The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: South Carolina softball mercy rules Georgia Southern 9-1 in 6 innings

No. 20 South Carolina Gamecock softball was back to the usual business Wednesday evening at Beckham Field, mercy ruling Georgia Southern with a walk-off home run from senior outfielder Katie Prebble.

Carolina entered the game homering in eight of its last 10 games. The Gamecocks started and finished the scoring by way of the homer.

The Gamecocks' home run tear continued with graduate student infielder Kenzi Maguire's first inning bomb. Maguire's second home run of the year came in a big spot for the Gamecocks, igniting the offense early.

After surrendering its only run of the ball game, South Carolina stepped up in the sixth with a chance to send the crowd home early, and senior outfielder Katie Prebble delivered.

"I saw ball. I try not to overcomplicate it. That's my job, just to hit it hard," Prebble said about the final pitch of the game.

The Gamecocks scored eight of their nine runs Wednesday with two outs.

"I like that never-say-die attitude from our offense," head coach Beverly Smith said postgame. 

The pair of Prebble and Maguire went a combined 3-5 with 8 runs batted in and two home runs. 

The Gamecocks have made a habit of mercy ruling opponents, this win the ninth of the season. South Carolina is No. 14 in the country in scoring, and the Gamecocks have won mercy rule games with a combined 75 runs.

The defense was all one could ask for and more. Senior pitcher Kaitlyn Oh started the game for Carolina and was dealing. Oh threw a total of 11 pitches to 7 batters in her two innings of work.

Oh has a history of tormenting Georgia Southern hitters. The last time they met, Oh threw an immaculate inning.

Dual-threat graduate student Cayla Drotar made her 2021 pitching debut in relief of Oh to start the third inning. In Drotar's three innings of work, she allowed no hits and tallied five strikeouts, picking up the win. Head coach Beverly Smith said she was glad to see Drotar back in commission and healthy again. 

What's next?

The Gamecocks host No. 19 Arkansas in a three-game weekend series starting Friday at 6 p.m.

Saturday's game is scheduled for 2 p.m., and Sunday's is at 1 p.m. Each game will be televised on SEC Network.