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No. 20 Gamecocks Take Down No. 13 Utah, Split Day One in Mexico
Softball  . 

No. 20 Gamecocks Take Down No. 13 Utah, Split Day One in Mexico

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – The 20th ranked South Carolina softball team split day one of the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge Thursday night (Feb. 15). The Gamecocks took down No. 13 Utah 9-1 in the opener before falling to Wichita State 6-5 in the nightcap.

Kianna Jones, Riley Blampied, and Aniyah Black all collected three hits on the day to lead Carolina and Jen Cummings added a pair. Zoe Laneaux led the way with three RBIs, while Brooke Blankenship, Marissa Gonzalez, and Karley Shelton each drove in two runs. Carlie Henderson led the team with three runs scored for the day.


South Carolina wasted no time jumping out on top of the 13th ranked Utes as Kianna Jones connected on her second home run of the season in the bottom of the first inning.

The Gamecocks added to their lead in the third when Riley Blampied singled with one out. After Jones was hit by a pitch, Aniyah Black singled up the middle to score Blampied.

Utah scored their only run in the fourth on a home run to lead off the inning.

Carolina tacked on a run in the fifth after a single by Jones and walk to Black. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners up, before pinch runner Carlie Henderson scored on a sacrifice fly by Brooke Blankenship.

The final blow came in the sixth, as South Carolina batted around to score six runs and pull off the run-rule victory. After a leadoff walk to pinch hitter Reganne Bennett, fellow freshman Karley Shelton connected on an 0-1 pitch for her first career home run. One out later, Blampied singled and advanced to third on a wild pitch. She scored when the throw from Utah’s second baseman sailed high off the bat of Henderson. A pair of walks to Black and Cummings loaded the bases.

Blankenship placed her hit just perfectly in front of the right fielder, scoring Henderson from third. With a 1-1 count on Marissa Gonzalez, the junior delivered for the Gamecocks with a walk-off double over the centerfielders head, scoring two runs, and ending the game.

It was the second walk-off win of the season for Carolina.

In the circle freshman Sage Mardjetko tossed a gem, earning the win after allowing two hits while striking out four. Alana Vawter earned her first save of the season, surrendering a hit in an inning of work.


Carolina jumped out to an early lead against the Shockers when Laneaux stepped in with the bases loaded and brought home all three runners on a double to left center.

Wichita State got a run back in the third, before the Gamecocks responded in the fifth. Jones led off with a single, and one out later, Cummings doubled to left center, scoring Henderson who had pinch run.

The Shockers got a run back on a Carolina error in the sixth, but the Gamecocks again had an answer. After a Wichita State error, with two outs Riley Blampied singled down the third base line, scoring pinch runner Giulia Desiderio.

WSU took the lead in the seventh, scoring four runs with no outs. South Carolina looked to answer with another walk-off after loading the bases, but were unable to bring home a run.

Mardjetko suffered the loss, allowing an earned run on two hits in an inning of relief.

The Gamecocks return to action tomorrow (Feb. 16) to take on UC Davis at 1:30 p.m. ET.

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