Softball Kicks off SEC Play at Beckham Field Against Tigers
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina softball team opens SEC play at home against LSU March 11-13. All three games of the series will be broadcast on the SEC Network. Saturday’s first pitch will be at 6 p.m., Sunday at 4 p.m., and Monday at 7 p.m.
During Saturday’s game, the athletic department in partnership with University of South Carolina First Lady Ero Aggelopoulou-Amiridis, the University of South Carolina Board of Visitors and the Gamecock Pantry will host a collection drive to help the Gamecock Community. Fans are asked to bring non-perishable food items and school supplies to drop off in collection bins next to the ticket tent. For more information on the Gamecock Pantry, click here.
On Saturday, the Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field will celebrate its 10th birthday with a party for all those in attendance! Following Sunday’s game fans will be invited on the field to run the bases, as well as a postgame autograph session with the team on the field. Prior to Monday’s, the SEC Champion women’s basketball team will be recognized and Victaria Saxon will throw out the first pitch.
South Carolina Gamecocks 21-2, 0-0 SEC
Coach: Beverly Smith | 13th Season
AVG Leader: .431 | Brooke Blankenship
RBI Leader: 22 | Riley Blampied
Home Run Leader: 5 | Jordan Fabian
ERA Leader: 0.98 | Donnie Gobourne
Strikeout Leader: 57 | Donnie Gobourne
Wins Leader: 5 | Three Tied
Series History: LSU leads 51-19
Last Meeting: LSU 8, South Carolina 0 | April 16, 2022 | Baton Rouge, La.
#14 LSU Tigers 20-1, 0-0 SEC
Coach: Beth Torina | 12th Season
AVG Leader: .471 | Danieca Coffey
RBI Leader: 32 | Taylor Pleasants
Home Run Leader: 8 | Taylor Pleasants
ERA Leader: 0.63 | Sydney Berzon
Strikeout Leader: 44 | Ali Kilponen
Wins Leader: 7 | Sydney Berzon
- The 2023 season will be the 50th season of Carolina Softball.
- The Gamecocks are 34th in the most recent RPI.
- Carolina at 21-2 is off to its best start since 2018, when they also started 21-2.
- Head coach Bev Smith earned her 400th career win last Thursday against UNC.
- She became the 29th active head coach in Division I to amass 400 career victories while only coaching at one school.
- The Gamecock offense ranks 8th in the country in scoring per game (7.61 runs).
- As a team, Carolina leads the SEC in doubles (42) and are third in the nation.
- They also lead the SEC in stolen bases per game (2.74).
- In the nation, they are 13th in doubles per game (1.83) and fourth in walks (93), eighth in on-base% (.444), seventh in winning percentage, ninth in stolen bases per game, 13th in fielding and 15th in slugging (.565), 19th in batting average (.330) and K’s-BB (4.08).
- Donnie Gobourne leads the nation in strikeouts per 7 innings (13.9). She also ranks 53rd in total strikeouts with 57.
- Her four saves rank fourth in the nation and first in the SEC.
- Jen Cummings leads the nation in total HBP (11) and is sixth in per game (0.48).
- She ranks among the NCAA leaders in seven different categories.
- She is eighth in the nation in on-base% (.605).
- She ranks 77th in slugging percentage (.755) and 71st in walks per game (0.7)
- Cummings and Marissa Gonzalez rank 25th in the nation in total doubles (7).
- Gonzalez ranks 119th in the nation in doubles per game (0.32).
- Karsen Ochs ranks 23rd in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio (10.0) and 25th in walks per 7 innings (0.62)
- Against Mercer (Feb. 24), the Gamecocks hit back-to-back-to-back home runs for the first time under Bev Smith.
- Against Tennessee Tech (Feb. 25), the Gamecocks hit four home runs, which were the most since 2020.
- The 21 runs scored against TTU were the most since 2016.
- Haley Simpson hit a home run against WKU (Feb. 19), her first home run in nearly three years (1,086 days) after missing the last two seasons due to injury.
- The Gamecocks played five consecutive days (Feb. 15-19) for only the second time in program history. They played six straight days in 1987 (March 10-15; 14 games).
- 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.
- Natalie Morgan ranks 13th in DI and 25th overall with 25.
- Jordan Fabian ranks 17th in DI and 31st among all Divisions with 33.
- Jen Cummings ranks 25th in DI I with 27.
JUST WALK ON BY…
- Jordan Fabian ranks 35th among active career leaders in Division I for walks with 78.
IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME
- South Carolina is 232-111 (.676) 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).
GAMECOCKS VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
- South Carolina is 150-364-1 (.292) against opponents ranked in the NFCA top 25 since 1995.
- Broken down by site, the Gamecocks are 72-124 (.367) at home, 36-167 (.177) on the road and 43-72-1 (.375) in neutral-site outings.
- In 2022, the Gamecocks went 4-22 against ranked opponents. Earning victories over #13 Kentucky, #15 Georgia, #19 Auburn, and #24 UCF.
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.