COLUMBIA, S.C. ---- No. 22 South Carolina softball's Katie Prebble dispatched a ball to the gap in left-centerfield for a walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth to highlight Carolina's 3-2 victory over Boston College in the opening game of the Gamecock Invitational on Friday at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
Carolina twice fought back from one-run deficits, including one heading into the bottom of the seventh to remain undefeated at home this season and improve to 25-0 over the past six years in the Gamecock Invitational. Including the Carolina Classic, the Gamecocks are now 45-1 during their past 46 home tournament games.
Prebble finished the day 1-for-3 with one RBI.
South Carolina showed plenty of grit in a hard-fought win over a Boston College squad that looked poised for the upset victory. Karly Heath came on in relief for Kelsey Oh in the top of the first and helped Carolina trade scoreless frames with the Eagles through the first two innings.
A solo home run in the top of the third gave BC its first hit and lead of the afternoon before a scoreless fourth for both teams made it 1-0 Boston College through four full innings of play.
Carolina responded in the bottom of the fifth with Lauren Stewart's RBI single to score Haley Simpson to make it 1-1 through five.
Boston College looked as though it might steal a win in seventh with an RBI double to take a 2-1 lead, but Stewart once more came through in the big moment with an RBI double to score Kenzi Maguire from first and send the game to extra innings tied at 2-2.
Karsen Ochs (2-0) came on in relief in the top of the eighth after a single to start the frame and she eventually held the Eagles scoreless thanks to an infield popup and two strikeouts.
In the bottom of the eighth, Mackenzie Boesel's walk to start the frame set up the eventual game-winning hit from Prebble the next at-bat.
Stewart led the way at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBI. Simpson went 3-for-3 while Maguire had two hits, as well.
Ochs earned the win in the circle, going one inning with two strikeouts. Heath finished the outing going 6.1 innings with five strikeouts and just three hits.
Carolina returns to action for the second day of the Gamecock Invitational on Saturday to face No. 8 Michigan at 3:00 PM before closing the day against Iowa State at 8:00 PM. Both games will be on SEC Network+.