Sweet Sixteen! Gamecocks keep winning streak going
COLUMBIA, S.C. –No. 20 South Carolina extended its season-long winning streak to 16 games with a commanding 11-3 win in five innings over Marshall to close the Carolina Classic at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. The Gamecocks finished the weekend 4-0 with wins over George Washington, Marshall and Liberty.
Kenzi Maguire led the way at the plate for the Gamecocks, going 1-for-2 with a game-high four RBI. Mackenzie Boesel also shined, going 2-for-4 with two RBI while Kennedy Clark finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Cayla Drotar (9-0) earned the victory in the circle, going five innings with a strikeout and just one walk.
“Our focus is each game on game day,” head coach Beverly Smith said. “For us, we’re still trying to get better every day. Today our focus was coming out and making it the 21 toughest outs we could and I thought our offense did a great job of that today. They had to bring in four pitchers against us. Everyone was hitting the ball hard and were selected but aggressive.”
Marshall (8-12) put a run on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead after the first half inning. Carolina (19-1) responded in just four pitches in the bottom frame as a Kenzi Maguire hit by pitch and Mackenzie Boesel double tied it at 1-1. Just two batters later, Jana Johns’ SAC fly to left scored Boesel to give the Gamecocks a 2-1 lead after one.
The scoring continued in the second with three more runs via Alexis Lindsey, Maguire and Boesel RBIs to make it 5-1 Carolina after two.
Leading 5-1 after two, the Gamecocks weren’t satisfied as they scored five more in the fifth. After Krystan White’s single to left to bring a run home, Maguire doubled to centerfield with bases loaded to score three and extend the lead to 9-1. Kennedy Clark finished the inning with a single through the right side to make it 10-1 Carolina after three.
Marshall added a run in the fourth and fifth to cut the lead to 10-3 before Johns’ solo home run in the bottom of the fifth to finish the game in five innings at 11-3.
The Gamecocks have scored at least one run in all 20 games this season. Dating back to last season, Carolina has done so in 21 of its last 22 games.
Head coach Beverly Smith improved to 246-179 with the win. She is the second-winningest coach in school history.
The Gamecocks won two games today to move to 19-1 on the year and their 16th-straight victory of the season. Prior to this season, Carolina last won 16-straight games in 1997. The Gamecocks went on to WCWS that season.
Kenzi Maguire has now reached base in all 20 games to start the season.
Carolina has reached base via a hit by pitch or walk (or both) in all 20 games this season.
UP NEXT —
Carolina returns to action on Tuesday at 6:00 PM ET against Youngstown State. Fans can catch the game on SEC Network Plus or live stats will be provided on gamecocksonline.com.
Gamecock Athletics contributed to this article.