No. 17 South Carolina softball scored five runs in the top of the first and never looked back on its way to an 8-1 victory over North Carolina to take home the tournament championship in the Carolina Classic on Sunday at Anderson Stadium.
Freshman forward Corinna Zullo provided the game-winning goal for the Gamecocks late in the first half and Lauren Chang and Jyllissa Harris added insurance in the second half.
Julian Bosnic pitched 5.2 innings of no-hit baseball with nine strikeouts, which tied a career high, and four walks. He picked up his first win of the season.
The defending champion Gamecocks (21-4) will seek their sixth tournament crown since 2015 on Sunday against No. 16 Georgia, which beat top-seeded and No. 2 Texas A&M 74-68 in the other semifinal.
Starting pitcher Brannon Jordan struck out a career-high 11 batters in his five innings. He allowed just one hit and walked three.
Keyshawn Bryant scored 16 points and Jalyn McCreary 14 points for the Gamecocks (6-14, 4-12), who haven’t won at Rupp Arena since 2009.
Clarke belted five home runs in three games last week, driving in eight while having a 1.833 slugging percentage and a .688 on-base percentage.
The Gamecocks closed out the week with a 6-1 record with four wins in the Gamecock Invitational over the weekend.
The No. 5/6 Gamecocks (19-4, 14-2 SEC) head to Greenville for the SEC Tournament as the No. 2 seed.
For the second straight game, an Andrew Eyster base hit walked off in-state rival Clemson.