COLUMBIA, S.C. -- No. 14 South Carolina softball used an eight-run fifth earning to earn its fifth-run rule win in its last six games in a 10-1 victory over Youngstown State on Saturday at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. Jana Johns blasted a three-run home run, her third of the year, to end the contest via run rule with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.
Freshman Karly Heath earned her first career victory in the circle as she recorded two RBI, a hit, a stolen base and two walks at the plate to go along with her five strikeouts in the circle.
With the victory the Gamecocks improved to 6-0 at home and extended their season-high winning streak to six games, as well.
South Carolina (9-2) never trailed on Saturday, as a Heath single and Haley Simpson RBI in the bottom of the second gave the squad an early 2-0 lead through two. From there, both teams traded a scoreless third before the Penguins got a run back in the fourth with a solo home run to make it 2-1 Gamecocks through four.
The bottom of the fifth was all Carolina as the team sent 10 batters to the plate and scored eight runs on three hits with five free bases earned via a walk or hit by pitch.
Heath's second walk of the afternoon and a wild pitch the next at bat extended the Carolina lead to 4-1 with one out in the fifth. Alexis Lindsey, who came off the bench as a pinch hitter, gave the Gamecocks further breathing room with a single through the right side to score two and make it 6-1 in favor of the home team.
Kenzi Maguire continued the scoring effort with a sacrifice flyout to right before Johns' three-run homer ended the game.
Heath (1-0) earned the victory in the circle, going five innings with just two hits allowed and five strikeouts.
Johns led the way at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI. Five different Gamecocks finished the game with a hit.
- South Carolina has outscored its last six opponents, all at home, 59-15 (+44) on its way to five run-rule victories and a perfect 6-0 record at home. Jana Johns has been on fire during the games batting .625 with 10 hits and 11 RBI. Carolina has five hitters (Johns, Mackenzie Boesel, Kennedy Clark, Cayla Drotar and Lauren Stewart) hitting .500 or better during the streak.
- Speaking of streaks, with today's game Cayla Drotar has now reached base in 22-straight games dating back to last season. Jana Johns extended her streak to 19-consecutive games, as well.
- With today's win in the circle, Karly Heath became the fourth different Gamecock pitcher (Heath, Cayla Drotar, Kelsey Oh and Dixie Raley) to earn a victory this season.
- The Gamecocks improved to 287-198 under head coach Beverly Smith with the victory on Saturday over Youngstown State.