COLUMBIA, S.C. ---- No. 21 South Carolina softball's Jana Johns hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Gamecocks to a 3-2 win over UNCG in the final game of the Carolina Classic at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field on Sunday. Kenzi Maguire started the frame with a double to the gap in right centerfield before Mackenzie Boesel's sacrifice bunt to move her to third set up the eventual walk-off.
The game-winning hit for Johns was her first in her career and the 20th of the Beverly Smith era. With the win, the Gamecocks improved to 43-1 in their past 44 home tournament games and have won 26-straight regular season non-conference contests.
UNCG (1-2) proved to be stiff competition from the first inning, drawing two hit by pitches to open the game before bringing a run across in the top half of the inning. Starting pitcher Cayla Drotar later doubled down the line in the bottom frame to score Johns and tie it at 1-1 through one full inning of action.
The scoring continued in the top of the third as a Spartan solo home run pushed the UNCG advantage to 2-1. Transfer Kassidy Krupit returned the favor in the bottom of the fourth with a lead-off home run, her first as a Gamecock, to tie it once more at 2-2.
Drotar eventually went five innings in the circle with two strikeouts and just one hit before Kelsey Oh (3-0) finished the contest over the final four innings. In 15 batters faced, she finished with eight strikeouts and just one hit allowed to earn the victory.
Maguire, Johns, Krupit and Madison Owens each finished with two hits as the Gamecocks finished with 10 total as a team.
Carolina returns to action next Thursday for the start of the 2020 St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational. The Gamecock are set for five games over four days starting against No. 18 Texas Tech at 12:30 PM ET on SEC Network.