COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 24 South Carolina softball extended its season-high winning streak to seven games with a 5-0 win over North Carolina on Tuesday night at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. Dixie Raley, in just her second start at Carolina, moved to 3-0 on the season with the victory in four innings of work.
Former Calhoun High standout Jana Johns led the way at the plate going 3-for-3 with three RBI on the night. Kenzi Maguire, who has now reached base in all 11 games this season, also shined at the plate going 2-for-3 against the Tar Heels.
Carolina took the staff approach in the circle with Raley starting the game before Cayla Drotar finished the final three innings. The pair allowed just a combined six hits while striking out six.
“That’s a tough team,” head coach Beverly Smith said. “If you’ve been watching their games you’ve seen their offense has been scoring a lot of runs. For our pitchers to come out tonight and throw a shutout, I was really proud.”
The Gamecocks opened the scoring effort in the first as Johns was hit by a pitch with bases loaded to score Kennedy Clark and give Carolina an early 1-0 lead. The scoring continued in the fourth as Mackenzie Boesel plated Jordyn Augustus to make it 2-0 Gamecocks after four.
Carolina broke open the game in the bottom of the sixth thanks to Krystan White’s RBI-single to short to make it 3-0 before Johns nearly missed a home run to leftfield to score two and give the Gamecocks the 5-0 lead it wouldn’t surrender.
Raley finished the night going four innings while allowing just four hits and striking out four.
NOTES: The Gamecocks have scored at least one run in all 11 games this season. Dating back to last season, Carolina has done so in 12 of its last 13 games. Head coach Beverly Smith improved to 237-179 with the win. She is the second-winningest coach in school history. The Gamecocks were hit by four pitches on the night. This marks the second time this season Carolina has been hit by at least four pitches with the other coming against Charlotte on Feb. 14. With a hit tonight, Mackenzie Boesel extended her season-high and team-high hitting streak to seven games. Kenzi Maguire has now reached base in all 11 games to start the season, as well. With the win, Carolina improved to 51-14 all-time against the Tar Heels and 32-4 at home. The Gamecocks have still only lost consecutive games to the Tar Heels just twice in the 33 years the two teams have met.
UP NEXT: Carolina hits the road for five games this weekend in Orlando, Fla., as part of the D9 Citrus Classic starting Friday at 12:30 PM ET against Louisville.
In other recent college softball action:
Jones drives in two for Mercer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Mercer swept Florida A&M in Wednesday’s doubleheader in Tallahassee, Fla., outscoring the host squad by the final count of 14-3. Mercer claimed game one 3-0 after a dominant performance from McElderry. The Bears backed up the three-run win with an 11-3 triumph in game two as Caroline Taylor belted two long balls and tallied seven RBIs. The Bears improve to 8-2 on the season with the midweek sweep, while the Rattlers fall to 3-8 on the campaign.
Game 1: Mercer 3, Florida A&M 0
The Bears struck first in the top of the first inning as Quirisa Mauga belted a one-run double off the wall, bringing home Meghan Rud from third for the early 1-0 advantage.
Mercer tripled its lead in the top of the third inning, plating two runs on two hits and three Rattler errors. The Bears registered back-to-back-to-back singles to lead off the third inning as Rud, Laurenne Sanchez and Megan Lane tallied their first hits of the game. Lane’s single brought home Rud and Sanchez for the 3-0 advantage.
Game 2: Mercer 11, Florida A&M 3
The Bears exploded for four runs in the top of the first inning to take an early 4-0 edge over the Rattlers. Mercer started the scoring off with a one-run double from Mauga, bringing home Sanchez from second. Taylor then extended the Bears’ lead to four with a three-run blast, her second long ball of the season.
Mercer added a fifth run in the ball game, scoring one run on one hit in the top of the fourth inning. The Bears’ fifth run came via Taylor’s sacrifice fly, plating Sanchez from third for the 5-0 advantage.
The Rattlers finally crossed the plate after 11 scoreless innings on the day, plating two runs on two hits in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut the Mercer lead to 5-2. Florida A&M then added its third run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring one run on three hits.
The Bears halted any thoughts of a comeback in the top of the seventh, scoring six runs on five hits and two Rattler errors. Taylor led off the inning with a solo shot and later added a two-run single after Mercer batted around the lineup. Former Calhoun High standout Allie Jones added two RBIs with a single to left, while Lane plated one RBI following a bases-loaded walk.