The Daily Gamecock

South Carolina looks to extend winning streak against non-conference opponents

After taking both games of a double-header against North Florida last Thursday at home, the South Carolina softball team is looking to extend its winning streak when traveling up north to face UNC Wilmington on Tuesday. The Gamecocks, winners of three straight games, will then return home to host College of Charleston on Wednesday.

Nearly two months into the season, South Carolina holds a record of 24-12, while going 16-6 at home.

With that said, the Gamecocks have struggled in conference play with a 2-7 record and likewise on the road with a 2-4 record. Still, South Carolina has done well in non-conference play, and the Gamecocks will have a chance to take advantage of that this week before having to face Florida, one of the SEC’s most dominant teams, this upcoming weekend. 

Despite the Gamecocks’ inconsistency at points in the year, the one thing that has remained a constant has been the hot bat of junior outfielder Alaynie Page. 

Paige leads the team in batting with a .444 average, 12 home runs and 38 RBIs. Other offensive sparks this season have come from senior outfielder Kristen Struett, junior outfielder Ansley Ard and junior third baseman and catcher Jordan Bizzell, all of whom are batting over .300.

Sophomore infielder Victoria Williams has also done well at the plate for South Carolina and she holds an on-base percentage of .382.

Williams’ biggest contribution might be her versatility, though. While she’s classified as an infielder, Williams has also played outfield for the Gamecocks this season, while also serving as a designated player on certain occasions.

“I just feel really capable to fill any role that the team needs me to fill on any given day, because I know it can change from day-to-day,” Williams said. 

Meanwhile, strong pitching contributions this season have come from the arms of sophomore Nickie Blue and senior Julie Sarratt, who have records of 12-4 and 12-7 respectively. Blue leads the team with 116 strikeouts.

Because of their less than .500 conference record, the Gamecocks are second to last in the SEC and are ahead of Arkansas, who currently has zero conference wins. 

UNC Wilmington enters Tuesday’s game with a 14-13 record and the Seahawks have won three of their last five games after losing seven in a row.