Johns Home Run Lifts Gamecocks To Series Win Over Alabama
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Jana Johns home run in the bottom of the first paired with another stellar Dixie Raley pitching performance lifted No. 17 South Carolina softball to a 2-0 over No. 4 Alabama on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. Raley went five innings with no runs while Johns blasted a two-run home run just three batters in to help seal the first SEC series victory of the 2019 season.
Raley was lights out the final two games of the series, holding one of the best offensive teams in the country to just one run in 12 innings of work. She finished the weekend 2-0 with three strikeouts and held the Crimson Tide to a low .190 batting average.
With the win, Carolina earned its second series win at home over a top-five opponent in as many seasons and improved to 5-10 against ranked teams this year.
South Carolina (28-11, 5-9 SEC) continued on with its momentum gained from the night before and used it to take an early lead on the Crimson Tide. Just three batters into the contest, Jana Johns blasted her eighth home run of the season to give the Gamecocks the 2-0 lead they wouldn’t surrender.
Raley (10-2) was outstanding once more, going five innings with no runs and just three hits. She didn’t allow an extra-base hit as Carolina found its way out of a couple jams with runners on to secure its fifth win over a ranked team this year and its 10th over teams that made the tournament in 2018.
Cayla Drotar (5) came in for the save and closed down the Crimson Tide the final six outs. She allowed just one hit with two strikeouts.
Johns led the way at the plate going 1-for-2 with a run and two RBI on the home run. Mackenzie Boesel, Jordan Fabian and Madison Owens also added hits.
South Carolina led for 14 of the 21 innings (66%) in the series.
- South Carolina earned its first SEC series victory of the season with the 2-1 set win over Alabama. This marks the second-straight year Carolina has taken a series at home over a top-5 team.
- Mackenzie Boesel led the way at the plate in the series for the Gamecocks. She went 5-for-9 (.556 batting average) with two RBI and a home run. Boesel and Madison Owens were the only two Gamecocks to have at least one hit in every game of the series.
- In its 15 games against ranked opponents, Jana Johns is batting a Carolina best .317 with five RBI and a .472 on-base percentage.
- Carolina earned its first series win over Alabama under Beverly Smith and its first since 2009. It marked just the fourth series win over the Crimson Tide since 2000.
- Cayla Drotar earned her fifth save of the year today. That mark is tied for the fourth-most in a season in Carolina history.