WATCH: Big sixth inning carries Gamecocks over Bulldogs Friday

COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 13 Carolina powered past No. 23 Mississippi State in their final home series opener of the regular season thanks to a four-run sixth inning, besting the Bulldogs 5-2 Friday night.

The Gamecocks trailed 2-1 heading to the bottom of the sixth inning, but eventually took a 3-2 lead with Alyssa Kumiyama’s bunt to score Alex Fulmer from third before tacking on two more to earn win No. 39 on the year.

With 39 victories thus far, the Gamecocks have earned the most wins in a single season in the Beverly Smith era. The 12 conference wins are also a high under Smith.

Cayla Drotar (18-4) earned the win in the circle, going all seven innings with four strikeouts to move to 6-3 in SEC games.

South Carolina (39-11, 12-7 SEC) took the lead for the second-straight game via a home run thanks to Jana Johns’ deep shot off the netting behind the wall in left protecting the track to give Carolina a 1-0 lead through five innings.

The sixth inning proved to be the pivotal frame, as the Bulldogs responded with two runs in the top frame to take a 2-1 lead as Carolina came to the plate.

The Gamecocks didn’t flinch at the deficit, as Mackenzie Boesel started the bottom of the sixth with a double down the line in right to put a runner on. Kennedy Clark later brought her home with a one out single of her own to tie things at 2-2.

Kumiyama’s spectacular bunt gave Carolina the 3-2 lead it wouldn’t surrender but the Gamecocks added two more runs thanks to Johns and Krystan White plating a pair.

Carolina finished the night with nine hits from six different batters.


  • With today’s win, Carolina moved to 39-11 (12-7 SEC) on the year. The 39 wins is the most the Beverly Smith era, as is the 12 conference wins. Carolina is now just one win away from 40 wins in a season for the first time since 2003 with six games left in the regular season.
  • Carolina now has a chance to win series No. 5 on the year, with four coming at home. This would be the fourth over a ranked foe.
  • Kennedy Clark has stepped up at the plate over the last five games, batting a team-best .563 with nine hits and five runs.
  • During this five-game stretch in which the Gamecocks are 5-0, the team is batting .351 while outscoring teams 32-11 with a .414 on-base percentage.


No. 13 South Carolina continues a key three-game series against Mississippi State on Saturday at 12:00 PM ET on SEC Network. Live stats will also be on

Gamecocks Athletics contributed to this article.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports, USC Gamecocks