Snaer makes early offensive impact in first season with Gamecock softball
As the temperature slowly begins to climb, the South Carolina softball team will look to climb up the rankings by sweeping four teams this weekend.
The Gamecocks are set to face Boston University, Gardner-Webb, Michigan State and UNC Wilmington when the four schools travel to Columbia.
With a 5-2 record, the South Carolina has won five of their last six games and look to extend the streak this weekend.
“As a team, we are focusing on being 4-0. We have been 3-1 every time we’ve had four games so I think our goal is to be 4-0 and play as a team,” freshman infielder Kaylea Snaer said. “We shouldn’t have a problem with that.”
The team has scored 51 runs over the last six games, averaging 8.5 runs per game. That offensive production has helped to propel the team into winning situations this season.
“Our strength is our offense. We are a potent offense in terms of our strength one through nine and our depth off the bench,” coach Beverly Smith said. “We have a lot of options that we can go to and I think it would be difficult for a pitcher to get comfortable in any portion of our lineup.”
Snaer, who has been a big part of the offensive tear, went two-for-three with a triple and a RBI against Maryland last weekend.
Snaer is looking to continue her hot streak and hopes to help her team win this weekend.
“I need to stick to my plan,” Snaer said, “I want to perform for my team so as long as they are backing me up and we are supporting each other, I just need to stay focused.”
The defense for South Carolina will be a big factor according to Snaer this weekend. The team has only allowed eight runs in its six wins, but has allowed 13 runs in the two losses this season.
“I want to put up a lot of runs, I want us to put up a lot of runs,” Snaer said. “Offense is key but defense wins games. We are always going to be able to score a few runs, but we want to keep the other team to a minimum. We talked about only letting the team score four or less runs, so defense is what holds it together. It gives our pitcher more comfort when we have more runs and we need to back the pitcher up.”
With a goal of getting out of the weekend unscathed, Smith has been preaching to her team to focus on the little things like quality at-bats and getting lead runners out.
She has been rewarding the little things in the dugout, encouraging her players to string together the quality at bats and she believes “the kids do a good job of it”.
Smith has preached harmony and believes that kind of advice will lead to success.
“Carolina softball is about playing for each other, doing whatever we need to do to win the ballgame,” Smith said. “If someone makes an error, you’re going to be the one to pick them up. We’re definitely about the team. If we can win every inning, we will win. If our goal is to win every inning, at the end of the day we should look at the scoreboard and we should be at the top.”