The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: Gamecock softball drops away series against Ole Miss

After picking up the doubleheader win against Charleston Southern last week, the Gamecock softball team couldn't pull together a series win against Ole Miss over the weekend.

Game one

On Friday, the Gamecocks had a rough outing that led to an 8-0 loss to Ole Miss in five innings, resulting in a mercy rule.

The Rebels took over the game in the fourth and final inning. Up until the last two innings, South Carolina allowed one run, which came on a fielding error in the first inning, and three hits.

Then, in the bottom of the fourth inning, it fell apart.

With the bases loaded, Rebel junior outfielder Tate Whitley stepped up to the plate and singled the ball to center field. The Gamecocks allowed two runs on this play and were down 3-0.

Right after, sophomore infielder Paige Smith singled the ball to the left side of the field, scoring two more RBIs for Ole Miss.

The Rebels scored three runs in the fifth inning on back-to-back hits, resulting in a single and a double.

The Gamecocks’ struggles at-bat throughout the game made it impossible to survive the 7-0 stretch over two innings. They had no RBIs and only one hit the whole game.

Junior right-hand pitcher Savannah Diederich pitched the one-hit game for Ole Miss. She had 7 strikeouts in 19 batters faced.

Game two

Ole Miss defeated South Carolina 8-5 on Saturday in a game that saw productive offensive efforts from both teams. While the Gamecocks put up seven hits in the first four innings, they couldn't keep up that pace for the last three frames in order to outscore the Rebels.

Graduate infielder Mackenzie Boesel took an early lead for South Carolina with a solo home run to left field in the first. Ole Miss then quickly responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning.

A two-run homer by graduate designated player Cayla Drotar tied it up for the Gamecocks in the third, followed by two more runs in the fourth inning on a wild pitch and a single from graduate infielder Kenzi Maguire.

The trouble started for South Carolina when the Gamecocks struggled to get outs in the bottom of the fourth. Two hit-by-pitches and three hits allowed the Rebels to score five runs and retake the lead.

After that, the Gamecocks prevented the Rebels from increasing their lead but couldn't shorten the deficit, putting up just one hit in the last three innings.

Game three

Coming off two tough losses earlier in the weekend, the Gamecocks redeemed themselves in the final game of the series, winning 10-1 in five innings. 

The Gamecock offense looked alive all night. Graduate infielder Kenzi Maguire had four hits and two runs. In addition, freshman infielder Riley Blampied and freshman outfielder Aaliyah White both had two hits and two runs on the day. 

The South Carolina offense struck first, opening up the score sheet in the top of the second. Blampied hit a home run to left-center that allowed freshman outfielder Carlie Henderson and freshman infielder Carly Robbins to score. 

As the second inning came to a close, the Gamecocks had denied the Rebels of any runs and took an early 6-0 lead. 

This momentum carried into the fourth and fifth innings when the Gamecocks scored four more runs to seal the victory.

Alongside good offensive efforts, there was solid pitching from graduate pitcher Cayla Drotar. She picked up a 2-4 win, pitched 5.0 innings, and only gave up two hits and one run. 

After a challenging start to the series, the Gamecocks responded and finished the weekend on a good note. 

What's next?

South Carolina returns to Beckham Field, as it hosts Furman University for a doubleheader on Wednesday at 3 p.m. The first game will be broadcasted on SEC Network+.