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Gamecocks Take Down No. 19 Auburn in 11 Innings
Softball  . 

Gamecocks Take Down No. 19 Auburn in 11 Innings

AUBURN, Ala. – Behind a season-high 18 hits, the South Carolina softball team defeated the 19th ranked Auburn Tigers Saturday afternoon (Mar. 19) 10-7 in 11 innings. The Gamecocks improve to 18-8 on the season and 2-2 in SEC play. It’s the second straight SEC game that South Carolina has ended the nation’s second longest winning streak (Auburn, 16; Georgia, 16). 
All nine Carolina starters had a hit. Katie Prebble, Aaliyah White, and Carlie Henderson each had three. Giulia Desiderio, Hannah Kumiyama, and Riley Blampied each had two hits. Desiderio and Henderson led the team with two RBIs. Blampied, Desiderio, and Emma Sellers each scored two runs. 
Jordan Fabian had seven at-bats in the game, that’s the most by a Gamecock player since Lindi James all the way back on May 28, 1983 against UCLA in a 17 inning game in the College World Series. Several players had six at-bats, which last happened against Kentucky on April 18, 2015.
The 11 inning game was the longest South Carolina game since a 3-2 win over Georgia on April 26, 2019. The 18 hits by the Gamecocks were the most since having 19 at Arkansas on April 4, 2016.
The Gamecocks opened the scoring in the top of the fourth as Sellers led off and reached on an error. A groundout moved her to third before she came home on a wild pitch. Auburn answered with back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the inning, a two-run and solo shot.
Carolina had an answer of their own in the top of the fifth. Kumiyama led off the inning by hitting the second pitch she saw over the wall in right-center for her fourth home run of the season. The second run came after Blampied doubled down the right field line. One out later, she would score on an RBI groundout by Maddie Gallagher.
Auburn took the lead in the bottom of the fifth, but the Gamecocks tied it back up in the next half inning. White and Henderson singled to lead off the inning and one out later, Kumiyama singled to load the bases. Prebble delivered a sacrifice fly to center, scoring White from third.
South Carolina took the lead in the seventh, scoring three runs. Desiderio doubled to right-center scoring a run. Henderson’s groundball resulted in an error, scoring another run. Fabian doubled to right-center, scoring the third run. The Gamecocks had two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but a three-run home run tied the game and sent it to extra innings.
Both teams left runners on base in the eighth and ninth innings. Carolina broke through in the 11th. Blampied led off with an infield single. After an error and a sacrifice bunt moved her to third, she scored on a single by Desiderio. Henderson singled to center, scoring two more runs.
Rachel Vaughan earned the victory, throwing 2 1-3 innings, allowing one hit in relief. Bailey Betenbaugh pitched 8 2-3 innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits, while tying a career-high with nine strikeouts. It’s the first time a Gamecock pitcher has gone eight or more innings since Dixie Raley against Ole Miss on March 24, 2018.
Game two of the series will be tomorrow, March 20, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network. 
For the latest on South Carolina Softball, visit or follow the team’s social media accounts on Twitter @GamecockSoftbll, Facebook /GamecockSoftball, and Instagram @GamecockSoftball.