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Gamecocks Win Season Opener Over Cavaliers
Softball  . 

Gamecocks Win Season Opener Over Cavaliers

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina softball team won its season-opener Friday night (Feb. 11), defeating Virginia 3-2 on the first day of the Gamecock Invitational. It’s the seventh consecutive season the Gamecocks have won their home opener.
“I loved the way we played the game tonight,” head coach Beverly Smith said. “The team played with a lot of passion. Our defense picked up the ball great behind Leah Powell. I thought Leah was outstanding on the mound tonight. I think it’s going to be the first of many (wins) this season.”
The Gamecocks fell behind early as Virginia scored a run in the second after a leadoff double, a groundout, and a Carolina throwing error. Powell stayed composed in the circle, as she allowed just that one hit through six innings.
Carolina’s bats were going all night, as they had at least one base runner in every inning, and a hit in all but the first inning. Katie Prebble looked to have scored the go-ahead runs in the third inning when Virginia’s center and right fielders collided at the warning track, but the right fielder managed to hang on to the ball, ending the inning.
Prebble would deliver for the Gamecocks in the fifth inning, putting them ahead for good. With runners on first and second, Prebble delivered her first career triple, driving the ball down the right field line and off the wall, allowing Jordan Fabian and pinch runner Marissa Gonzalez to score. 
Riley Blampied added a key insurance run in the sixth, when she led off the inning by depositing a 1-2 pitch off the protective netting in front of the scoreboard for her second career home run. 
The Cavaliers added a solo home run of their own to lead off the seventh, before Powell retired the next three batters. 
Powell finished her complete game, allowing one earned run on two hits, while striking out three and walking one. Powell threw just 73 pitches, 47 of which were strikes.
Blampied and Fabian each finished with a pair of hits on the night, while Fabian also stole two bases. 
South Carolina continues the Gamecock Invitational tomorrow, February 12, where they will take on Lipscomb at 1 p.m. followed by George Washington at 3:30 p.m.

For the latest on South Carolina Softball, visit or follow the team’s social media accounts on Twitter @GamecockSoftbll, Facebook /GamecockSoftball, and Instagram @GamecockSoftball.