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GAMECOCK INVITATIONAL - Carolina Softball Stadium - Columbia, SC

Gamecocks blank No. 6 Michigan, beat Iowa State

45 days ago
South Carolina Athletics
Photo: South Carolina Athletics

COLUMBIA, S.C. ---- No. 22 South Carolina softball swept its Saturday games in the Gamecock Invitational with a 3-0 win over No. 8 Michigan before closing the day with a 5-3 victory over Iowa State at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. Freshman Karsen Ochs started the day with a complete-game shutout of the Wolverines before Karly Heath went the distance against the Cyclones for her first win of the year.

Between the two games 10 different Gamecocks produced hits with Haley Simpson, Mackenzie Boesel, Kassidy Krupit and Lauren Stewart leading the charge. The Ochs and Heath combo in the circle held opposing batters to just seven hits in 14 innings of work.

Saturday's result marked Ochs' first career complete-game and shutout victory while the win was Carolina's first shutout win over a top-10 team since April 7, 2019, when it defeated No. 4 Alabama to seal the series win.

Ochs was brilliant from start to finish. While she didn't record a strikeout, she let her defense work for her with just two hits allowed.

With the wins, South Carolina improved to 26-0 in the Gamecock Invitational over the past six years and is 46-1 in its past 47 home tournament games.

SOUTH CAROLINA 3 | MICHIGAN 0 - RECAP

Freshman Karsen Ochs looked every bit the part of an experienced veteran in just her fourth-career outing as she helped Carolina to a 3-0 victory over No. 8 Michigan with a complete-game shutout. Ochs started the game with a nine-pitch, three-up-three-down first inning and never looked back as South Carolina earned its first win over a top-25 opponent this season.

The Gamecocks picked up the scoring effort in the bottom of the second as Madison Owens blasted a one-out, two-RBI home run over the left-field wall to give the home team a 2-0 lead through two full innings of action.

After both teams traded scoreless third and fourth innings, the scoring continued in the bottom of the fifth with Lauren Stewart's two-out triple to push the Carolina advantage to 3-0 through five innings.

Michigan pressured the Gamecocks in the top of the seventh, sending the tying run to the plate with just one out but a flyout to left and a groundout to Ochs sealed the shutout victory.

Owens, Stewart, Jana Johns, Katie Prebble and Mackenzie Boesel accounted for the five Carolina hits.

The Wolverines did not advance a runner to scoring position until the third inning and finished the game having done so just three times.

SOUTH CAROLINA 5 | IOWA STATE 3 - RECAP

The Gamecocks closed the day with a 5-3 win over an Iowa State team that earlier in the morning handed No. 8 Michigan its first loss of the season as Kassidy Krupit's three RBI and a big moment pitching performance from Karly Heath proved to be the difference in the victory.

Carolina never trailed as Krupit opened the scoring effort in the bottom of the first thanks to a two-out single to make it 1-0, Gamecocks, through one.

Heath helped her own cause in the second as she doubled to the wall in left field to score a run and pushed the advantage to 2-0 for the Gamecocks.

Both teams traded scoreless third and fourth innings before Krupit blasted a two-RBI home run to Wheeler Beach behind the right-field wall to give Carolina a 5-0 lead through five.

Iowa State looked to make things interesting with a three-run home run in the top of the sixth, but it wasn't enough as Heath earned her first win of the 2020 campaign.

Krupit led the way at the plate, going 2-for-3 with three RBI. Kenzi Maguire, Lauren Stewart, Ellie Bailey, Mackenzie Boesel, Heath and Haley Simpson also added hits.

UP NEXT

Carolina returns to action for the final day of the Gamecock Invitational with a 5:30 PM first pitch against Elon on SEC Network+ on Sunday.