South Carolina defeated Liberty 2-0 in a Sunday afternoon game at Carolina Softball Stadium to stave off NCAA Tournament elimination.
The No. 12 Gamecocks (48-15) are the top seed in the Columbia Regional and must beat the third-seeded Flames again Sunday night to advance to an NCAA Super Regional. Game 2 will start at 6:40 p.m. in Carolina Softball Stadium. The Flames (49-13) will advance to the Super Regional with a win.
Sophomore Cayla Drotar, playing Sunday afternoon as the designated player, powered the victory with a two-run home run over the left field wall in the top of the third inning. (Liberty was the home team by virtue of being in the winner’s bracket.)
Junior pitcher Dixie Raley, who came on in relief Saturday night in the Gamecocks dramatic walk-off win, got the win Sunday afternoon. Raley, South Carolina’s No. 3 starter, went the distance to improve to 14-4 on the season.
Drotar, Raley or Kelsey Oh could get the start Sunday night. Liberty junior Julia DiMartino has pitched every inning for the Flames. She has thrown 366 pitches in the last three days. The teams have not released their lineups or starting pitchers for the winner-take-all game.
Sunday night's finale is available to view via ESPN3 (on the WatchESPN app).