COLUMBIA, S.C. ---- No. 14 South Carolina softball used a combination of dominate pitching and timely hitting on its way to a 9-1 victory in five innings over St. John's to close the Gamecock Invitational on Saturday at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
Carolina scored seven runs in the bottom of the fifth to enact the eight-run run rule, the third of the weekend, as Jana Johns singled to right field to bring home the winning run.
South Carolina (7-2) improved to 24-0 all time in the Gamecock Invitational with four wins in the 2019 version of the tournament.
The Gamecocks started the scoring effort in the bottom of the second as Mackenzie Boesel sent her first double of the afternoon to left center to make it 2-0 Gamecocks after two.
The teams traded scoreless innings in the third and fourth before St. John's broke up the no-hitter in the top of the fifth with an RBI double to cut the lead to 2-1.
South Carolina wasn't fazed by the run, as it responded with seven of its own in the bottom frame. Lauren Stewart got things going for Carolina in the frame with a double to left field to make it 3-1 before Cayla Drotar hit her third home run of the weekend with a three-run blast to extend the lead to 6-1.
Katie Prebble kept the scoring going with a two-RBI double to make it 8-1 before Johns' RBI single to end the contest at 9-1.
Dixie Raley (3-0) shined in the victory, going 5.0 innings with just one hit and five strikeouts.
At the plate, Boesel stood out going 3-for-3 with two RBI with one run. Stewart, Kenzi Maguire and Drotar all finished the game with two hits.
- The Gamecocks moved to 24-0 over the last six years in the Gamecock Invitational with the victory today. Carolina was dominate through the four games, outscoring teams 40-13 with eight home runs and a .516 on-base percentage.
- Kennedy Clark couldn't ask for a better weekend at the plate, as she hit .700 with seven hits and four RBI.
- Cayla Drotar can't be talked about enough from the four wins. She finished 2-0 in the circle with three strikeouts and a low .185 opposing batting average. Then at the plate, she had seven hits (three of which were home runs) with 12 RBI and a 1.545 slugging percentage.
- With the victory, the Gamecocks improved their season-high winning streak to four games.
- South Carolina improved to 285-198 under head coach Beverly Smith with the win on Saturday.