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Gamecocks Beat Utah, Fall to Duke in NCAA Regional Final
Softball  . 

Gamecocks Beat Utah, Fall to Duke in NCAA Regional Final

DURHAM, N.C. – The South Carolina softball team (36-24) advanced to the NCAA Durham Regional final Sunday afternoon (May 19) after defeating Utah (35-22) 5-1 in an elimination game earlier in the day. The Gamecocks fell in the regional final to No. 4 Duke (50-6) 10-1 to end Carolina’s season.

Zoe Laneaux led the Gamecocks with a hit in each game. Brooke Blankenship also had two hits, both of which came against Duke. Aniyah Black led the way by driving in four runs.


Game 1

In an elimination game, the Gamecocks jumped out early and never looked back. Denver Bryant led off the game with an infield single. One out later, Zoe Laneaux singled and Jen Cummings walked to load the bases. Down 0-1 in the count, Aniyah Black connected on her sixth home run of the season on an absolute blast to left field for her first grand slam as a Gamecock.

Utah’s only run of the game came in the bottom of the sixth after a double and a pair of groundouts.

Carolina capped off the game in the seventh. Riley Blampied walked with one out and pinch runner Kyye Ricks moved to second on a groundout. Ricks scored when a groundball off the bat of Jen Cummings went under the glove of the Utah second baseman.

Jori Heard (7-2) was dominate in the circle to start the game as she threw four scoreless innings, scattering four hits. Alana Vawter earned her third save of the season, throwing the final three innings and allowing one run on one hit.


Game 2

The Blue Devils scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead. Carolina answered right back with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. Laneaux led off the inning with a double down the right field line. Cummings laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the Duke second baseman was unable to handle the throw, allowing Laneaux to score.

The score remained 2-1 heading to the seventh, but Duke scored eight runs in the top of the inning to put the game out of reach.

Making her final appearance of her collegiate career, All-American Alana Vawter (17-13) threw 6 1-3 innings, allowing four earned runs on eight hits and striking out four.

The Gamecocks end their season with 36 wins, the ninth time with 34 or more wins under head coach Beverly Smith.

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