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No. 22 Gamecocks Host No. 16 Mississippi State Beginning Friday
Softball  . 

No. 22 Gamecocks Host No. 16 Mississippi State Beginning Friday

#22 South Carolina Gamecocks (27-10, 3-6)
#22 South Carolina Gamecocks (27-10, 3-6)
#16 Mississippi State Bulldogs (26-9, 6-6)
#16 Mississippi State Bulldogs (26-9, 6-6)
Columbia, S.C. | Carolina Softball Stadium

Weekend Schedule

COLUMBIA, S.C. –  The 22nd ranked South Carolina softball team begins a three-game SEC series Friday, when the Gamecocks host 16th ranked Mississippi State at the Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

Friday is Military Appreciation Night, where anyone with a military I.D. and one guest get in free. Friday will also be $1 hot dog night at the concession stands. Saturday, the first 250 fans will receive a free Fiesta Flag. On Sunday, 100 ice cream sandwiches will be given away, in addition to postgame autographs with the team.

Series Information
Series History: Mississippi State leads 35-33
Last Meeting
: Mississippi State 9, South Carolina 1 | March 19, 2023 | Starkville, Miss.

#22 South Carolina Gamecocks 27-10, 3-6 SEC
: Beverly Smith | 14th Season
AVG Leader
: .367 | Carlie Henderson
RBI Leader
: 26 | Riley Blampied
Home Run Leader
: 5 | Kianna Jones
ERA Leader
: 0.65 | Reganne Bennett
Strikeout Leader
: 83 | Sage Mardjetko
Wins Leader
: 11 | Alana Vawter

#16 Mississippi State Bulldogs 26-9, 6-6 SEC
: Samantha Ricketts | 5th Season
AVG Leader
: .395 | Madisyn Kennedy
RBI Leader
: 48 | Madisyn Kennedy
Home Run Leader
: 14 | Madisyn Kennedy
ERA Leader
: 1.43 | Lexi Sosa
Strikeout Leader
: 77 | Aspen Wesley
Wins Leader
: 9 | Aspen Wesley


  • 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. 22 by NFCA/USA Today, and No. 25 by ESPN/USA Softball and by Softball America.
  • Alana Vawter was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday.
  • The Gamecocks earned a walk-off win over Winthrop Wednesday in 11 innings.
    • It’s the fourth time this season Carolina has played 10-plus innings, the most in Division I.
  • It’s the most 10-plus inning games in a season since 1995, while 1986 holds the record with five. Carolina also played four in 1988.
  • The Gamecocks and Bulldogs have gone on streaks during their series. MSU has won the last five meetings, while Carolina had was the five meetings prior to that.
  • From 2013-2021, Carolina led the series 11-3, while from 2005-2013, MSU led 18-5.
  • The Gamecocks swept Ole Miss over the weekend, their first SEC road sweep since 2013 (4/26-28, at Mississippi State).
  • Friday’s 2-0 win in nine innings was the longest shutout for the Gamecocks since a 1-0 win over Longwood on Feb. 11, 2017, also in nine innings.
  • Aniyah Black hit a pair of home runs in the win over Charleston Southern 3/27. It’s the second multi-home run game of her career (Texas A&M, 4/16/23).
  • Carolina turned a triple play in the third inning against Charleston Southern, the first in the recorded history of Carolina softball (since at least 2000).
    • It’s the fourth triple play recorded this season in Division I.
  • 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, earning a 3-0 victory in eight innings.
    • It was the first time the Terriers had been shut out this season.
  • Carolina recorded three straight shutouts during the Garnet & Black Invitational.
  • 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: 116
    • Innings pitched: 779 2-3
  • Ranks first in DI and fourth overall in wins (88)
  • Ranks second in DI and fourth overall in complete games (78)
  • Ranks third in DI and seventh overall in shutouts (29)
  • Ranks fourth in DI and NCAA in appearances with 151
  • Ranks 16th in DI in ERA with a 1.76
  • Ranks 15th in DI and 33rd overall in strikeouts at 597


  • Jen Cummings ranks 3rd in DI with 49 career high by pitches.
  • She also ranks 5th among all divisions.


  • For the fourth straight season, South Carolina is set for over 30 home games.
  • Carolina will host 33 home contests, including the Gamecock Invitational, Garnet & Black Invitational, and Carolina Classic.
  • They will play just two true non-conference road games and seven neutral site games. The schedule also includes 12 road SEC games.


  • South Carolina is 259-123 (.678) 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 165-386-1 (.299) against opponents ranked in the NFCA top 25 since 1995.
  • Broken down by site, the Gamecocks are 80-133 (.376) 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 2,613 games in its softball history, going 1,684-922-7 (.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.

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