The Daily Gamecock

Softball anticipates tough road ahead


South Carolina returns home against defending Atlantic Sun champions USC Upstate Tuesday with a lot to prove. 

The Gamecocks are looking to recover after getting swept by the Florida Gators in this past weekend's series. Not only did the sweep drop South Carolina's conference record to 2-10, but it also broke a five-game winning streak.

Overall, the Gamecocks are currently on a seven-game conference-losing streak. It’s been a rough season for South Carolina, as 24 of 56 of their regular season games this year are against teams who made the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

Junior left fielder Alaynie Page continues to be a bright spot for the Gamecocks’ offense as she leads the team in 12 offensive categories.

Page leads the Gamecocks with a .426 batting average and has a slugging percentage of .838.

For the season so far Page has 37 runs, 58 hits, eight doubles and six triples. Page also has hit 12 home runs and has 39 RBIs for the Gamecocks.

Sophomore pitcher Nickie Blue has been an asset to the team this year, having already surpassed her freshman year strikeout total of 118 with 122 this season so far, in 39 fewer innings.

Blue was also named the March 16 SEC Pitcher of the Week this season.

The Gamecocks have to capitalize on their final eight home games on the season, as they have recorded a strong home record of 17-6.

South Carolina also needs to tack on some road wins in their final seven away games, as the Gamecocks have been less than stellar on the road, going 3-7 away from home.

After the USC Upstate game, South Carolina has two more nonconference gamesagainst Coastal Carolina away and Georgia Southern at home. After playing three conference games against Arkansas later this week, South Carolina will then travel to Kentucky and Ole Miss. The Gamecocks will close out the regular season at home against Mississippi State.

The first pitch for tonight is set for 7 p.m. at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field and will be shown on the SEC Network.