The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
USF Clearwater Parks and Rec Invitational

No. 13 South Carolina knocks off Troy, Western Michigan

287 days ago
South Carolina Athletics
Photo: South Carolina Athletics

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- No. 13 South Carolina softball secured two more wins on Saturday at the USF Tournament to extend its season-high winning streak to 13 games. The Gamecocks defeated Troy 10-2 in six innings before closing the day with a 7-2 victory over Western Michigan.

South Carolina out hit the pair by 11 and outscored them by 13 as the Gamecocks hit .327 and held opposing batters to a low .163 batting average.

Lauren Stewart paced the Gamecocks at the plate with a grand slam and a team-best six RBI. The Carolina pitching trio of Dixie Raley, Karly Heath and Cayla Drotar finished the day with 13 strikeouts.

GAME 1 RECAP: South Carolina 10 Troy 2 (Six Innings)

South Carolina (16-2) and Troy both showed solid pitching through two innings as the pair traded scoreless frames to start the game.

The Gamecocks couldn't be held back for too long, though, as they scored five in the third thanks in large part to the Lauren Stewart grand slam to take a 5-0 lead through five.

Troy got one back in the fourth but Carolina responded in the fifth as Stewart brought home two more with a single up the middle to extend the lead to 7-0 in favor of the Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks added three additional runs in the top of the sixth with a Mackenzie Boesel homer and Kennedy Clark RBI double to extend the lead to 10-1. The Trojans got one more in the bottom frame but it wasn't enough as the Gamecocks earned their 12th-straight victory.

Stewart led the way at the plate going 3-for-4 with six RBI and a grand slam. Clark also finished with three hits as she went 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.

Cayla Drotar (5-1) earned the victory in the circle going six innings with just four hits and three strikeouts.

GAME 2 RECAP: South Carolina 7 Western Michigan 2

Carolina returned to the field 30 short minutes after the Troy win to face a scrappy Western Michigan team looking for its second win of the season.

The teams traded a pair of scoreless innings to open the contest before Jana Johns brought home two in the top of the third with a double through the left side of the field. Johns later scored in the inning on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 3-0 through three.

Carolina added another in the fourth as Katie Prebble blasted an opposite field homer to extend the lead to 4-0 in favor of the Gamecocks.

WMU looked to make things interesting in the bottom of the fourth as it posted two runs before the scoring settled down in the fifth as the teams both posted a scoreless inning to make it 4-2 Carolina through five.

Carolina scored some insurance runs in the top of the sixth as Johns blasted a three-run home run to make it 7-2 Gamecocks. From there, Dixie Raley came on in relief and struck out five of her six outs as she did not allow a baserunner.

Karly Heath (4-0) wasn't so bad herself in the victory. She went five innings with just three hits and five strikeouts to earn the win.

Johns led the way at the plate going 2-for-4 with four RBI while Kenzi Maguire went 2-for-4 at the plate.

NOTES:

  • Kennedy Clark might come from California, but she seems to be right at home in Florida. A senior, she's posted a team-best .571 batting average thus far at the tournament with eight hits and seven RBI. In total, six Gamecocks (Clark, Jordan Fabian, Jana Johns, Mackenzie Boesel, Kenzi Maguire and Alyssa Kumiyama) are hitting .400 or better in the four games.
  • Mackenzie Boesel found herself on base a lot on Saturday. She hit .667 with just two hits but more importantly had a .875 on-base percentage thanks in large part to her five walks in just two games.
  • Speaking of streaks, with today's games Cayla Drotar has now reached base in 29-straight games dating back to last season. Jana Johns extended her streak to 26-consecutive games, as well.
  • The Gamecocks improved to 294-198 under head coach Beverly Smith with the two victories on Saturday.