Gamecocks Return Home To Face Charlotte
COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 17 South Carolina softball returns to action this week as it takes on Charlotte for the second time this season in midweek action on Wednesday night. First pitch from Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field is set for 6:00 PM ET on SEC Network Plus.
The Gamecocks come into the week with a 22-2 record in nonconference games thus far and have won 19-straight out-of-conference games coming into the game against the 49ers.
Fans are encouraged to park in the Heyward Street Parking Garage for the contest.
- Carolina comes into the 2019 season looking to build upon a 49-17 season in which the Gamecocks reached the program’s second ever super regional after winning the Columbia Regional.
- The Gamecocks welcome five freshmen and transfer Katie Prebble to the program this season to bring the Gamecocks to 19 active members.
- Head coach Beverly Smith has been keeping the local talent home recently, as the Gamecocks have five South Carolina natives on roster and two of the last three South Carolina Gator Players of the Year.
- Carolina won’t be lacking arms this season with five available coming into the new season, leaving 14 fielders. Freshman Rachel Vaughan comes in as coach Smith’s first left-handed pitcher during her time at South Carolina.
THE UPCOMING WEEK
- The Gamecocks return home for five-straight games starting this Wednesday at 6:00 PM ET on SEC Network + against Charlotte from Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
- South Carolina continued SEC play last weekend, as it dropped its series at No. 8 LSU. The Gamecocks responded from a slow start and took the Saturday game to earn its highest ranked win on the road since 2014. The Gamecocks have never taken a three-game series in Baton Rouge.
- Carolina returns to SEC action this weekend for another tough test, this time against No. 4 Alabama as the Gamecocks host Alumni Weekend. Members of the 1989 WCWS squad will be honored prior to the Friday night game as legendary head coach Joyce Compton will throw out the first pitch. Saturday, Carolina softball will retire its first jersey in program history with the honoring of Trinity Johnson.
- South Carolina comes into the week with the 21st-most home runs per game in the country and 16th-best slugging percentage. Jana Johns leads the NCAA in hit by pitches per game.
NOTES AND TRENDS HEADING INTO THE WEEK
- South Carolina comes into the week having won its last 12 games against Charlotte and its last 19 games against non-conference foes this season. In total, Carolina is 22-2 against non-conference competition while outscoring teams 183-57 in those 24 games.
- Carolina has three batters (Jana Johns, Kennedy Clark and Mackenzie Boesel) hitting .400 or better in games against non-conference foes.
- Dixie Raley and Karly Heath have combined for a 13-0 record against out-of-conference teams this year. The duo has 76 strikeouts in contrast to just 23 walks. Heath has held batters to a low .155 batting average while teams are batting just .181 against Raley.
- There have been a couple notable trends this season surrounding the Gamecocks and scoring. Carolina is 19-0 when it scores at least six runs and 18-3 when it scores first. In contrast, the Gamecocks are just 6-8 when scoring less than six runs and 7-7 when the opponent plates one first.
HALFWAY THROUGH SEC PLAY
- South Carolina has played four of its eight SEC series thus far and while the Gamecocks haven’t played as well as they’d like there’s still plenty of time and opportunities to turn things around.
- Kennedy Clark has led the way for the Gamecocks at the plate with three multi-hit SEC games and has reached base in three-straight conference games.
- The No. 6 has held true to conference play as Carolina is undefeated in SEC games when scoring at least six runs.
- South Carolina is scheduled for three more SEC series against ranked teams.
THE GAMECOCKS ALL TIME – THE COACHES
- South Carolina is 1,524-814-7 in its 44 years of softball. 303 of those have come during the Beverly Smith era.
- The Gamecocks have had nine coaches during the program’s history, starting with Vivian Hamilton in 1975. By far the longest tenured and winningest coach in program history was Joyce Compton.
- Compton coached from 1987-2010, winning 951 games (most in school history) with 182 conference wins and 13 NCAA Regional appearances.
- Smith and Compton are the only two who have stayed more than four years.
MUST WIN AT HOME! AND THE GAMECOCKS DO
- South Carolina is 160-77 (.665) at home during the Beverly Smith era, which does not include a 4-1 record at home while hosting a regional at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
- The Gamecocks have lost more than 10 games at home in a single season just three times in her nine years.
- Carolina has finished .500 or better at home seven of Beverly Smith’s nine years.
- South Carolina has not lost double digit games at home in six years, and has won 20 or more the past five seasons.
NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS IS NOTHING NEW FOR SC
- South Carolina is 162-43 (.780) over the past six years in games outside the SEC. Notable wins include Texas, Penn State, Houston, Arizona State, North Carolina, Florida State, California, Virginia Tech, USF, Long Beach State, Hofstra and Liberty.
- The 162 wins in notable because they account for 64 percent of the Carolina wins during that time (yeah, it’s really tough to win SEC games and of course there are more opportunities to win non-conference games. But still).
- This year Carolina is set for at least 25 more non-conference games.