Gamecocks Set To Finish Regular Season At Missouri
Carolina returns to stadium where it reached SEC Championship last year
COLUMBIA, S.C. —- No. 16 South Carolina softball returns to action this weekend to close out the regular season as it travels to Missouri to face the Tigers in the SEC finale. First pitch on Friday night is set for 8:00 PM ET on SEC Network while the series continues on Saturday at 3:00 PM ET on SEC Network +. The finale is set for Sunday at 1:30 PM ET on SEC Network +.
Carolina comes into the series looking to close out the SEC portion of the schedule on a high note and break the school record for home runs in a season in the same stadium for the second-consecutive year.
- 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 WEEKEND
- The Gamecocks close out the regular season this weekend when they hit the road for Columbia, Mo., to face the Tigers in the final SEC series of the year. The trio of games return Carolina to the stadium it reached the SEC Championship in last season.
- South Carolina continued SEC play last weekend , as it dropped a hard-fought series to No. 15 Georgia. Carolina took the opening game of the series in flashy fashion as Alyssa Kumiyama hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 11th to walk off the Bulldogs for the fourth-straight time dating back to the last meeting in Columbia between the two teams.
- Carolina returns to SEC action this weekend when it hits the road for Missouri. The Gamecocks will look to take the second-straight series over the Tigers after sweeping the season series in Columbia last season. Carolina will have a quick turn around after the series as it hits the road for the SEC Tournament the next week.
- South Carolina comes into the week with the 13th-most home runs per game in the country and 14th-best slugging percentage. Jana Johns is 24th in the NCAA for on-base percentage while Cayla Drotar is 8th in saves.
NOTES AND TRENDS HEADING INTO THE WEEKEND
- South Carolina comes into the weekend looking to snap recent a two-game losing streak. The good news is Carolina has still won seven of its last 10 games heading into the Missouri series.
- As a team Carolina is hitting .308 over the last 10 games with an 7-3 record. The Gamecocks have outscored opponents 65-37 during that stretch with 16 home runs.
- Kennedy Clark has been great at the plate during the last 10 games with a .394 batting average (team-best) with 13 hits, 10 runs scored and seven RBI. Jana leads, Alyssa Kumiyama and Cayla Drotar have the squad with three home runs. Drotar has led the way in the circle with five wins.
- There have been a couple notable trends this season surrounding the Gamecocks and scoring. Carolina is 26-0 when it scores at least six runs and 26-3 when it scores first. In contrast, the Gamecocks are just 9-14 when scoring less than six runs and 9-11 when the opponent plates one first.
THERE’S STILL A CHANCE
- With three games remaining in the regular season, it’s still too soon to count Carolina out of the hosting conversation.
- 23% of Carolina’s 35 wins have come against the RPI Top-25; 26 % have come from the RPI-50. 44% of the wins have come against 2018 tournament teams.
- To go along with some good wins, South Carolina hasn’t had a bad loss this year with Baylor (No. 58 RPI) being the lowest RPI loss.
- Carolina has three games left against the RPI top-50.
THANK YOU SENIORS
- South Carolina honored its two seniors on Saturday and Sunday with Dixie Raley’s day on Saturday and Kennedy Clark’s on Sunday.
- The pair have won 84 games together over the past two year (Raley transferred in) and helped Carolina reach its second-ever super regional.
- Kennedy Clark stands second all-time for fielding percentage in a career at South Carolina for an outfielder.
- Dixie Raley is the only pitcher under Beverly Smith to beat Alabama twice in a career.
SOUTH CAROLINA HISTORICAL RECORD
- South Carolina has played 2,356 games in its softball history, going 1534-818-7 (.647) in its 44 years of history.
- The Gamecocks have posted 30 or more wins each of the past seven season under the direction of head coach Beverly Smith. (includes this season)
- Carolina has protected home well, also, with 20 or more coming in friendly confines each of the past six years.
- The Gamecocks have posted a combined 62 conference wins over the last five years.
GAMECOCKS VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
- South Carolina is 140-319-1 (.293) against opponents ranked in the NFCA top 25 since 1995.
- Broken down by site, the Gamecocks are 66-104 (.358) at home, 32-147 (.154) on the road and 43-67-1 (.407) in neutral-site outings.
- Last season, the Gamecocks went 8-14 against ranked teams, including an 8-1 record in home games. The Gamecocks notably swept Tennessee and Mississippi State in home series against ranked teams last year. The Gamecocks also took two of three games against Arkansas, as well.
- In road games, the Gamecocks notably won a road series at Ole Miss to star the SEC season and earned their first win over Texas A&M since 2015.