Softball Opens NCAA Tournament on ESPN2 Friday Night vs UCF
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the 23rd time in program history, the South Carolina softball team will play in the NCAA Tournament, which kicks off Friday night against UCF at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. The Gamecocks head to the Tallahassee Regional for the fifth time since 2014, where Florida State and Marist will face off in the first game of the day at 4 p.m.
GAMEDAY INFORMATION – NCAA Tournament
When: May 19-21
Where: Tallahassee, Fla.
Venue: JoAnne Graf Field (1,000)
Series History vs UCF: UCF leads 7-3
Last Meeting: UCF 5, South Carolina 4 | March 5, 2022 | Orlando, Fla.
Series History vs Florida State: Florida State leads 27-20
Last Meeting: Florida State 7, South Carolina 6 | May 19, 2019 | Tallahassee, Fla.
Series History vs Marist: First Meeting
South Carolina Gamecocks 37-20, 9-15 SEC
Coach: Beverly Smith | 13th Season
AVG Leader: .313 | Brooke Blankenship
RBI Leader: 41 | Riley Blampied
Home Run Leader: 10 | Jordan Fabian
ERA Leader: 2.15 | Donnie Gobourne
Strikeout Leader: 189 | Donnie Gobourne
Wins Leader: 13 | Donnie Gobourne
South Carolina Totals in NCAA Tournaments
Regional Appearances: 23 (1982, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2023)
Super Regional Appearances: 2 (2007, 2018)
WCWS Appearances: 3 (1983, 1989, 1997)
All-Time Record: 45-48
WCWS Record: 2-6
- The 2023 season will be the 50th season of Carolina Softball.
- The Gamecocks were 30th in the most recent RPI ahead of the tournament.
- Carolina received votes in the ESPN/USA Softball poll for the fourth straight week. They also received the most votes outside the top-25 in the NFCA coaches poll. They were ranked 20th in Softball America’s poll.
- Carolina is making its 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance, the first since 2019.
- The 27 games again top-25 RPI teams are the most by ANY team in the country. The next closest is 23 (Arkansas, Missouri, and Ole Miss).
- The Gamecocks have 12 wins over teams currently in the RPI top-25 (all but one of which were ranked in the top-25 at the time), LSU, Florida (twice), Alabama, Texas A&M (four), Auburn (twice), Georgia, and Tennessee.
- The 12 wins are the fifth most in the nation, trailing Oklahoma (21), UCLA (18), Tennessee (16), and Florida State (15), all of which are top-4 seeds.
- South Carolina made history during the SEC Tournament, becoming the lowest seed to ever reach the finals and becoming the first double-digit seed to play in the championship game.
- Played four straight days, holding its four opponents to a combined six runs.
- The previous lowest seed to make it was No. 8 seed Ole Miss in 2017.
- The Gamecocks won back-to-back extra innings games over Texas A&M and Georgia for the first time since 2007, defeating Ole Miss 1-0 in nine (5/5) and eight innings (5/6), respectively.
- Carolina leads the SEC in doubles (75) stolen bases per game (1.95) and total stolen bases (111).
- The Gamecocks rank 16th in the country in stolen bases, 19th in fielding (.977), and 2nd in stolen bases per game.
- The 111 stolen bases shatters the program record of 87 from 1995. The 133 attempts also shattered the old record of 99 from 2011.
- Head coach Bev Smith earned her 400th career win against UNC on March 1.
- She became the 29th active head coach in Division I to amass 400 career victories while only coaching at one school.
- Donnie Gobourne, referred to as “Dugout Donnie” by Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley for sending opponents back to the dugout.
- Was named to the SEC All-Tournament team as she earned all three South Carolina wins. Over 16 2-3 innings in four games, she did not allow a run. She struck out 24 batters, while opponents hit .145, allowing eight hits.
- She picked up the win over #4 Tennessee to close out the regular season. In three innings of relief, she allowed one hit and struck out four.
- In a loss to #4 Tennessee on Saturday, she allowed three hits, the third fewest by the Lady Vols in an SEC game this season.
- Gobourne threw her first career no-hitter against #17 Auburn on Saturday.
- It was the first no-hitter for Carolina since Jessica Elliot vs Winthrop (2/28/2017) and the 53rd overall in recorded program history.
- It’s the first no-hitter for Carolina in SEC play since Megan Matthews against Florida on April 21, 2002, and the fifth in SEC play all-time.
- She was selected 17th overall (5th round, 1st pick), in the Women’s Professional Fastpitch Draft Monday night by the Oklahoma City Spark.
- Became the first Gamecock drafted professionally since Samie Garcia in 2013 by the NY/NJ Comets of the former National Pro Fastpitch league.
THIS IS CAROLINA – TRADITION LIVES HERE
- South Carolina has made 23 trips to the NCAA postseason, a number that started in 1982. The Gamecocks have reached two super regionals and three WCWS. In conference play, Carolina owns two SEC Championships.
- Carolina rolls into the 2023 season with a 45-48 record all-time in postseason games and a 14-15 mark under Beverly Smith.
- Fans and opponents have become accustomed to seeing the Gamecocks play on Sundays in the postseason. Carolina had reached the regional final four-straight years (2016-19). The Gamecocks are 2-3 in those past five Sunday games.
- Since 1982, the Gamecocks are just 2-11 against host schools and 0-7 under Smith. On the flip side, South Carolina is 4-2 at home in the postseason under Smith having advanced to just the program’s second super regional in 2018 with two win-or-go-home games against Liberty.
- The Gamecocks have three players listed among the current active NCAA leaders in hit by pitches entering the week.
- Jordan Fabian ranks 15th in DI and 32nd among all Divisions with 39.
- Natalie Morgan ranks 22nd in DI with 34.
- Jen Cummings ranks 22nd in DI with 34.
JUST WALK ON BY…
- Jordan Fabian ranks 40th among active career leaders in Division I for walks with 93.
NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS IS NOTHING NEW FOR SC
- South Carolina is 241-63 (.792) 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.