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

South Carolina drops to Arizona, tops St. Francis

207 days ago
South Carolina Athletics

Game One

TUCSON, Ariz. -- No. 5 Arizona (50-7) took advantage of South Carolina's mistakes and claimed a 5-0 win to advance into the Tucson Regional finals on Sunday with a 5-0 win on Saturday afternoon at Hillenbrand Stadium.

The Wildcats' Katiyana Mauga put national No. 2 seed Arizona on the board in the third with a home run to straightaway center. That lead grew in the fifth after the Gamecocks committed a two-out error with the bases loaded, letting Dejah Mulipola score. Mandie Perez followed with a bases-loaded infield single, and Mauga brought home two more with a single to center, stretching Arizona's lead to 5-0.

Arizona starting pitcher Danielle O'Toole (29-4) controlled the Gamecocks' lineup, coming two batters shy of facing the minimum. She struck out seven in the one-hitter.

Gamecock senior Nickie Blue (10-11) took the loss, giving up five runs, one earned, on nine hits and four walks in 4.2 innings of work. She struck out two.

Game Changer Arizona's O'Toole dominated the game, needing 75 pitches in the complete-game shutout.

Key Stat Mauga went 2-for-3 with the homer and three RBI in the Wildcats' win.

NOTABLES

  • Gamecock senior Victoria Williams doubled in the seventh to break up the no-hitter. She's now tied for 12th in Gamecock history for doubles and 20th in total bases with that hit.
  • Four Wildcats had two hits, Mauga, Perez, Mulipola and Reyna Carranco.
  • South Carolina's Jessica Elliott gave up a hit that allowed two inherited runners to score but closed out the game with 1.1 innings without a run charged to her.

Game Two

TUCSON, Ariz. -- South Carolina (34-24) fought through a long day and claimed a 3-1 win over St. Francis (49-11) to advance to Sunday's championship round in the Tucson Regional at Hillenbrand Stadium.

South Carolina got on the board early thanks to senior Victoria Williams and an error by St. Francis. A single by junior Tiara Duffy started the game, and freshman Mackenzie Boesel drew a walk ahead of Williams' single to right. The Red Flash right fielder misplayed the ball to give Duffy an easier chance to score.

Boesel made it 3-0 in the fifth with her 10th homer of the year, a two-run blast to center. Junior Kamryn Watts set up the two-run homer with her bunt single.

St. Francis, after threatening in four of the first five frames, broke through for a run in the sixth. Loading the bases with two down, a grounder to the left side was mishandled, letting the Red Flash's Kindra Witthus score from third. But the Gamecocks brought in senior Nickie Blue, who induced a grounder to end the frame.

Gamecock senior Jessica Elliott (16-9) worked into and out of trouble most of the night in the victory. She scattered seven hits and six walks in 5.2 innings of work. She struck out four. St. Francis's Abby Trahan (15-4) took the loss, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and three walks.

Blue struck out two and walked one in 1.1 innings for her fifth save of the year.

Game Changer Boesel's home run provided the breathing room the Gamecocks needed.

Key Stat St. Francis left 14 runners on base thanks to great escape work by Elliott, Blue and the Gamecock defense.

Up Next The Gamecocks and No. 2 national seed Arizona meet again at 4 p.m. MST in Sunday's championship game. If South Carolina wins, a second game will start 30 minutes after game one.