The South Carolina softball team had a rough day in the field on Wednesday, committing five errors in a 6-1 loss to the Charlotte 49ers.
After taking an early lead, the Gamecock defense fell apart in the fifth inning, allowing Charlotte to score five unanswered runs.
With runners on the corners, the defensive miscues began with an error by senior first baseman Kassidy Krupit, who was unable to cleanly field a sharp ground ball hit by graduate student infielder Kourtney Gremillion.
After defensive interference was called on the 49ers, the team took the lead in its next at-bat when South Carolina made a pair of throwing errors, allowing two runs to score.
Freshman third baseman Ella Chancey followed with a two-run triple, putting the momentum in Charlotte's favor.
The 49ers added one more run in the fifth inning as senior pitcher Lindsey Walljasper ripped an RBI single into right field.
After the game, Krupit said the fifth inning miscues didn't have an impact on the team's performance.
"We were really trying to get back in the dugout and hit," Krupit said. "That was our goal: To score more runs and hit. So I think in the future, it will have an impact to fuel us, so I think we're going to use this as a lesson."
Despite not allowing any earned runs, junior right-handed pitcher Karsen Ochs suffered her second loss of the season. Even when her defense made errors, she said she understood that mistakes are a part of the game.
"My defense is going to make errors, I'm going to make errors, I'm going to miss pitches," Ochs said post-game. "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when, and it's about the next pitch and what we do on the next at-bat."
In 5.1 innings, Ochs gave up five runs on eight hits while striking out three batters.
Head coach Beverly Smith said she was pleased with Ochs' performance in the circle.
"Karsen gave us every opportunity to stay in the ballgame. We just needed to generate some offense," Smith said.
Outside of an RBI single from Katie Prebble in the first inning, South Carolina's offense had no answers for Walljasper.
Putting together a dominating performance, Walljasper pitched a complete game while allowing one run on eight hits and striking out four.
Even though the team had many opportunities to put runs on the board, the Gamecocks didn't capitalize on the opportunities. The team went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
"I think (Walljasper) did a great job," freshman shortstop Emma Sellers said. "Obviously, we need to work on some stuff, and that'll move forward in the future."
When Smith spoke with her team, she said it's still early in the season and that the team is "trying to grow and learn from our mistakes."
"Ultimately, that's not the Gamecock softball that we wanna, that we've prepared for," Smith said. "That's not how we train and we don't want to make game days different."
South Carolina will head to Conway to compete in the Battle at the Beach tournament this weekend. The team will play two games each against Marshall and Fordham on Friday and Saturday and close out against Coastal Carolina on Sunday afternoon.
"It's a long season — I always say 'It's a marathon, not a sprint,'" Smith said. "For us, we've got to get on a bus tomorrow and we've got five games this weekend."