The South Carolina softball team (32-12, 7-10 SEC) racked up a total of 14 hits in just six innings as they defeated the USC-Upstate Spartans on mercy rule by a score of 10-2 at Beckham Field.
“They were doing a good job getting the pitch they were looking for and hitting the ball hard,” head coach Beverly Smith said. “I thought we just made really solid contact and squared pitches up tonight.”
The Gamecocks gained momentum at the plate, including sophomore infielder Jana Johns who went three for four batting with two RBIs on the night.
“[Johns] has done a good job for us in the two-hole,” Smith said. “She just swings with power and she’s a threat every time she steps into the box.”
South Carolina bats hit an average of .483 on the night and were also two for six when faced with a two-out situation. The team additionally got the leadoff runner on in five of its six innings at bat.
“Offensively, I liked how we were attacking and scored in multiple innings,” Smith said. “I thought we had a lot of leadoff runners on … you get a leadoff runner on, we can make some things happen, and I thought our team did that tonight.”
The Spartans (37-11, 17-4 Big South) struck first in the first inning as Upstate junior catcher Alyssa Oakes homered to right field for her 22nd home run of the season, lifting her to first in the nation in homers hit this year.
After South Carolina got one hit in the bottom frame of the first, the Upstate bats did not cool down in the second inning as sophomore infielder Alicia Dorgan also homered into center field to put the Spartans up 2-0 early in the ballgame.
But the Gamecocks bats came back in the second. Johns singled into left field, which scored freshman infielder Madison Owens and brought in freshman outfielder Karly Heath off a Spartan fielding error.
South Carolina took the lead in the second as senior outfielder Kennedy Clark singled to bring in junior infielder Mackenzie Boesel and junior outfielder Lauren Stewart to bring in Johns from third.
The Gamecocks put two more runs on the board in the fourth with an RBI double from junior pitcher Cayla Drotar and a sacrifice hit from Stewart to bring in Drotar from third.
After senior pitcher Dixie Raley pitched a three up, three down inning in the top of the sixth, South Carolina put up three more hits and four more runs in the bottom frame of the sixth to mercy rule the Spartans.
The Gamecocks will now turn their attention to another Spartan team in UNC-Greensboro for a two-game series starting on Friday night at Beckham Field.
First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and will stream on SEC Network Plus.
“We got to throw three pitchers tonight, everybody got a little bit of work and we’re going to face a solid [UNC-]Greensboro team this weekend,” Smith said. “So I think its great confidence building into the weekend.”