South Carolina loses lead, falls to Florida in first round of SEC softball tournament

South Carolina lost a big lead, sending the Gamecocks home early in the SEC softball tournament.

Florida rallied past USC to steal a 6-5 win on Wednesday in first round action in College Station, Texas.

USC (36-17) will now await its NCAA Tournament fate after losing a 4-0 lead to the Gators (41-15). UF’s Jordan Matthews was the star with a walk-off two-run double in the seventh.

Florida scored all of its runs (three earned) in the final two innings against Carolina reliever Cayla Drotar.

The loss dampens a great offensive day for USC in which the Gamecocks added to their season school-record for home runs with three more. Blasts from Drotar (second inning), Mackenzie Boesel and Kennedy Clark put Carolina up 4-0 after three innings.

Starting pitcher Dixie Raley tossed five shutout innings for the Gamecocks.

Florida next faces third-seeded LSU in a Thursday second round game.

Women’s golf

The South Carolina women’s golf team finished 10th in the NCAA Cle Elum (Wash.) Regional and didn’t advance to the NCAA Championships.

Andrew Ramspacher has been covering college athletics since 2010, serving as The State’s USC men’s basketball beat writer since October 2017. His work has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors, Virginia Press Association and West Virginia Press Association. At a program-listed 5-foot-10, he’s always been destined to write about the game. Not play it.
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