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No. 22 Gamecocks Sweep Opening Day of Knights Classic
Softball  . 

No. 22 Gamecocks Sweep Opening Day of Knights Classic

ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 22 South Carolina softball team swept the opening day of the Knights Classic Friday (March 1), defeating Kennesaw State 4-3 and host UCF 4-2. Carolina now stands at 16-2 on the season.


The Gamecocks earned a walk-off win over the Owl to open the day, as Jen Cummings singled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Riley Blampied doubled with one out, and Cummings brought her home on a single to shallow center.

Kennesaw State scored first with two outs in the top of the second. Carolina responded in the bottom of the inning when Aniyah Black led off by connecting on her first home run of the season.

The Owls again scored with two outs in the third, but South Carolina responded this time with two runs in the bottom half of the frame. Zoe Laneaux singled to lead off the inning and after a walk to Brooke Blankenship, she scored on a single by Kianna Jones. Blankenship later scored on a fielding error by KSU.

Kennesaw State tied the game in the fifth, scoring again with two outs.

Sage Mardjetko (4-1) earned the win in relief, throwing two innings, as she didn’t not allow a hit while striking out five. Reganne Bennett started and threw 1 2-3 innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out two. Jori Heard pitched 3 1-3 innings in relief of Bennett, striking out two and giving up two runs on five hits.


The Gamecocks and Knights were locked in a pitcher’s duel until Carolina broke through in the fifth. Karley Shelton led off with a single and Giulia Desiderio was hit by a pitch. Brooke Blankenship brought home Shelton on a sacrifice fly to put South Carolina ahead.

Carolina extended the lead in the seventh as Denver Bryant led off the inning with a single up and middle. Shelton delivered for the Gamecocks as she doubled off the center field wall, scoring pinch runner Emma Sellers from first. Giulia Desiderio followed by connected on her first hit of the season, scoring Shelton. South Carolina capped off the scoring when Kianna Jones brought home Desiderio on an RBI groundout.

UCF attempted a comeback in the seventh, bringing the tying run to the plate with two outs, but Riley Blampied made a diving catch to end the game.

Alana Vawter (5-1) threw a complete game for Carolina, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five.

Day two of the Knights Classic will see the Gamecocks take on Bethune-Cookman at noon.

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