The South Carolina softball team made a strong statement to open the season, needing just five innings to put away Ohio 10-0 in its first game of the Carolina Classic Tournament on Friday afternoon.
The Gamecocks struck first with two runs in the bottom of the first. Infielders Kamryn Watts and Mackenzie Boesel hit singles and advanced to scoring position on a double steal. Right fielder Victoria Williams followed with a sacrifice fly to bring in Watts, and sophomore left fielder Kennedy Clark brought in Boesel on a single through the right side.
USC’s offense didn’t let up in the second inning, as the Gamecocks padded their lead with three runs on one hit. Krystan White hit an RBI double to center field to bring in the third run.
Midway through the half-inning, Ohio made a pitching change from starting pitcher Desirae Villanueva to Danielle Stiene, but the Gamecocks continued to pad their lead by taking advantage of stolen bases and wild pitches.
In the bottom of the third, White came up big for USC again, delivering a two-run homer to left field. Shewent 2-for-2 with four RBIs. Boesel, a freshman, hit an RBI single to center field to extend USC’s lead to eight. She also went 2-for-2 with two hits and an RBI.
Despite cycling through three pitchers, Ohio (1-1) couldn’t figure out a way to contain USC’s offense. The Gamecocks added two runs in the bottom of the fourth to extend their lead to double digits.
USC starting pitcher Jessica Elliott earned her first win after pitching a complete game. She held the Bobcats to three hits, with five strikeouts and two walks over five innings.
Game 2: USC’s Cayla Drotar struck out six and gave up just one hit and a walk in an 8-0 win over Presbyterian. Williams led the way offensively with a homer, triple, two runs and two RBI. White and Watts also contributed two RBI apiece.
Next: USC continues the Carolina Classic against Longwood at 3 p.m. Saturday.