Gamecocks take down No. 4 Tennessee to cap off regular season
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Riley Blampied went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Marissa Gonzalez hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh, as the South Carolina softball team (34-19, 9-15) took down No. 4 Tennessee (41-8, 19-5) 4-2 to cap off the regular season Sunday afternoon (May 7).
The win for the Gamecocks is their first over a top-5 team since defeating No. 3 Florida on the road April 23, 2021. The win was Carolina’s ninth of the season over a top-25 team.
Blampied led the way with her three hits, including a double, while Gonzalez went 2-for-3. The South Carolina offense finished with 10 hits, the most allowed by Tennessee this season.
The Gamecocks fell behind early as the Lady Vols got a leadoff home run in the first. Carolina put runners on in the first four innings, but were unable to bring home a runner.
South Carolina broke through in the sixth, tying the game at 1-1. Zoe Laneaux led off with a single up the middle, before advancing to second on a wild pitch and third on a throwing error by the Tennessee catcher. Blampied brought her home on a single down the left field line.
Carolina broke the game open in the top of the seventh when, on the first pitch of the inning, Gonzalez connected on her fourth home run of the season. Later, Brooke Blankenship reached on an error and Jordan Fabian followed with a double down the left field line. With two outs, Blampied doubled down the right field line, scoring both runners to extend the lead.
Tennessee brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but Donnie Gobourne was able to put a stop to the rally, as Blampied made a sliding catch to end the game.
Gobourne improved to 10-6 on the season after throwing three innings of relief. She allowed one run on one hit while striking out four batters, all of which were consecutive. Karsen Ochs started in the circle and allowed one run on three hits in two innings. Bailey Betenbaugh pitched two innings of relief, striking out three and allowing one hit.
South Carolina will wait to find out its opponent for the SEC Tournament once all games are completed today. With the win over the Lady Vols, the Gamecocks could be either the No. 9 or No. 10 seed for the tournament, and will play on Wednesday, with a time still to be determined based on seeding.