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Gamecocks Set To Open Conference Play Against Arkansas
Softball  . 

Gamecocks Set To Open Conference Play Against Arkansas

Carolina in the middle of 10-game home stand

COLUMBIA, S.C. —- No. 20 South Carolina softball is set to open conference play this weekend as it plays host to No. 19 Arkansas with a three-game series that’s scheduled to begin Friday at 6:00 p.m. ET on SEC Network+. The two teams return to action Saturday at 2:00 p.m. on SECN+ before the series concludes Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on SEC Network.
Brad Muller and former Gamecock standout Chrissy Schoonmaker will be on the call Friday and Saturday before Pam Ward and Jenny Dalton-Hill take over on Sunday.
The Gamecocks come into the weekend with a two-game winning streak in which it has outscored its past two foes 17-2.

Per South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster’s Executive Order of July 29, 2020, stadiums and athletics venues were permitted to open and exceed the order’s guidelines if the department “can satisfactorily demonstrate an ability to comply with federal and state COVID-19 procedures and protocols to the Department of Commerce.”
Capacity for this season has been reduced to approximately 400 ticketed patrons (28 percent of normal capacity) with a ticket pod system utilized. There is approximately six feet of distance between the pods. Facial coverings ware required for staff and fans at all times at the stadium, and patrons also will be required to follow the SEC and University fan safety guidelines.

All home Gamecock Athletics events are mobile-only ticketing, allowing for reduced contact at points of entry and greater flexibility to make adjustments should scheduling changes arise. The move also provides fans with more control in how they access, transfer, resell or return tickets. Fans will no longer receive a printed ticket booklet or have the option to print at home.

  • South Carolina comes into the 2021 season with a 260-351 (.413) record all-time in SEC play.
  • The Gamecocks have won the SEC once in program history (1997, the first year of the conference). Carolina went 25-1 that year in SEC play on its way to a first-place finish in the SEC East Division.
  • Carolina has won 20+ SEC games in a season twice (1997 and 2002) and has won 10+ 13 times (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2018).
  • The Garnet and Black posted a 9-14 record in 2019 SEC play. Carolina went 1-2 last year with a series loss to Georgia before the season was ended.
  • As of 3/7, South Carolina has the fourth best batting average in the SEC, the fourth-best on-base percentage, second-most triples, second most hit by pitches, fifth-best fielding percentage and the most double plays turned.


  • Carolina posted a 4-1 record last week that included a tournament championship in the Carolina Classic at Chapel Hill.
  • Mackenzie Boesel was stellar at the plate in the five games, posting a .533 batting average on eight hits with seven runs scored and seven RBI. She also blasted two home runs to pull within three of the school record for home runs in a career. She needs just two doubles to break the school record for doubles in a career.
  • Kassidy Krupit was an RBI machine, producing nine in the five games with a .571 slugging percentage.
  • Bailey Betenbaugh went 2-0 on the week in 10.0 innings of work with 13 strikeouts.
  • As a team, South Carolina outscored its opponents 39-12 (+27) and out-hit them 43-33 (+10).
  • Carolina hit .329 with runners on base in the five games and .396 with runners in scoring position.
  • Right-handed pitchers were hit especially hard last week as the Gamecocks hit .405 against them.
  • The key to scoring? Get runners on base. The Gamecocks had a lead-off runner get on 38 percent of the time in the five games.
  • South Carolina earned its first win over UNC in Chapel Hill since 2006 on Sunday.


  • South Carolina softball has made 22 trips to the postseason, a number that started in 1982. The Gamecocks have reached two super regionals and three WCWS. In conference play, Carolina owns two SEC Championships.
  • Carolina rolls into the 2021 season with a 45-48 record all-time in those crucial postseason games and a 14-15 mark under Beverly Smith.
  • Fans and opponents have become accustomed to seeing the Gamecocks play on Sundays in the postseason. Carolina has reached the regional final four-straight completed years. The Gamecocks are 2-3 in those past five Sunday games.
  • A historic trend Carolina will look to change is its record against host schools in regionals. Since 1982, the Gamecocks are just 2-11 against host schools and 0-7 under Smith. On the flip side, South Carolina is 4-2 at home in the postseason under Smith having advanced to just the program’s second super regional in 2018 with two win-or-go-home games against Liberty.



  • South Carolina will have 10 newcomers on the 2021 roster. The group (Maddie GallagherCarlie HendersonKylee GleasonZoe LaneauxAaliyah WhiteSkylar TrahanLeah PowellCarly RobbinsRiley Blampied and Chooch Carroll) bring a mix of power and speed to the plate and plenty of versatility defensively.
  • Two newcomers (Gallagher and Blampied) bring national team experience with them after playing on the gold winning U-17 squad this past summer.
  • The freshmen class is comprised of five infielders, two outfielders, two pitchers and one catcher.
  • Majors in the group include pre-business (Gallagher), retailing (Henderson, Laneaux, Trahan, Powell, Blampied and Carroll), exercise science (Gleason), cardiovascular technology (White) and biological science (Robbins).


  • They aren’t Slim Shady… but the four 2020 Carolina seniors are back to finish what they started in 2021. Cayla DrotarLauren StewartKenzi Maguire and Mackenzie Boesel all announced over the summer they’d be returning.
  • With their return, nine of the top-10 individual batting averages from the 2020 season will return for this upcoming year. The returning pitching staff of Bailey Betenbaugh, Drotar, Kelsey Oh and Rachel Vaughan bring back 12 of Carolina’s 17 wins in 2020 (71 percent) and its lone SEC winner in the circle last year (Ochs).
  • As a team, Carolina brings back 85 percent of its 2020 runs scored, 86 percent of its hits, 83 percent of its doubles, 85 percent of its home runs and 87 percent of its RBI.
  • Boesel returns looking to secure her spot as one of the all-time greats at Carolina. She comes into her final season as one of just five Gamecocks ever to be in the top-10 for 10 or more career offensive records and is on pace to break many of them. Off the field, she’s also a three-time Academic All-American.


  • South Carolina will have at least one student-athlete on from the state of California for the 26th-consecutive year dating back to 1994 in 2021. With a signing class that includes two more (Marissa Gonzalez and Emma Sellers), the streak could continue on for three decades.
  • Kenzi Maguire’s 2021 season will be her sixth season in Columbia, meaning she’s been here for more than half of the Beverly Smithera (11 years).
  • Carlie Henderson won’t be the first in her family to achieve at a high level in sports. Her grandpa, Billy Shaw, played football at Georgia Tech and went on to play offensive line for nine years with the Buffalo Bills before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999. Her father, Chip, played baseball at Shorter University and has been the baseball head coach at Calhoun High School for 26 years. He’s won more than 600 games with three state titles (and had eight players drafted into MLB).
  • Maddie Gallagher has actually played for one of her teammates. Maguire was her assistant coach this past year on Gallagher’s travel ball team. The team was coached by Maguire’s dad, Kevin, and was based out of Tampa, Fla., even though Gallagher lived in Port Washington, N.Y.


  • South Carolina is 188-82 (.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 ten years.
  • Carolina has finished .500 or better at home seven of Beverly Smith‘s ten years.
  • South Carolina has not lost double digit games at home in seven years and has won 20 or more six of the past seven seasons (2020 included).


  • South Carolina is 193-50 (.780) over the past eight 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 193 wins are 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 27 more non-conference games.
  • Carolina had won 26-straight non-conference games (regular season) before the loss to Texas Tech in the second weekend of the year.