Fayetteville, AR - No. 10 seed South Carolina beat No. 7 seed Texas A&M 1-0 in extra innings in Game 3 of the SEC Tournament. Gamecock infielder Riley Blampied hit an RBI single in the top of the eighth mere minutes before inclement weather moved into the area, causing a four hour weather delay.
Both teams were unable to score and combined for only four hits in the first seven innings.
Gamecocks starting right hander Karsen Ochs pitched the first 2.2 innings, with one strikeout and allowed two hits. Reliever Donnie Gobourne finished the game blanking the Aggies, allowing no hits and struck out five batters.
Gobourne didn't close out the eighth without adding a little drama after the weather delay. Left fielder Marissa Gonzalez robbed Rylen Wiggins of what would've been a game-tying homer before Gobourne walked Bre Warren. She followed that up by striking out Allie Enright and then walking Grace Uribe. With two outs and runners on first and second, Gobourne managed to retire Koko Wooley on a pop fly.
Gobourne attributed a lot of her success to her recent addition of the changeup to her arsenal. "It's made a big difference," Gobourne said. "They been sitting V-Low. They're looking to see 74 and 76 all the time. The changeup adds about a 10-15 mile per hour difference, so it's huge whenever I throw it."
On rain delay readiness... It was kind of hard, honestly. The entire time we were on our rain delay I was just thinking about staying locked in the entire time and trying not to be on my phone as much and just getting a lot of treatment as well. I think it was just having a good mentality. Always remaining optimistic and ready to go at it the next pitch, next at bat. Just remaining optimistic and just trusting in my defense and my offense.
On Gonzalez's home run robbery... She's a beast man. She's a dog. The whole entire season she's been laying out. She's been going all out for any ball, any hit. She's been doing her thing. She's been doing amazing and I choose her behind me all the time.
On staying ready... I think it was just the mentality. We really wanted this. We want to be in this. I know we can stay up with these teams. I think it's just a mentality thing. It's just the heart, I guess you could say.
Head Coach Beverly Smith Quotables
On rain delay readiness... When we got back we took a little break at the hotel and when we came back we talked about, 'We're going to be road warriors in the post season. I think the ability to come in and shut the door, right, whether it be the 7th inning or the 8th inning, whenever you need to be able to do it to be able to close the door. Melissa Gonzalez was a great example of that with her great catch in the outfield for us today. And of course, Donnie, being able to re-warm up and be successful for us.
South Carolina (35-19, 10-15 SEC) plays Georgia (39-12, 16-7 SEC) in Game 7 of the SEC Tournament on Thursday on SEC Network. Start time is TBD. Check back for updates.
Texas A&M (33-19, 12-12 SEC) awaits the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday night. The bracket for the NCAA Tournament will be released at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2.