Gamecocks To Play Host To Furman Wednesday Night
Looking to build on winning streak before returning to SEC play on the road this weekend
COLUMBIA, S.C. —- No. 16 South Carolina softball returns to action tomorrow night when it plays host to Furman at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. Fans can catch the game on SEC Network + with first pitch set for 6:00 PM ET.
Carolina comes into the week following its first SEC series win of the year over No. 4 Alabama as Dixie Raley was named SEC Pitcher of the Week for her efforts in the series victory over the Crimson Tide.
Fans are encouraged to park in the Heyward Street Parking Garage for all home games.
- 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 close out a streak at home of five-straight games this Wednesday as they play host to Furman at 6:00 PM ET on SEC Network + before hitting the road this weekend.
- South Carolina continued SEC play last weekend, as it earned its first series win of the year over No. 4 Alabama. It marked the fourth series win over the Crimson Tide since 2000 and the first under Beverly Smith. Dixie Raley earned back-to-back SEC wins in a series for the first time in her career.
- Carolina returns to SEC action this weekend for another tough test, this time against No. 12 Auburn in Auburn, Ala. The Tigers come into the weekend having won six of their last 10 and sit in third place in the SEC heading into the weekend. Carolina will look to take the series for the first time since 2014 and first time in Auburn since 2013.
- South Carolina comes into the week with the 20th-most home runs per game in the country and 18th-best slugging percentage. Jana Johns is third in the NCAA in hit by pitches per game while Cayla Drotar is third for saves.
NOTES AND TRENDS HEADING INTO THE WEEK
- South Carolina comes into the week looking to build upon a two-game winning streak as the Gamecocks have won three of their last four games coming into the Furman contest.
- Carolina has eight players batting .300 or better (Owens, Heath, Drotar, Stewart, Maguire, Clark, Boesel and Johns) while three (Clark, Boesel and Johns) are batting .400 or better in the 25 non-conference games this year.
- Dixie Raley has led the way in the circle outside of SEC play. She has a 6-0 record to go along with her 1.62 ERA with two saves and three complete games. She’s held opponents to a .181 batting average in those games. At the plate it’s been Jana Johns with a .439 batting average with 25 RBI.
- There have been a couple notable trends this season surrounding the Gamecocks and scoring. Carolina is 20-0 when it scores at least six runs and 21-3 when it scores first. In contrast, the Gamecocks are just 8-11 when scoring less than six runs and 7-8 when the opponent plates one first.
DIXIE DOMINATES ALABAMA WEEKEND
- Carolina got a much needed SEC win with a 2-1 series victory over No. 4 Alabama this past weekend. Dixie Raley went 2-0 on the weekend as SC got its first series win over the Tide since 2009.
- Raley earned the win in the Saturday and Sunday games going 12 innings with just one run allowed.
- For her efforts, Raley was named SEC Pitcher of the Week for the first time in her career this past weekend.
- Boesel hit .556 with a homer, double and 2 RBI with .636 on-base percentage during the series.
HOW TO WATCH THE GAMECOCKS IN 2019
- ESPN has shown some respect for the Gamecocks in the preseason, giving the program at least 30 games on the Family of Networks.
- Carolina will have 21 home games broadcast as well nine road contests.
- The Gamecocks first nationally televised game comes on March 24 against Ole Miss with a game on SEC Network.
- South Carolina will have five games on SEC Network, two on ESPNU, two on ESPN2 and one on ESPN.
SOUTH CAROLINA HISTORICAL RECORD
- South Carolina has played 2,346 games in its softball history, going 1527-815-7 (.647) in its 44 years of history.
- The Gamecocks have posted 30 or more wins each of the past six season under the direction of head coach Beverly Smith.
- Carolina has protected home well, also, with 20 or more coming in friendly confines each of the past five years.
- The Gamecocks have posted a combined 59 conference wins over the last five years.
MUST WIN AT HOME! AND THE GAMECOCKS DO
- South Carolina is 163-78 (.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 eight 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 163-43 (.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 163 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.