The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: Gamecocks softball finished scoreless against Clemson in first Palmetto State rivalry game

<p>&nbsp;Graduate student pitcher Cayla Drotar swings at the ball pitched by Clemson's pitcher.&nbsp;</p>

 Graduate student pitcher Cayla Drotar swings at the ball pitched by Clemson's pitcher. 

In the first Palmetto State rivalry softball game, No. 16 Clemson softball shut out the Gamecocks 6-0 in Columbia, South Carolina. 

South Carolina was unable to score runs against Clemson. Gamecocks head coach Beverly Smith noted how well redshirt freshman pitcher Valerie Cagle from Clemson performed. 

"Cagle showed why she's one of the top pitchers in the country," Smith said.

Clemson was able to get an early lead in the first inning. Graduate infielder Ansley Gilstrap batted the first run off a double. Then Gilstrap was batted in by the next batter, pitcher Valarie Cagle, off a home run.

All three runs were scored with no outs, which put the Tigers in a good position for the rest of the night.

In attempt to slow the Clemson offensive attack, South Carolina switched out graduate pitcher Cayla Drotar for sophomore pitcher Karsen Ochs. 

Once Ochs was in, she only allowed one hit and zero runs in the 2.2 innings she pitched. When Ochs was switched out in the third inning for freshman Leah Powell, Clemson was able to score three more runs. Powell pitched for 2.2 innings and gave up five hits.

The Gamecocks put in one final pitcher to finish out the match. Senior pitcher Kelsey Oh came in for 1.2 innings and gave up two hits but 0 runs. 

The Gamecocks defense was not helping its pitchers when the runs were scored. Both Drotar and Powell had three errors each on the defense while they were pitching. 

The two pitchers that did not give up any runs, Ochs and Oh, also gave up hits, but the defense didn't make errors while they pitched. 

South Carolina’s defense and pitching were active all night, but the offense was unable to get anything done. It only had three hits the entire night and struck out 9 times. 

Junior catcher Jordan Fabian had the best hit of the night for the Gamecocks with a double. 

“Unfortunately I think we just gave up too much. I don’t know there is a whole lot else to say about it," Smith said.

The Gamecocks will play a three-game series against No. 5 University of Florida. The series will take place in Gainesville, Florida. The first and third games will be streamed on SEC Network +. The second game will be streamed on ESPN U. 


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