COLUMBIA, S.C. --Freshman Alexis Lindsey blasted a one-out grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to give No. 21 South Carolina a 12-1 win over Liberty in six innings on Friday night to start the Carolina Classic at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. This marks the second-consecutive game the Gamecocks have hit a pinch hit home run after Tiara Duffy blasted one in the bottom of the first in the 15-0 win in five innings over Lehigh on Sunday in Orlando, Fla.
Carolina (16-1) lived off the deep ball in the win, as Alyssa Kumiyama and Alyssa VanDerveer hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning to give Carolina the 4-0 lead it wouldn't surrender. This was the first time this season two players with the same first name hit back-to-back home runs for the Gamecocks.
Cayla Drotar (8-0) earned the victory in the circle going all six innings. She allowed just three hits while striking out four Liberty batters.
"We continue to preach to our hitters if you're not in the starting lineup your role is to be ready when you're called and I think Alexis Lindsey was a perfect example of that tonight," head coach Beverly Smith said. "She came in and was aggressive. I was so happy for her."
Liberty (11-5) came into the game fresh off a 6-1 win over Marshall, but Drotar quickly shut the Flames down as she retired the first nine batters of the game. Drotar's solid pitching coupled with the Alyssa home runs gave the Gamecocks a 4-0 lead after three.
The Flames got on the board in the fourth with a solo home run, Carolina's first surrendered home run of the season, to cut the lead to 4-1 before the Gamecocks responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a walk with the bases loaded to make it 5-1 Carolina after four.
The scoring continued in the sixth, as the Gamecocks scored seven runs highlighted by Lindsey's grand slam to finish the game in six innings via run rule.
The Gamecocks finished with 11 hits from eight different batters. This marks the fourth time this season Carolina has finished with double-digit hits. With 15 on Sunday in the win over Lehigh and 12 tonight, Carolina has finished with 10 or more RBI in consecutive games for the first time this season.
The Gamecocks have scored at least one run in all 17 games this season. Dating back to last season, Carolina has done so in 18 of its last 19 games. Head coach Beverly Smith improved to 243-179 with the win. She is the second-winningest coach in school history. The Gamecocks won today's game to move to 16-1 on the year and their 13th-straight victory of the season. Prior to this season, Carolina last won 13-straight games in 1997. The Gamecocks went on to WCWS that season. Kenzi Maguire has now reached base in all 17 games to start the season. Carolina has reached base via a hit by pitch or walk (or both) in all 17 games this season.
UP NEXT --
Carolina returns to action for the second day of the Carolina Classic with a doubleheader starting at 12:30 PM ET against George Washington.