2021 Gamecock Softball Review
South Carolina softball closed the 2021 season with a 26-26 record with notable wins against Auburn, at North Carolina at Ole Miss, vs. No. 20 UCF, vs. No. 16 Tennessee and at No. 3 Florida.
Six Gamecocks (Kenzi Maguire, Mackenzie Boesel, Cayla Drotar, Alex Fulmer, Alyssa Kumiyama and Anna Vest) closed their careers as 10 (Maddie Gallagher, Carlie Henderson, Kylee Gleason, Zoe Laneaux, Aaliyah White, Skylar Trahan, Leah Powell, Carly Robbins, Riley Blampied and Chooch Carroll) started theirs.
With the season officially in the book, the 2021 Gamecock Softball Notebook is as such:
CLOSING OUT HISTORIC CAREERS
- Graduates Mackenzie Boesel, Cayla Drotar and Kenzi Maguire, as well as seniors Anna Vest, Alyssa Kumiyama and Alex Fulmer closed out their stellar careers in 2021.
- A native of Hudson, Fla., Maguire concluded her career with a .333 batting average in six seasons with 245 starts at shortstop. She posted 232 hits, 49 doubles, six triples, 14 home runs and 121 RBI. Maguire finished with a .456 on-base percentage.
- From Lake Jackson, Texas, Vest earned 46 starts in her career in 89 games of action. She finished with a .997 fielding percentage.
- Hailing from Lakewood, Calif., Kumiyama finished her career with a .254 batting average in 119 games played with 71 starts. She collected 59 hits, 30 of which went for extra bases. She closed her career with 21 home runs and 75 RBI on her way to a .565 slugging percentage.
- A native of Hartsville, S.C., Drotar finished her five years as arguably the best two-way player in school history. In the circle she finished with 44 wins in 114 appearances with 75 starts and 28 complete games. At the plate she posted a .262 batting average with 113 hits, 21 doubles and 24 home runs. She posted a .477 slugging percentage and a .364 on-base percentage.
- Out of Little Mountain, S.C., Fulmer finished with a .300 batting average in 89 games played with 18 starts. She posted a .400 slugging percentage and a .391 on-base percentage.
- Having finished as one of the best overall players in program history, Boesel joined the Gamecocks from Yorba Linda, Calif. She finished with a .362 batting average in five years in 257 games played and 257 starts. She posted 205 runs, 281 hits, 68 doubles, seven triples, 34 home runs and 173 RBI. Boesel finished with 128 walks on her way to a .467 on-base percentage.
- Carolina’s newcomer defensive position players combined for the most starts and games played during the Beverly Smith era this past season (182 starts and 295 games played).
- The next closest for starts over the past 11 years was 158 starts in 2016 (+24) and 241 games played in 2018 (+54).
- Four different defensive newcomers combined for 20 or more starts while six combined for 15 or more. Both are Smith era highs, as well.
- The next closest for 20 or more starts was three in 2019, 2016 and 2014 while the next closest for 15 or more starts was three in 2019, 2018, 2016 and 2014.
- Five of the 10 starters in the season finale against LSU in the SEC Tournament were freshmen.
- In the circle, Leah Powell became just the third freshman pitcher during the Smith era to lead the team in wins and the second to earn 10+ wins.
- Aaliyah White finished with the 10th-most runs for a freshman season in school history (tied with Kennedy Clark with 31). She also finished with the eighth-most stolen bases for a freshman year (tied with Sue Sproule with 10).
- Maddie Gallagher finished with the ninth-most walks for a freshman season in school history (19). Gallagher drew four walks against Jacksonville on February 20. It’s the first time since Samantha Jennings vs. Mississippi State on March 16, 2002, that a Gamecock finished with four in a game.
- Six first-year players made their debut during the opening weekend in Jacksonville. The posted a combined 12-for-33 weekend (.364) with 11 runs scored, four RBI and five walks.
- Carlie Henderson shined in her debut, posting a 4-for-4 game (one hit shy of the school record) against Jacksonville on February 20.
- The Gamecocks defeated North Carolina, 8-1, in Chapel Hill on March 7. It was their first win in the series on the Tar Heels’ home diamond since 2006.
- South Carolina defeated No. 3 Florida, 2-1, on April 23. It was the program’s first win over Florida since 2013, first in Gainesville since 2002, first win over a top-5 foe since beating No. 4 Alabama in 2019 and the highest-ranked foe to defeat since No. 2 Tennessee in 2018.
- With the win over Mississippi State on April 30, Carolina won its third-straight SEC series opener. It was the first time since 2013 it has accomplished this.
- Rachel Vaughan, a junior, earned her first career SEC start on the road at No. 3 Florida this season on April 25.
- The Garnet and Black scored 10 runs in a 10-1 win at Ole Miss on April 11. It’s the ninth time it has done in an SEC game under Smith with four coming against the Rebels.
- The first 20 games of the regular season, Boesel hit .467 while Maguire hit .433. The final 20 games before the SEC Tournament, Maguire hit .455 while Boesel hit .354.
- As of April 29, South Carolina was the only team in the SEC to have two hitters (Boesel and Maguire) in the top-five for batting average, two players in the top-five for runs scored and two hitters in the top-five for on-base percentage.
- With 64 hits in 2021, Boesel became the first Gamecock in program history to lead the team in hits four different seasons.
- Boesel finished with a career-best 23 games with two or more hits in the 52-game season. In SEC games she finished with nine, which was tied for her career best (2018). She posted at least one hit in the final six conference games.
- Boesel was named an All-American, as she was selected to the third team. She’s the first Gamecock to bring home All-America accolades since 2015.
- Boesel was selected to the All-SEC Second Team.
- Boesel hit a team-best .384 in 24 SEC games this season on 28 hits with 12 runs scored. She posted eight doubles, two home runs and 15 RBI. With the help of 13 walks, she finished with a .471 on-base percentage in conference play.
- Maguire was named to the All-SEC Defensive Team at shortstop.
- Maguire, hit .380 in 24 conference contests on 27 hits with 17 runs. She finished with four doubles, a home run and nine RBI. With the help of six walks and 10 hit by pitches, she finished SEC action with a .494 on-base percentage.
- Both were named to All-Region Teams as Boesel was selected to the second team while Maguire was picked to the third team.
- Kelsey Oh was selected to the All-SEC Community Service Team.
- Boesel was named the Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, while Maguire was selected as the Gamecock Inspiration Award winner and Oh was picked as the SEC Female McWhorter Scholarship nominee at this year’s Gamecock Gala.
- South Carolina challenged itself throughout the season with its opponents. It faced off with both teams in the ACC Tournament (including the eventual Champion, Duke), the Big East Runner-Up (UConn), the AAC Runner-Up (UCF) and the SEC Runner-Up (Florida).
- Prior to Regionals, Carolina posted five wins against Top-25 RPI foes. It was the most for any team outside the RPI Top-25.
- The Garnet and Black played 31 games against the RPI Top-50, which was tied for the fifth-most in the nation heading into the postseason (top four were all SEC teams).
- In SEC play alone, Carolina faced both regular season Co-SEC Champions (Arkansas and Florida) as well as numbers 5-10 in the conference for a combined 22 games.
- 62 percent of the Gamecocks’ game this season were against the RPI Top-35.
- South Carolina faced 13 teams who played in a regional (33 total games) and five of the 16 schools that reached a super regional (13 games).