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No. 20 Gamecocks Head to Mexico for Puerto Vallarta College Challenge
Softball  . 

No. 20 Gamecocks Head to Mexico for Puerto Vallarta College Challenge

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – The 20th ranked South Carolina softball team heads south of the boarder for the first time since 2019, when the Gamecocks head to Mexico for the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge. The Gamecocks will face on a pair of opponents they haven’t seen since the 90’s in Utah and Wichita State, and first-time opponent UC San Diego, while also taking on UC Davis. While there, the team will take part in a community softball clinic with local school children.

Due to rain in the forecast, the schedule has been altered from what was originally announced.

Puerto Vallarta College Challenge

#20 South Carolina Gamecocks 5-0, 0-0 SEC
: Beverly Smith | 14th Season
AVG Leader
: .588 | Riley Blampied
Home Run Leader
: 1 | Riley Blampied and Kianna Jones
ERA Leader
: 0.88 | Jori Heard
Strikeout Leader
: 15 | Sage Mardjetko
Wins Leader
: 2 | Jori Heard

#13 Utah Utes 4-1, 0-0 Pac-12
: February 15 | 10:30 a.m. ET
Series History
: South Carolina leads 5-4
Last Meeting
: South Carolina 2, Utah 1 | Mar. 1, 1996 | Columbus, Ga.
: Amy Hogue | 16th Season

RV Wichita State Shockers 2-0, 0-0 American
: February 15 | 6 p.m. ET
Series History
: South Carolina leads 2-0
Last Meeting
: South Carolina 10, Wichita State 1 (5) | Mar. 28, 1992 | Birmingham, Ala.
: Kristi Bredbenner | 13th Season

UC Davis Aggies 2-2, 0-0 Big West
: February 16 | 1:30 p.m. ET
Series History
: South Carolina leads 1-0
Last Meeting
: South Carolina 3, UC Davis 2 | Mar. 4, 2012 | Riverside, Calif.
: Erin Thorpe | 10th Season

UC San Diego Tritons 1-4, 0-0 Big West
: February 17 | 1:30 p.m. ET
Series History
: First Meeting
: Patti Gerckens | 32nd Season

Tournament Schedule


  • The 2024 season will be the 51st season for the Carolina Softball team.
  • Carolina received votes in every poll this week. They are ranked No. 20 by NFCA/USA Today and D1softball, and No. 21 by ESPN/USA Softball and Softball America,
  • The Gamecocks travel to Puerto Vallarta for the second time in their history.
    • They opened the season in Mexico during the 2019 season, going 3-2.
    • They defeated BYU (4-3), Duke (3-2), and Notre Dame (7-4), while falling to No. 18 Baylor (4-1) and North Carolina (4-0).
  • Karley Shelton started her collegiate career with a hit in each of her first three at-bats.
  • Kianna Jones began her South Carolina career 4-for-4.
    • She connected on her first career grand slam in the 3rd inning of a 7-1 win over Virginia.
  • Carolina made its 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance last season, advancing to the Tallahassee Regional Finals.
  • 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.
  • Head coach Bev Smith earned her 400th career win last year against UNC.
    • She became the 29th active head coach in Division I to amass 400 career victories while only coaching at one school.
  • The roster features 23 total players, with of 10 different states represented and Canada.
  • South Carolina has opened the season at home in 8 of 14 seasons under Smith.


  • Alana Vawter joined the Gamecocks after an outstanding four-year career at Stanford. Her awards list in long, but she also ranks among the nation’s active career leaders in a myriad of pitching categories:
  • She ranks first in not only Division I but among all NCAA players in:
    • Complete Games: 72
    • Game started: 106
    • Innings pitched: 688
  • Ranks second in DI and third overall in shutouts (26) and wins (78).
  • Ranks third in DI and NCAA in appearances with 131.
  • Ranks 9th in DI and 18th overall in ERA with a 1.75.
  • Ranks 15th in DI and 16th overall in strikeouts at 534.
  • Ranks 33rd in DI and 42nd overall in strikeouts per 7 innings at 5.43.


  • Jen Cummings ranks 7th in DI with 36 career high by pitches.
  • She also ranks 8th among all divisions.


  • South Carolina is 249-65 (.793) over the past nine 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.


  • South Carolina is 162-380-1 (.299) against opponents ranked in the NFCA top 25 since 1995.
  • Broken down by site, the Gamecocks are 79-130 (.378) at home, 39-176 (.181) on the road and 45-73-1 (.382) in neutral-site outings.
  • In 2023, the Gamecocks went 12-16 against ranked opponents. Earning victories over #3 Florida State, #4 Tennessee, #13 Georgia, #11 Florida (twice), #14 LSU, #16 Alabama, #16 Auburn (twice), and #23 Texas A&M (three).

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