COLUMBIA, S.C. ---- South Carolina softball's Kelsey Oh tossed a complete-game shutout in a 2-0 victory over No. 23 Ole Miss on Saturday at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field to open the series. Oh threw a season-high nine strikeouts with just three hits allowed as the Gamecocks earned their first series-opening win of the year.
Lauren Stewart and Alyssa Kumiyama blasted back-to-back home runs with two outs in the bottom of the second as the Gamecocks earned their second win over a ranked opponent this season.
The shutout over an SEC opponent marked the first time since a 3-0 win over Auburn on April 23, 2017, that the Gamecocks blanked a conference opponent.
South Carolina (23-7, 2-5 SEC) looked poised and ready for a speedy Ole Miss (21-8, 2-2) lineup that featured a hard-throwing Brittany Finney.
The Gamecocks and Rebels traded a scoreless first before Stewart and Kumiyama's two-out blasts in the bottom of the second gave Carolina the 2-0 lead it wouldn't surrender.
Oh (3-2, 1-0) was magnificent in the circle from the first pitch. She had four strikeouts through two innings, including three in the second inning alone, and eventually had six through the first nine outs.
The Rebels looked to make a comeback in the sixth as a walk to start the frame followed with a stolen base put a runner on second with just one out. With Carolina leading 2-0, Oh struck out the next two batter to end the scoring threat as Ole Miss didn't put a runner into scoring position the final three outs.
Stewart and Kumiyama accounted for two of the three hits on the afternoon for the Gamecocks as Mackenzie Boesel had the third.
The Gamecocks hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the second. This was the second time this year Carolina had done so and the first time since Feb. 24 against Winthrop.
How about Kelsey Oh. The sophomore tossed seven scoreless innings and a season-high nine strikeouts. The win marked Carolina's second shutout victory of the season and the first since Winthrop on Mar. 7.
Alyssa Kumiyama has been on fire at the plate her last five games. She's posted a .400 batting average with six hits, three of which have been home runs. She also has a Carolina-best eight RBI during that stretch of games.
Including today, Kelsey Oh has 17 strikeouts in her last two SEC games.
Head coach Beverly Smith, a North Carolina graduate, earned her 300th career victory as a head coach against Duke this past Wednesday night in a 5-4 victory.