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Gamecocks Take Down Lions to Open Weekend
Softball  . 

Gamecocks Take Down Lions to Open Weekend

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina softball team opened the Gamecock Invitational Friday afternoon (Mar. 3) with a 10-4 victory over Columbia. The win improves Carolina to 16-2 on the season.

Jen Cummings led South Carolina at the plate, reaching base in all four of her at-bats. She finished 2-for-2 with two RBIs, a walk, was hit by a pitch, and stole two bases. Zoe Laneaux and Giulia Desiderio each completed their day 2-for-3. Desiderio and Riley Blampied each drove in two runs and score twice. As a team, the Gamecocks stole six bases for the fourth time this season.

The Lions took the early lead, scoring with two outs in the top of the first. The Gamecocks responded with five runs in the bottom of the second. On the second pitch of the inning, Haley Simpson connected on her fourth home run of the season, powering through the 20-mph wind blowing in from center.

Marissa Gonzalez singled and then Desiderio doubled to put runners in scoring position. One out later, Cummings scored Desiderio and Jordan Fabian on a single to right-center. Blampied delivered the final blow with a two-run home run down the left field line, over the netting and onto the track complex.

Columbia scored two in the fifth on a two-out single, but Carolina responded right away in the bottom half of the inning. Laneaux singled and pinch runner Kyye Ricks promptly stole second and third. A walk to Simpson brought Desiderio to plate, where she singled, scoring both runners. After Desiderio stole second, Brooke Blankenship capped off the inning with an RBI single to right field.

The Gamecocks added two more in the sixth when Laneaux’s single to center scored pinch runner Olivia Cook, and a throwing error by the Lions centerfielder allowed Blampied to score. Columbia added one final run in the top of the seventh.

Jori Head improved her record to 3-0 on the season, throwing four innings of relief. She allowed three runs on six hits while striking out five batters. Leah Powell started in the circle, allowing one run on three hits in three innings of work.

Day two of the Gamecock Invitational will see South Carolina take on Illinois at 3 p.m. with North Carolina A&T following 30 minutes after the conclusion.

For the latest on South Carolina Softball, visit or follow the team’s social media accounts on Twitter @GamecockSoftbll, Facebook /GamecockSoftball, and Instagram @GamecockSoftball.

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