The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
NCAA SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP - TUCSON REGIONAL AT TUCSON AZ

South Carolina scores big in opening game

208 days ago
South Carolina Athletics

TUCSON, Ariz. - No. 23 South Carolina (33-23) blasted a season high of four home runs and downed St. Francis 12-2 in five innings to open play in the Tucson Regional of the NCAA Tournament.

Freshman second baseman Mackenzie Boesel tied a pair of single-game records as part of her 3-for-3 day. She homered twice and notched eight RBI, both tying Gamecock single-game records, while adding a double, a hit-by-pitch and three runs scored.

The Gamecocks jumped on the board in the first thanks to Boesel's RBI double and a two-run moonshot over the batter's eye in center by senior Victoria Williams. Williams plated the fourth Gamecock run in the second when she drew a bases-loaded walk, forcing home junior Jordyn Augustus.

Junior Alyssa VanDerveer made it 5-0 with her leadoff homer in the third, lining one just over the wall two feet from the foul pole. With two down, Boesel launched a grand slam to the opposite field to give South Carolina the 9-0 advantage.

St. Francis kept the game going in the top of the fifth with two down when, after a Gamecock error, Jordan Seneca drove her 22nd home run of the year over the wall in left.

The Gamecocks got the game-ending runs in the bottom half when Boesel, with senior Taylor Williams and junior Kamryn Watts on base after the pair both singled to start the inning, hit the Arizona "A" logo for a three-run homer. Her eight RBI tied Sky Brown's program record from March 31, 1996 against Coppin State.

Gamecock freshman pitcher Cayla Drotar picked up the win, giving up two unearned runs on four hits and two walks. She struck out one while inducing 12 groundouts. Red Flash starter Ethel Santai (18-2) took the loss, giving up three runs on two hits to the first three batters. She didn't record an out.

Game Changer Junior Tiara Duffy's stolen base set the aggressive tone for the Gamecocks, and Boesel followed with the RBI double.

Key Stat The Gamecock offense clicked on all cylinders in the victory, tallying the 10th run-rule win of the season.

Up Next The Gamecocks await the winner of tonight's second game between No. 2 national seed Arizona and New Mexico State.