Gamecocks fall despite a Hawkins two-run homer, Garcia’s fifth triple of the year
ORLANDO, FL Feb. 17, 2013 – South Carolina (6-3) dropped a tight 9-6 contest to UT Arlington (4-1) on Sunday to close out its stay at the UCF Holiday Inn Select Tournament at the UCF Softball Stadium.
The Mavericks’ Rebecca Stokes went 3-for-3 with a double, three RBI and two runs scored, leading to the win. Jolene Schaefer, Taylor Zink and Meagan Michele all had two hits, with Zink and Michele both scoring twice as well as Kallan Thompson. Schaefer also had a double for the Mavs.
Senior shortstop Samie Garcia led the Gamecocks with a 2-for-4 day, driving in three runs and tripling for the fifth time in 2013. That triple stands as the 10th in her career, tying her for 10th in South Carolina history. Junior centerfielder Ashlyn Masters went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and redshirt sophomore Julie Sarratt drove in a run on a 2-for-3 day. Junior right fielder Chelsea Hawkins scored twice and had a two-run homer.
A four-run sixth allowed UT Arlington to retake the lead. Two singles chased Sarratt (1-1) from the circle, and an error loaded the bases for UTA. Britnea Barilli drew a walk to tie the game, and Stokes followed with a two-RBI single, giving the Mavs the lead for good. Teri Lyles plated the final UTA run with a sacrifice fly, scoring Stokes.
This came after the Gamecocks took the lead for the first time in the top of the sixth. Masters singled and stole second before moving to third on a grounder that Hawkins reached on after an errant Maverick throw. Another throwing error, this one by the Maverick catcher, let Masters score and put Hawkins at third. She came across on Sarratt’s RBI single. Sophomore catcher Olivia Lawrence got hit by a pitch, giving the Gamecocks a pair of runners. Both moved into scoring position on freshman pinch hitter Ansley Ard’s groundout, and Garcia brought both runners home with her triple, handing South Carolina the 6-5 advantage.
UT Arlington scored one in the first and two in the second. Schaefer doubled to right center, scoring Stokes after her one-out double to give the Mavs the initial lead. That grew to 3-0 in the second on Nina Villanueva’s two-RBI single on a ball the Gamecocks lost in the sun, scoring both Meagan Michele and Thompson.
The Gamecocks drew within one for the first time in the fourth when Chelsea Hawkins drove the seventh pitch of her at-bat over the wall in left. But the Mavericks answered with two in the bottom of the frame, getting RBI singles from Barilli and Stokes to make it 5-2.
Lyles (3-0) got the win in relief, tossing 3.2 innings and giving up four runs, one earned, on three hits and a walk. She struck out four. Sarratt took the loss, giving up four earned runs on six hits and a walk in four innings of relief.
The Gamecocks stay in the Palmetto State next weekend, playing in the College of Charleston Cougar Classic in Mount Pleasant on Saturday and Sunday. South Carolina opens Saturday’s action against Wagner at 10 a.m. at Patriot’s Point Athletics Complex.