TAMPA, Fla. -- No. 13 South Carolina softball earned two wins on Friday on the first day of the USF Tournament as the Gamecocks defeated Ball State and South Florida at USF Softball Stadium. Carolina took down the Cardinals 15-1 in five innings before closing the day with an 8-1 victory over the Bulls.
With the victories, the Gamecocks extended their season-high winning to 11 games dating back to a win over UNCG to start the Gamecock Invitational on Feb. 15. This marks the first time since the 1996 and 1997 seasons Carolina has produced double-digit winning streaks in back-to-back seasons.
The Gamecocks were dominate from start to finish in both games, blasting a combined six home runs and 23 hits on their way to outscoring the two opponents by 23 runs.
Carolina has now run-ruled eight of its last 11 opponents in five innings following Friday's games.
GAME 1 RECAP: South Carolina 15 Ball State 1 (Five Innings)
South Carolina (14-2) overwhelmed Ball State from the first pitch as the squad jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first. Cayla Drotar sent a double down the line in left to score two before Katie Prebble drew a walk with bases loaded to give the Gamecocks their three runs in the first.
The scoring continued in the second with five more runs as Kenzi Maguire started it with a solo homer to right. Drotar brought home two more with a double to right before Alex Fulmer and Kennedy Clark scored to make it 8-0 Carolina through two.
Ball State got one back on a wild pitch in the third before the Gamecocks scored two more in the bottom frame to take a 10-1 lead through three.
A five-run fourth sparked with an Alyssa Kumiyama pinch-hit grand slam extended the Carolina lead to 15-1 before Karly Heath closed out the game in the top of the fifth.
Heath (3-0) earned the victory in the circle going five innings with just two hits and five strikeouts.
Seven different Gamecocks finished the game with a hit while Maguire, Jana Johns, Drotar and Clark finished with two. Kumiyama led the way with four RBI.
GAME 2 RECAP: South Carolina 8 USF 1
The Gamecocks turned around just 30 minutes after the Ball State win and kept the momentum going with a quick run in the top of the first against South Florida.
Kennedy Clark doubled off the wall in right to score Mackenzie Boesel to make it 1-0 Carolina after three outs.
South Florida scored a run in the bottom of the first but it would be the only one the Bulls could muster in seven innings of action as the game was tied at 1-1 through one full inning.
Madison Owens doubled in the top of the second to score a run before Boesel's RBI single made it 3-0 Gamecocks through two.
Clark kept her hot streak at the plate going with a solo homer in the third before Jana John's deep shot in the fourth to extend the lead to 5-0 in favor of the Gamecocks through four.
Alyssa Kumiyama blasted her second pinch-hit homer of the day, this time a three-run blast, in the top of the seventh to help give Carolina the eventual 8-1 victory over the Bulls.
Nine different Gamecocks finished with a hit in the contest while Kenzi Maguire, Boesel and Clark finished with two. Kumiyama once again paced Carolina with three RBI.
Dixie Raley (5-0) earned the victory in the circle going seven innings with three hits and four strikeouts.
- Alyssa Kumiyama had two at bats today (both pinch hits) but made them count. She went 2-for-2 with two runs and seven RBI. That's a 4.000 slugging percentage for her Friday games.
- Cayla Drotar wasn't too bad herself, as she went 3-for-5 (.600) with four RBI. Kennedy Clark also finished with four RBI on four hits. In total five different Gamecocks (Kumiyama, Drotar, Clark, Maguire and Jordan Fabian) finished the day hitting .500 or better.
- Speaking of streaks, with today's games Drotar has now reached base in 27-straight games dating back to last season. Jana Johns extended her streak to 24-consecutive games, as well.
- The Gamecocks improved to 292-198 under head coach Beverly Smith with the two victories on Friday.