s awesome that we could get the win on this day too. Taylor had a big sacrifice bunt and a couple of nice catches in the outfield today. It was a really a great team effort. We had a lot of players step up in key situations. Mackenzie Boesel got the big inning going for us. When you’ve got a hitter who comes off the bench like Shannon Plese did for a pinch hit, that ignites the team.
On Jessica Elliott’s performance:
I liked that she was able to throw her changeup for a strike. That was really important today. It kept the batters off balance. I thought she did a good job getting in on the hitters’ hands.