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No. 20/21 South Carolina Tops Liberty, 12-1

March 2, 2018  Columbia, S.C.  RSS
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Autumn Bishop hit her first home run of the season on Friday at South Carolina.

Autumn Bishop hit her first home run of the season on Friday at South Carolina.

The No. 20/21 South Carolina Gamecocks extended their winning streak to 13 games, downing Liberty, 12-1, in six innings on Friday at Carolina Softball Stadium.

With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 16-1 on the season. Liberty is 11-5 after defeating Marshall, 6-1, earlier today and falling to South Carolina this evening at the Carolina Classic.

Cayla Drotar (8-0) allowed one run on three hits, striking out four and walking two. She did not allow a hit until the fourth inning.

Chase Cassady (3-2) drew the loss, giving up four runs on two hits in 2/3 of an innings. Starter Emily Kirby tossed two innings of scoreless softball, yielding four hits. Elizabeth Engler allowed one run on three hits, walking three in 1 1/3 innings of work, while Julia DiMartino pitched the final 1 1/3 innings of the game.

Mackenzie Boesel batted 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while the Gamecocks hit three homers. Alyssa Kumiyama and Alyssa VanDerveer both homered and drove in three runs, while Alexis Lindsey hit a pinch-hit grand slam.

The top three batters in the Liberty lineup, Autumn Bishop, Amber Bishop and Tori Zavodny, registered one hit apiece. Autumn Bishop hit her first home run of the season, while Amber Bishop doubled.

South Carolina got two baserunners in both the first and second innings. The first inning ended when Kumiyama lined out to the pitcher. The Flames defused the Gamecocks' rally in the second, turning an inning-ending 8-4 double play.

Cassady entered the circle in relief of Kirby to start the third. She walked Kenzi Maguire, and the next two batters hit into a fielder's choice. Cassady then hit Jana Johns, before Kumiyama and VanDerveer hit back-to-back homers to make it 4-0. Engler then relieved Cassady and walked the next two batters before getting Kamryn Watts on a groundout back to the pitcher.

Autumn Bishop broke up Drotar's no-hit and shutout bid with one swing of the bat in the top of the fourth, launching an opposite-field home run to narrow the gap to 4-1. Zavodny later hit a one-out single and Sarah Robertson walked. Jaclyn Amader then flied out to center field, and Zavodny was called out on an appeal, ending the rally.

The Gamecocks answered in the home half of the fourth, on a bases-loaded walk to VanDerveer. Drotar flied out to center to end the inning with South Carolina leading, 5-1.

DiMartino came on in relief of Engler with nobody out and one on in the bottom of the fifth. She retired the next two batters on a flyout and strikeout.

Liberty mounted a one-out rally in the sixth, as Autumn Bishop walked and Amber Bishop doubled. Drotar then got Zavodny and Robertson on hard groundouts.

The host Gamecocks scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth, ending the game on Lindsey's grand slam, 12-1.

The Lady Flames return to Carolina Softball Stadium for one game tomorrow, taking on George Washington at 10 a.m.