South Carolina Comes Up Short in Finale vs. No. 18/19 LSU, 4-2
May 7, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina (32-22, 8-15 SEC) got the tying run on base but could not complete the comeback bid against No. 18/19 LSU (38-17, 12-12), as the Tigers salvaged game three of the series with a 4-2 win on Sunday at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
The Tigers staked out a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to Bailey Landry’s RBI single and Constance Quinn’s sacrifice fly. That lead grew to 4-0 in the fourth on Amber Serrett’s sacrifice fly and Elyse Thornhill’s groundout.
The Gamecocks came back in the fifth, getting a two-out, two-RBI double by senior designated player Victoria Williams, scoring juniors Kamryn Watts and Tiara Duffy after the duo reached on an error and a bunt single, respectively. Junior Alyssa VanDerveer knocked a single up the middle to put the tying run on base, but LSU starter Allie Walljasper ended the frame by inducing a ground ball back to her to keep the Tigers ahead 4-2.
Walljasper (14-4) went the distance, allowing two unearned runs on six hits and a walk in the victory. Gamecock freshman Cayla Drotar (6-4) took the loss, giving up four runs, three earned, on five hits and a walk. Gamecock seniors Jessica Elliott and Nickie Blue tossed the final three shutout innings, Elliott allowing two hits while Blue tossed a perfect seventh.
LSU jumped out to the lead in the first and never looked back.
LSU scored all three runners it got to third with less than two outs, while the Gamecocks did not get a runner to third before the second out of an inning.
Duffy and VanDerveer both tallied two-hit days for South Carolina, while Williams had the lone extra-base hit.
Duffy added a stolen base.
Seven different Tigers recorded hits, with Emily Griggs posting a double to start the contest.
Williams and Blue were the final Gamecock seniors honored this weekend in a pregame ceremony.
Williams, with her second double of the weekend, tied Sondra Hall for 14th all-time at South Carolina.
TWEET OF THE GAME
@GamecockSoftbll Seniors: Top 25 wins – 2014 (6), 2015 (6), 2016 (7), 2017 (8 and still counting). Go #Gamecocks!
— Charles Bloom (@CharlesBloomSC) May 7, 2017
Quoting head coach Beverly Smith
I was proud of our team this weekend. Getting two wins from LSU is important. It was a special weekend. All of the seniors stepped up and had a great senior day. They’ve picked up their game, and I think the underclassmen raised their level too and played for the seniors.
I’m very confident with this team. They are playing loose and confident, and I believe we’re playing our best ball, which is what you want at the end of the year.
South Carolina will be the 10 seed in the 2017 SEC Tournament in Knoxville, Tenn., facing the seven seed that will be determined later today. The opening round of the event is slated for Wednesday at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium on the campus of the University of Tennessee.