Gamecocks Host Stetson and UNC in Mid-Week Games
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Riding a 14-game winning streak, the South Carolina softball team will host a pair of mid-week games Tuesday (Feb. 28) and Wednesday (Mar. 1) against Stetson and North Carolina. First pitch for both games will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday’s game against North Carolina will be Military Appreciation Night, where anyone with a military I.D. and one guest, will receive free admission to the game.
South Carolina Gamecocks 14-1, 0-0 SEC
Coach: Beverly Smith | 13th Season
AVG Leader: .462 | Jen Cummings
RBI Leader: 13 | Marissa Gonzalez
Home Run Leader: 4 | Jordan Fabian
ERA Leader: 1.19 | Donnie Gobourne
Strikeout Leader: 37 | Donnie Gobourne
Wins Leader: 5 | Bailey Betenbaugh
Stetson Hatters 11-5, 0-0 ASUN
When: February 28 | 6 p.m.
Series History: South Carolina leads 5-0
Last Meeting: South Carolina 8, Stetson 3 | Feb. 15, 2013 | Orlando, Fla.
Coach: Shellie Robinson Cousins | 2nd Season
North Carolina Tar Heels 6-9, 0-0 ACC
When: March 1 | 6 p.m.
Series History: South Carolina leads 52-19
Last Meeting: North Carolina 8, South Carolina 3 | Feb. 23, 2023| Columbia, S.C.
Coach: Donna Papa | 39th Season
- The 2023 season will be the 50th season of Carolina Softball.
- Head coach Bev Smith needs one win to reach 400 career victories.
- She would become the 29th active head coach in Division I to amass 400 career victories while only coaching at one school.
- The Gamecocks had offensive explosion over the weekend at the Mercer Bear Invitational, going 5-0.
- Carolina scored double-digit runs in four of the five games, all via run-rules.
- Against Mercer, the Gamecocks hit back-to-back-to-back home runs for the first time under Bev Smith.
- In Saturday’s game against Tennessee Tech, the Gamecocks hit four home runs, which were the most since 2020.
- The 21 runs scored against TTU were the most since 2016.
- Jordan Fabian has hit four home runs in the last three games.
- Over the last week, Donnie Gobourne has appeared in three games, totaling 7.0 innings pitched. Of those 21 outs recorded, 19 have been via strikeouts.
- Donnie Gobourne ranks 1st in the nation in strikeouts per 7 innings (14.7).
- Her three saves rank fourth in the nation.
- Jen Cummings leads the nation in total hit by pitches (9) and is second in HBP per game (0.6).
- She also ranks third in the nation in on-base percentage (.702) and 61st in batting average (.462).
- She ranks 13th in slugging percentage (1.038).
- Marissa Gonzalez ranks fifth in the nation in total doubles (7).
- She ranks 30th in the nation in doubles per game (0.47).
- Gonzalez hit her first career home run, a grand slam, against Western Kentucky.
- As a team, Carolina leads the SEC in doubles (27) and stolen bases per game (2.53).
- They are 6th in the nation in scoring (7.80), 8th in on-base% (0.447) and doubles, and 11th in stolen bases per game and slugging (0.578).
- Haley Simpson hit a home run against WKU, her first home run in nearly three years (1,086 days) after missing the last two seasons due to injury.
- South Carolina are coming off playing on five consecutive days last week.
- It was the second time in program history they’ve played on five consecutive days. They played on six straight days in 1987 (March 10-15; 14 games).
- The Gamecocks opened the season on the road for the first time since 2019.
- South Carolina has opened the season on the road in 6 of 13 seasons under Smith.
- The roster features 25 total players, with of seven different states represented.
- Brooke Blankenship hit an inside-the-park home run against Campbell on Feb. 11. It was the first inside-the-park home run since Alaynie Page on February 14, 2015, against the College of Charleston.
- South Carolina will have at least one student-athlete from the state of California for the 27th-consecutive year dating back to 1994. Sophomores and California natives Marissa Gonzalez and Emma Sellers could continue the tradition on for three decades.
- Carlie Henderson won’t be the first in her family to achieve at a high level in sports. Her grandpa, Billy Shaw, played football at Georgia Tech and went on to play offensive line for nine years with the Buffalo Bills before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999. Her father, Chip, played baseball at Shorter University and has been the baseball head coach at Calhoun High School for 26 years. He’s won more than 600 games with three state titles (and had eight players drafted into MLB).
- Brooke Blankenship and Giulia Desiderio have actually played for volunteer assistant coach Kevin Maguire before. Their travel ball team was coached by Maguire and was based out of Tampa, Fla.
- Sophomores Natalie Heath and Olivia Cook have been best friends since elementary school. Although they attended different high schools, the two joined the Gamecocks for the 2022 season.
- The Gamecocks have three players listed among the current active NCAA leaders in hit by pitches.
- Jordan Fabian ranks 14th in DI and 33rd among all Divisions with 30.
- Natalie Morgan ranks 16th in DI and 37th overall with 29.
- Jen Cummings ranks 44th in DI I with 21.
IT’S GOOD TO BE HOME
- For the third straight season, South Carolina is set for over 30 home games. Carolina will host 31 home contests, including the Gamecock Invitational and Carolina Classic. They will play just six non-conference road games for the second straight season and also play eight neutral site games. The schedule also includes 12 road SEC games
IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME
- South Carolina is 226-110 (.673) at home during the Beverly Smith era, which includes a 4-1 record at home while hosting a regional at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
- Carolina has finished .500 or better at home eight of Beverly Smith’s 12 years.
- Prior to 2021, South Carolina had not lost double digit games at home in seven years and has won 20 or more six of the past seven seasons (2020 included).
NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS IS NOTHING NEW FOR SC
- South Carolina is 234-60 (.796) over the past eight years in games outside the SEC. Notable wins include Texas, Penn State, Houston, Arizona State, North Carolina, Florida State, California, Virginia Tech, USF, Long Beach State, Hofstra, Liberty, and UCF.
- Carolina had won 26-straight non-conference games (regular season) before a loss to Texas Tech in the second weekend of the 2020 season.
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.