Gamecocks shut out Furman for fifth-straight win
COLUMBIA, S.C. –Fresh off an SEC Player of the Week honor, No. 8 South Carolina softball’s Tiara Duffy blasted a triple off the wall in centerfield with two outs in the bottom of the fourth to lift the Gamecocks to a 1-0 win over Furman on Wednesday at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. Freshman Kelsey Oh shined in the circle, tossing a complete-game shutout to move Carolina to 29-4 on the season.
The win makes it five-straight victories for the Gamecocks after sweeping No. 2 Tennessee over the weekend.
Oh (8-2) was masterful in the circle, allowing just three hits in her longest outing since March 3 against Marshall. The complete-game shutout was her first seven-inning shutout of her career.
“I think this team has a ton of confidence,” head coach Beverly Smith said. “You didn’t really see it at the plate tonight but you did see players come through in the clutch like Tiara Duffy. She had a great weekend and led us to victory with her triple. That was a big hit for us.”
No. 8 South Carolina (29-4, 5-1 SEC) found itself in a pitching battle against one of the best strikeout pitchers in the country in Furman’s Lindsey Bert. Both teams traded scoreless frames until senior Tiara Duffy stepped to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the fourth.
Coming off a week in which she hit .636, Duffy faced a two-out situation with a Jordyn Augustuson first base. Duffy showed why she was voted best in the conference this past week as she blasted a ball off the wall in centerfield to score Augustus from first and give the Gamecocks the only run needed for victory.
Duffy led the way at the plate going 1-for-2 with an RBI triple. Kenzi Maguire and Alyssa Kumiyama also chipped in with hits on the night.
- With the win tonight, Carolina improved to 29-4 (5-1) on the year and has still not lost consecutive games all season. The Gamecocks were recently ranked No. 8 in the country, their highest ranking since 1998.
- Tiara Duffy posted a strong series this weekend against No. 2 Tennessee, batting .625 on five hits with three runs scored and four RBI. She notably blasted two home runs on the weekend with a 1.375 slugging percentage and .667 on-base percentage.
- Carolina earned the series win over Tennessee with the 5-4 victory on Saturday. This marked the first series win over the Lady Volunteers since 2015, and just the fifth since 2000. Today’s win gave the Gamecocks their first sweep over Tennessee since 2002. This was just the third sweep over the Volunteers since the two teams started playing in 1997.
- Head coach Beverly Smith moved to 256-182 after the Furman win. She is the second-winningest coach in school history. The Gamecocks have still not been shutout this season and improved to 20-1 when holding opponents to 20-1.
Carolina heads west for a big three-game series against No. 12 Texas A&M starting at 7:30 PM ET on SEC Network Plus. Live stats will also be on gamecocksonline.com.
Gamecocks Athletics contributed to this article.