Nine-Run Fourth Inning Propels Gamecocks to Victory
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina softball team picked up their second straight home victory Thursday night (Feb. 16) with a 9-2 win over East Tennessee State to kick off the Carolina Classic. The win improved Carolina’s record to 4-1 on the season.
Marissa Gonzalez led the Gamecocks on the night with two hits and three RBIs. Riley Blampied finished with two RBIs. Natalie Morgan picked up her first career hit in the garnet and black with a single to center field in the bottom of the fifth.
The Buccaneers drew first blood in the second, scoring two runs off two singles and a throwing error. Carolina put leadoff runners on in the second and third innings, but were unable to push across a run.
The Gamecock offense came alive in the fourth, throwing up a nine spot to ultimately give them the lead and victory. Kyye Ricks started the scoring on an obstruction call at the plate, after Gonzalez laid down a bunt single to bring her around. Zoe Laneaux followed by scoring on a wild pitch. After a walk to Haley Simpson, Emma Sellers laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score Gonzalez.
Brooke Blankenship drew a walk to load the bases before Jordan Fabian was a hit by pitch to bring home Simpson. Blampied singled to center field, bringing home Blankenship and Sellers. Gonzalez came up a second time in the inning and delivering the final blow, as she hit a bases clearing double to left-center, scoring all three Gamecocks.
Jori Heard came on in relief for starter Karsen Ochs in the fourth and picked up the win. She tossed one scoreless frame, allowing one hit. Leah Powell picked up her first save of the season, pitching the final three innings. She retired the first six batters she faced and surrendered one hit over the 10 batters faced
The Gamecocks return to action tomorrow (Feb, 17) at 3 p.m. to face Delaware (4-1) for day two of the Carolina Classic.
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.