Taylor Thom hit two home runs for national No. 4 seed Texas as the Longhorns eliminated South Carolina from the Austin Regional with a 6-0 victory on Sunday.
Texas advances to the NCAA softball Super Regionals.
USC (34-25) threatened in the first two frames, loading the bases twice, but Texas senior Blaire Luna (28-5) pitched out of both jams. Luna went the distance, recording eight strikeouts and scattering five hits and four walks.
“I am proud of our team and the effort they put forth,” USC coach Beverly Smith said. “We certainly put a charge into it. We left 11 runners on base, so we had opportunities with people at the plate. We just could not get that timely hit.”
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Thom hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first and a grand slam in the fifth.
Gamecocks freshman Katie Marks (8-8) allowed six runs on five hits and two walks in 41/3 innings.
“That was the disappointing thing,” Smith said of Thom’s big hits. “We talked about not letting their top hitters get us. That is what happened today. Regardless, Katie Marks pitched a really good ballgame. She kept us in it for a long time.”
South Carolina threatened in the seventh, getting two runners on with one out, but Luna recorded her eighth strikeout and got a grounder to third to clinch the win for Texas (47-8).
The Gamecocks lose three starters and one pitcher off this year’s squad, the first to record 30 wins in Beverly Smith’s tenure at South Carolina.
“I am proud of the team’s effort throughout the season,” Smith said.