Beverly Smith: USC softball is ‘motivated’ heading to NCAAs
South Carolina’s trip to the NCAA softball tournament started as inauspiciously as possible.
And the Gamecocks could never really get things going in a 3-2 loss to South Florida.
The defeat drops South Carolina to the bottom of of the double-elimination bracket, and will face the loser of host Florida State and Bethune-Cookman at 2:30 on Sunday.
USC starting pitcher Kelsey Oh didn’t make it out of the first inning after walking in a run. The Gamecocks tied things up on a Kennedy Clark RBI double in the bottom of the frame, but the Bulls pushed across runs in the third and fourth innings.
USC managed a run in the bottom of the fifth on a Mackenzie Boesel double, but could come no closer.
Bulls ace Georgina Corrick (25-4) kept the Gamecocks at bay all afternoon, allowing only two runs in a complete game. She struck out 11 and allowed four hits.
USC used three pitchers, with Cayla Drotar (11-8) taking the loss after allowing a pair of runs. Dixie Raley struck out five in 3 2/3 innings to keep South Carolina in it.
Two of USC’s four hits were doubles, but the Gamecocks only managed a single walk.
A season ago, the Gamecocks emerged from the bottom of the bracket to win a home regional, the program’s first since 2007. South Carolina would have to win four elimination games in two days to advance.