Gamecocks Power Through the Rain For 10-9 Victory
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Playing most of the game through rainy conditions, the South Carolina softball team defeated Campbell 10-9 Saturday night (Feb. 11) during the third day of the Charlotte Invitational.
Giulia Desiderio led the Gamecocks at the dish going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Marissa Gonzalez collected a pair of doubles and scored three runs. Aaliyah White also collected two hits on the night. Emma Sellers and Brooke Blankenship each finished with two RBIs.
The Gamecocks took the lead in the second inning thanks to alert base running. After Gonzalez doubled down the left field line, she stole third while the Camels catcher was throwing the ball back to the pitcher. Sellers hit a pop up to the third baseman, who dropped the ball, scoring Gonzalez. Sellers was heads-up on the play, making it all the way to third base. She then scored on the next play on a groundout by Desiderio.
Carolina broke the game open in the third, plating five runs. Gonzalez brought home pinch runner Kyye Ricks when the Campbell shortstop overthrew first. Sellers singled to score Gonzalez, and Desiderio doubled to score Sellers. Blankenship stepped in and hit a sinking line drive that got by the left fielder, allowing her to circle the bases for a 2-run inside-the-park home run. It was the first inside-the-park home run by a Gamecock since Alaynie Page on February 14, 2015, against the College of Charleston.
As the rain began to fall heading to the top of the fourth, Campbell was able to push across three runs. It looked as if the game was going to be in a delay between the top and bottom of the inning, as the umpires left the field and called for the tarp. However, after a short delay, the tarp stayed rolled up, the umpires returned and play resumed.
After neither team scored in the fifth, South Carolina scored all three of the runs back. Jen Cummings and Zoe Laneaux led off the sixth with walks. Gonzalez again doubled down the left field line, scoring Cummings. Sellers then brought home pinch runner Carlie Henderson with a sacrifice fly to center. The Gamecocks wrapped up their scoring with an RBI single through the left side by Desiderio.
Campbell mounted a comeback in the top of the seventh as the rain picked up. The Camels put the tying run on base, but relief pitcher Karsen Ochs induced a fly out to center field to end the game.
Bailey Betenbaugh earned the win, throwing three innings of relief, allowing three earned runs on one hit. Leah Powell started in the circle, hurling 3 1-3 innings and giving up three runs on four hits.
The Gamecocks return to the field tomorrow (Feb, 12), for the final day of the Charlotte Invitational. They will take on ETSU at 12:30 p.m., followed by a rematch with the 49ers 30 minutes after.
For the latest on South Carolina Softball, visit GamecocksOnline.com or follow the team’s social media accounts on Twitter @GamecockSoftbll, Facebook /GamecockSoftball, and Instagram @GamecockSoftball.