The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: Gamecocks softball drops series against No. 17 Missouri

After a 0-6 start in SEC play, it did not get much easier for the Gamecocks softball team. For the first week all season, the team was not ranked — South Carolina lost all three games, dropping seven in a row.

Game one

The Gamecocks got run-ruled 13-4 in the first game of the home series against No. 17 Missouri.

South Carolina started the night strong. The team allowed no runs and scored four in the first inning. Graduate pitcher Cayla Drotar opened up the scoring with a single through the left side that allowed graduate infielder Kenzi Maguire to score. Fellow teammates junior catcher Jordan Fabian, freshman pitcher Skylar Trahan and graduate infielder Mackenzie Boesel scored as well.

Despite the early lead, the momentum shifted in favor of Mizzou at the top of the third when it tripled to left center. This opened the floodgates that allowed five Tiger players to score and ultimately take the lead. 

From the third inning on, the Gamecocks could not find an answer to Mizzou’s offense. 

South Carolina rotated four pitchers throughout the night, including Drotar, sophomore Bailey Betenbaugh, junior Rachel Vaughan and freshman Leah Powell. Drotar picked up the 1-3 loss for the Gamecocks, allowing eight runs in three innings. 

The Tigers went on to score eight more runs after the third inning, and did not allow the Gamecocks to score the rest of the night.

Because South Carolina struggled on both sides of the ball, the game was called at the bottom of the sixth. 

Game two

On Friday, the Gamecocks dropped game two against Missouri, 7-3. This secured a sixth-straight SEC series loss for South Carolina. 

The offense was the team's problem that evening as the Gamecocks continued to struggle with the bats, not scoring for nine straight innings including the previous night's loss.

Missouri took the lead early with senior catcher Hatti Moore's three-run bomb to center in the third inning. It then tallied on two more in the fourth.

In the fifth inning, Fabian kickstarted the Gamecocks offense with a two-run double to the left center. Drotar added onto that with an RBI single.

Missouri did not allow another run, as it tallied on two later. South Carolina left the bases loaded in the seventh, hoping to carry some momentum into Saturday.

Senior pitcher Kelsey Oh picked up the loss for the Gamecocks, going 3.2 innings and allowing five runs. Powell gave up two runs in 3.1 innings of relief. 

Game three

South Carolina dropped its seventh consecutive game on Saturday, losing 10-6. This was the team's third sweep in three SEC series, moving it to 0-9 in SEC play. 

Once again, the team's offense was its downfall as South Carolina only had two hits before the seventh inning. The team did open up the game with a Drotar two-run home run to left, but the second inning was much different. 

Drotar gave up a quick two runs before being pulled for Friday's starter, Kelsey Oh. Oh gave up five runs while completing no outs. Vaughan came in and give up another, as the Gamecocks trailed 8-2 after an inning and a half. 

Missouri tallied two more runs in the third and the Gamecocks did not get another hit until Drotar tallied another in the fifth. 

Sophomore Karsen Ochs pitched two scoreless innings, and while the Gamecocks scored four runs in the seventh, that was not enough.

What's next?

The Gamecocks look to break their losing streak as they host Charleston Southern for a doubleheader on Wednesday at 4 p.m. The first game will be broadcast on SEC Network+.



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