CLEARWATER, Fla. ---- No. 17 South Carolina softball dropped a 5-1 game to No. 19 Texas Tech on Thursday in its opening game of the 2020 St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational at the Eddie C. Moore Complex (Field 9). Two Red Raider home runs in the top of the fourth proved to be the difference in the first top-25 game of the year for the Gamecocks.
Carolina took an early lead with Cayla Drotar's sacrifice fly out to left in the bottom of the first to score Kenzi Maguire from third but it wouldn't be enough as Texas Tech improved to 6-0 on the year and moved the Gamecocks to 4-1.
Kelsey Oh (3-1) took the loss in the circle with eight strikeouts in five innings pitched. Drotar came on in relief, going two innings with no outs or walks allowed.
After taking their first lead of the afternoon in the fourth inning with a solo and two-run home run, the Red Raiders extended their advantage to 5-1 in the fifth with a two-out single that fell just behind second base in shallow right.
Maguire and Ellie Bailey had the two Carolina hits on the afternoon.
Carolina returns to action on Friday with two games, starting against Virginia Tech at 10:00 AM on ESPNU. The Gamecocks close the day against Kansas at 6:00 PM on ESPN3. Both games will have live stat links located on gamecocksonline.com.