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No. 23 Gamecocks Host Top-25 Matchup for SEC Home Opener
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No. 23 Gamecocks Host Top-25 Matchup for SEC Home Opener

SEC Home Opener

#23 South Carolina Gamecocks (22-7, 0-3)
#23 South Carolina Gamecocks (22-7, 0-3)
#7 Tennessee Lady Volunteers (23-4, 3-0)
#7 Tennessee Lady Volunteers (23-4, 3-0)
Columbia, S.C. | Carolina Softball Stadium

Weekend Schedule

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The 23rd ranked South Carolina softball team hosts its SEC home opening series this weekend, as the Gamecocks take on No. 7 Tennessee March 23-25. On Saturday, the first 250 fans will receive a Gamecock Softball T-Shirt and the first 500 fans will receive a rally towel. For Sunday, the first 100 fans will receive an ice cream sundae. At Monday’s game, the first 250 fans will receive a rally towel.

Gameday Information
: March 23 | 6 p.m.; March 24 | 6 p.m.; March 25 | 7 p.m.
Broadcast Schedule
: SECN+ (Fri); SEC Network (Sun & Mon)
Series History
: Tennessee leads 44-23
Last Meeting
: Tennessee 3, South Carolina 1 | May 13, 2023 | Fayetteville, Ark

#23 South Carolina Gamecocks 22-7, 0-3 SEC
: Beverly Smith | 14th Season
AVG Leader
: .409 | Carlie Henderson
RBI Leader
: 22 | Riley Blampied
Home Run Leader
: 4 | Reganne Bennett
ERA Leader
: 0.68 | Reganne Bennett
Strikeout Leader
: 68 | Sage Mardjetko
Wins Leader
: 8 | Alana Vawter

#7 Tennessee Lady Volunteers 23-4, 3-0 SEC
: Karen Weekly | 23rd Season
AVG Leader
: .440 | Kiki Milloy
RBI Leader
: 26 | McKenna Gibson
Home Run Leader
: 9 | Kiki Milloy
ERA Leader
: 0.55 | Karlyn Pickens
Strikeout Leader
: 104 | Karlyn Pickens
Wins Leader
: 12 | Karlyn Pickens


  • The 2024 season will be the 51st season for the Carolina Softball team.
  • Carolina received votes in three polls this week. They are ranked No. 23 by NFCA/USA Today and No. 25 by ESPN/USA Softball and Softball America.
  • The Gamecocks and Lady Volunteers have previously met 67 times, 10th most games against any opponent in Carolina program history.
  • Over the last 10 meetings, the series is tied 5-5.
  • The Gamecocks are coming off a win over in-state rival Clemson 6-4 in 12 innings.
    • It was the longest game for Carolina since a 4-3 loss to Arkansas on April 15, 2000.
    • It was Carolina’s first win in the series since 1979.
  • Carolina combined to shutout then-No. 24 Boston U last Thursday, earning a 3-0 victory in eight innings.
    • It was the first time the Terriers had been shut out this season.
  • The Gamecocks recorded three straight shutouts on the weekend.
  • Jori Heard threw a perfect game in the 4-0 win over Bethune-Cookman on March 2. It was the first 7-inning perfect game in Division I this season.
    • Heard’s perfect game is the 11th in program history, as she becomes the seventh Gamecock pitcher to earn perfection.
    • It was the first perfect game for South Carolina since Melissa Hendon against Pittsburgh on March 4, 2007.
    • Six of Carolina’s 10 previous perfect games came between 1995 and 1997 and were thrown by either Trinity Johnson (5) or Darlene Gareis (2).


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:
    • Game started: 114
    • Innings pitched: 757 1/3
  • Ranks second in DI and fourth overall in wins (86)
  • Ranks third in DI and fifth overall in complete games (77)
  • Ranks third in DI and sixth overall in shutouts (28)
  • Ranks fifth in DI and NCAA in appearances with 145
  • Ranks 13th in DI and 49th overall in ERA with a 1.74
  • Ranks 15th in DI and 33rd overall in strikeouts at 576


  • Jen Cummings ranks 3rd in DI with 47 career high by pitches.
  • She also ranks 5th among all divisions.


  • South Carolina is 257-120 (.682) 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 10 of Beverly Smith’s 13 years.
  • Prior to 2021, South Carolina had not lost double digit games at home in seven years and has won 20 or more seven of the past eight seasons (2020 included).


  • South Carolina is 165-383-1 (.302) against opponents ranked in the NFCA top 25 since 1995.
  • Broken down by site, the Gamecocks are 80-130 (.381) at home, 40-179 (.183) on the road and 46-73-1 (.388) in neutral-site outings.
  • This season, they’ve defeated #11 Clemson, #24 Boston U and #13 Utah.
  • 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).


  • South Carolina has played 2,605 games in its softball history, going 1,679-919-7 (.646) in its 51 years of history.
  • The Gamecocks have posted 30 or more wins in eight of the past 10 full seasons under the direction of head coach Beverly Smith.
  • Carolina has protected home well, also, with 17 or more victories coming in friendly confines each of the past eight full years.

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