The Gamecocks softball team could not seem to find its rhythm until the fourth inning against the Furman Paladin's Wednesday night at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
The game was quiet through the first three innings, as neither team could get much going early. Tiara Duffy was the difference maker for No. 8 South Carolina after her two-out, RBI triple in the fourth. With this 1-0 win over the Paladin's, the Gamecocks are now 29-4 on their season.
Despite the Gamecocks getting just three hits on the night, head coach Beverly Smith still feels confidence that the momentum from the weekend continued over to Wednesday night. Duffy was recently named SEC Player of the Week after hitting .636 over four games to help South Carolina secure the sweep over Tennessee. Smith said after Wednesday's game how big it is having the freshman continue to come through.
"You didn't really see it at the plate tonight," said head coach Beverly Smith. "But you did see players come through in the clutch like Tiara Duffy. She had a great weekend and led us to victory with her triple. That was a big hit for us."
Not only does this improve their overall record and give them their fifth-straight win, but the Gamecocks are now 15-0 at home on the season. Freshman Kelsey Oh also had a night to remember, improving 8-2 as she threw a complete-game shutout, striking out eight and walking just two.
Smith expressed how she thinks that her team has a lot of confidence, which ultimately has helped launch their momentum thus far in the season as South Carolina hasn't lost consecutive games so far this season.
However this win did not come easy for South Carolina as they had to battle through one of Furman's secret weapons: Lindsey Bert. Bert is one of the best strikeout pitchers in the country, which allowed both teams to remain scoreless until Duffy stepped up to the plate in the fourth.
South Carolina will now travel to College Station and face another tough matchup Friday against No. 12 Texas A&M in the first of a three game set starting 7:30 p.m.