Gamecock Softball Advances to SEC Semifinals
No. 12 South Carolina softball used a two-run third inning and an Alyssa Kumiyama home run in the fourth to advance to the semifinals of the SEC Softball Tournament with a 3-1 win over No. 25 Mississippi State on Thursday at Mizzou Softball Stadium.
The win is Carolina’s first in the SEC Tournament since 2016 and 19th overall, while the Gamecocks advance to the semifinal round for the first time since 2002.
Cayla Drotar (20-5) earned the win in the circle, throwing six scoreless innings to start the tournament to lead the Gamecocks to victory.
South Carolina (44-13) held tough the first two innings against Mississippi State’s Holly Ward (15-8) and patiently waited for its time to strike as the defense and Drotar posted a zero through first two innings.
Carolina opened the scoring in the bottom of the third with two runs, as Kenzi Maguire reached on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice to score Jana Johns and make it 1-0 Gamecocks. Drotar continued the scoring a few batters later as she fouled out to the first baseman in foul ground, allowing Krystan White to score from third and make it 2-0 Carolina.
The scoring continued in the fourth as Kumiyama blasted a ball off the camera tower in right to extend the Gamecock lead to 3-0 over Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs attempted a comeback effort in the seventh with a run but it wasn’t enough as the Gamecocks prevailed for the 3-1 win.
Carolina finished the day with four hits from four different batters.
With today’s win, Carolina moved to 44-13 on the year. Carolina remained undefeated in neutral site games with the victory.
Jana Johns drew a hit by pitch in today’s win over the Bulldogs. It was notable because she now has 25 on the year, which tied the school record for most in a season. She is now tied for fifth for most in a career at Carolina, and now has the fifth most in a season for any SEC player.
With Alyssa Kumiyama’s home run, the Gamecocks now have 60 on the year, which is tied for the program’s best in a season.
Carolina improved to 19-20 in the SEC Tournament, and is now 4-5 under head coach Beverly Smith.
No. 12 South Carolina awaits the winner of the Georgia and Arkansas game for tomorrow’s tournament semifinal game at 3:00 PM ET on ESPNU. Fans can also catch the game on the SEC Radio Channel on Sirius XM while live stats will be on social media.