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Bats spark South Carolina to Sunday win, series victory vs. No. 12 Auburn

Gamecock softball’s luxury of five pitchers is unique

USC softball coach Beverly Smith has a staff of five pitchers this year and there is a reason why that's good.
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USC softball coach Beverly Smith has a staff of five pitchers this year and there is a reason why that's good.

South Carolina softball scored a series win against a ranked team last week when it upended Alabama.

On Sunday, the Gamecocks did it again versus No. 12 Auburn.

USC didn’t get any big offensive bursts, but it scored in four innings to hand the Tigers an 8-4 loss in the series rubber match. The Gamecocks opened up a five-run lead on the Plains and added three insurance runs in the top of the seventh to keep things comfortable.

“I’m really proud of this group,” USC coach Beverly Smith said on the broadcast. “They had each other’s backs, and that what we’ve talked about.”

South Carolina (31-12, 7-10 SEC) scraped out runs early on singles, an error and a fielder’s choice. After the Tigers (33-11, 9-7 SEC) cut the lead to 5-2, Katie Prebble and Jana Johns each had home runs in the top of the seventh.

Cayla Drotar (8-5) got the win, with 4 2/3 innings of two-run ball. Senior pitcher Dixie Raley finished things off with a 2 1/3-inning save. She navigated through four consecutive hits in the bottom of the seventh to shut things down.

South Carolina had dropped the opener 5-4 but rallied with a 10-1 win on Saturday.

The Gamecocks will now have a week off SEC play, hosting USC Upstate on Wednesday and UNC Greensboro for two games next weekend. They’ll host Georgia April 26-28.

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