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CAROLINA CLASSIC - Columbia, South Carolina

Gamecocks start the season off right with two big wins

261 days ago
South Carolina Athletics
Photo: South Carolina Athletics

COLUMBIA, S.C. ---- No. 21 South Carolina softball swept its opening day doubleheader with wins over Ohio State and North Dakota State on Friday at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. The Gamecocks opened the day with a 3-2 win over the Buckeyes before closing it with a 4-2 victory against the Bison.

Kelsey Oh (1-0) went the distance in the first game to earn the victory while Cayla Drotar (1-0) matched the performance to earn the win against North Dakota State.

Lauren Stewart, Katie Prebble and Drotar led the way at the plate as each produced two RBI on the day. Prebble and Drotar both produced home runs while Stewart had a key two-run double in the second game.

With the wins, Carolina improved to 31-11 in opening weekends under head coach Beverly Smith and is now 42-1 in pasts 43 home tournament games.

Three different Gamecocks (Ellie Bailey, Kassidy Krupit and Hannah Kumiyama) made their Carolina debut on Friday.

BEVERLY SMITH QUOTABLE

"Katie is so strong," she said in reference to Prebble's two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning against Ohio State. "Sometimes I'm scared for the opposing pitcher. She really hits every ball hard and you saw it tonight. She hit the laser in the first game and had a couple hard hits in the second."

KELSEY OH QUOTABLE

"I felt comfortable throwing it," she said in reference to debuting her change up this season. "I'm excited to blend it more in my pitching and I'm happy I threw it."

CAYLA DROTAR QUOTABLE

"I think it complements our motto," she said on the team's fight for two wins today. "Which is linked. We are strong together and in any moment our link will carry us."

GAME 1 - SOUTH CAROLINA 3 | OHIO STATE 2

Kelsey Oh (1-0) went the distance in the circle as a two-run Katie Prebble home run in the second inning and a critical Ohio State error in the field proved to be the difference in Carolina's first win of the 2020 season with a 3-2 victory over Ohio State.

The Buckeyes got on the board in the top of the fifth thanks to an inside-the-park home run off the bat off Meg Otte to cut the Carolina lead to 3-2 but it wasn't enough as Oh earned her first victory of the year.

Kenzi Maguire posted two hits at the top of the lineup while Jana Johns, Madison Owens, Prebble and Lauren Stewart added to the hit total. Owens, Prebble and Stewart were the three runs on the afternoon.

Oh went seven innings with eight strikeouts and just one extra-base hit.

GAME 2 - SOUTH CAROLINA 4 | NDSU 2

A Lauren Stewart two-run double and Cayla Drotar solo home run proved to be the difference in a 4-2 Carolina victory over North Dakota State. Drotar (1-0) shined in the circle, as well, going all seven innings with four strikeouts.

Mackenzie Boesel, Jana Johns, Drotar, Stewart and Katie Prebble had hits against the Bison as Drotar and Stewart both had two RBI. Kenzi Maguire, Boesel, Drotar and Kassidy Krupit each had one run.