Gamecocks Smash Five Home Runs in Doubleheader Sweep
CONWAY, S.C. – The South Carolina softball squad swept its way through the first day of the Battle at the Beach Friday afternoon (Feb. 18), defeating Marshall 7-5 and Fordham 8-3. The Gamecocks are now 5-2 on the year.
Carolina hit five home runs on the day, including two each by Hannah Kumiyama and Katie Prebble. Kumiyama finished the day going 3-for-6 with two home runs, including a grand slam, with six RBIs and two runs score. Prebble went 3-for-7 with a pair of solo home runs to go along with three runs and two RBIs. Maddie Gallagher hit the first home run of her career, as she finished the day 3-for-6 with four runs scored and two RBIs. Emma Sellers also finished 3-for-6 with a triple and an RBI.
The Gamecocks opened the day scoring twice in the bottom of the first off RBI singles from Kumiyama and Sellers.
Marshall answered back by taking the lead in the top of the second, scoring three runs. Carolina responded with three runs of their own. Giulia Desiderio led off by getting hit by a pitch. One out later, Gallagher took a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall and through a palm tree for her first career home run. With two away in the inning, Kumiyama connected on her first home run of the season, a solo shot to right.
The Thundering Herd tied it with two runs in the top of the third, but once again, the Gamecocks came back to score a run of their own. Desiderio reach on a Marshall error, went to second on a wild pitch, third on another error, before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Fabian.
South Carolina added an insurance run in the fifth when Prebble led off the inning by mashing her third home run of the season, a solo shot to center.
Rachel Vaughan made her first appearance of the season in relief, earning the victory after tossing four shutout innings, scattering two hits. Leah Powell started in the circle for Carolina, allowing five runs on five hits in three innings of work.
The Gamecocks would also fight from behind in the second game of the day as Fordham scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the first.
The Carolina bats came alive in the second inning, as they plated seven runs. Sellers started the scoring when she scampered home from third, after a throw from the Rams catcher deflected off her back and down the left field line. After Gallagher walked to load the bases, Fabian walked to bring in Desiderio. With the bases still loaded, Kumiyama sent a 3-1 pitch just over the right field wall for her first career grand slam. Prebble stepped in, and not to be out-done, two pitches later put a moon shot off the batting cage roof in center field.
Both sides pushed across their final runs in the sixth. Kassidy Krupit delivered a pinch hit, two-out RBI single for the Gamecocks, while the Rams added a two-out solo home run.
In the circle, Kelsey Oh picked up her first win of the season, pitching a two-hit complete game. She allowed one earned run while striking out seven.
South Carolina will have a rematch with both teams tomorrow, February 19, taking on Marshall at 10 a.m. followed by Fordham 30 minutes after the conclusion.
For the latest on South Carolina Softball, visit GamecockSoftball.com or follow the team’s social media accounts on Twitter @GamecockSoftbll, Facebook /GamecockSoftball, and Instagram @GamecockSoftball.