Gamecocks Open Carolina Softball Stadium vs. No. 4/6 Alabama
New era of Gamecock Softball begins
COLUMBIA, SC March 14, 2013 –
Gamecocks vs. No. 4/6 Alabama – March 15-17
Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field
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for those attending this weekend’s series
Audrey Broyles Gamecock Spotlight
South Carolina Team Notes
- Junior second baseman Dana Hathorn has already broken the single-season hit-by-pitch mark, getting plunked nine times this year through 22 games.
- The Gamecocks won its first 13 games by scoring seven or more runs.
- Winning five-consecutive games (2/24-3/3) by the run rule is the best as far as those records go (since 1995). The previous best stretch of run-rule wins came in 1995.
- South Carolina’s leadoff batter has reached 52.2 percent of the time so far in 2013, second in the SEC.
- The Gamecock pitchers have walked two batters per seven innings, which ranks fourth in the SEC.
- In three of the six losses, the Gamecocks drew one or no walks. Only once in a win (0 vs. Villanova) did South Carolina walk less than two times.
- In the win over Radford (2/24), redshirt senior Audrey Broyles tossed her first shutout since Feb. 26, 2011, against Elon. This was a three-hitter to defeat the defending Big South regular-season champs.
- Also recording their first shutouts as Gamecocks this year were sophomore Katelynn Howser (vs. Buffalo) and freshman Katie Marks (vs. Florida International). Gamecock pinch hitters are 9-for-19 (.474) at the plate and reach base at a .583 clip, drawing four walks and taking one hit by pitch.
Updates from USF Under Armour Showcase
- The Gamecocks won their first extra-innings game of the year in their second try, beating Penn State 4-3 in eight innings.
- Freshman hurler Katie Marks fanned 14 in 13.1 innings during the event, throwing a complete game in the nine-inning affair against Northwestern.
- South Carolina picked up its ninth run-rule win of 2013 against UMass, the reigning Atlantic-10 champs, matching the 2000 team for its most run-rule wins this century.
- Senior catcher Shelby Gonzales had two homers on the weekend, the first two of 2013.
Statements Made in Statesboro
- South Carolina picked up its first win against a 2012 NCAA Tournament team when it downed Georgia Southern 7-2 on Sunday.
- The Gamecocks scored their most runs in the NCAA era (since 1982) with a 29-0 victory over Alabama State. That also matches the largest margin of victory in recorded history at South Carolina, tying a 32-3 win over Allen in 1977.
- The team tied a program high with 25 RBI in the game, matching the output from a 27-0 win over Coppin State on March 31, 1996.
- Only in 1996 have the Gamecocks scored more than 56 runs in a four-game stretch, with 62 vs. Coppin State and Virginia twice each.
- The 1988 team scored 55 (vs. North Carolina, Georgia Southern twice and McNeese State), while the Gamecocks tallied 52 the 2013 opening weekend vs. Michigan State and Stetson, twice each.
- Sophomore Olivia Lawrence broke the school record by scoring five runs in the Alabama State game, topping a mark set nine times, including thrice this year.
Postcards from Orlando
- Sophomore pitcher Katelynn Howser garnered her first career shutout in the Gamecocks’ 8-0 (5) win over Buffalo, giving up only one hit.
- It was the first one-hitter for a Gamecock hurler since 2011, when Julie Sarratt did it against Coastal Carolina (4/11/11), and the 56th since 1995 for South Carolina.
- Samie Garcia tripled in each of the last four games, matching her 2012 total in those four games.
Opening Weekend Notes
- South Carolina scored 52 runs on the opening weekend of 2013, picking up two run-rule victories while scoring double-figures in all four games.
- It ranks as the first time the Gamecocks have scored double-figure runs in four-consecutive games in the NCAA era (since 1982).
- The only other time in the NCAA era that the Gamecocks scored double figures in three-straight games was 1995 (10 at Virginia, 11 vs. George Mason and 11 vs. USF), later matched this year.
- The 15 runs in the opener against Stetson is the most in a season opener in the program’s NCAA era.
- The two run-rule wins to start the year matches the 1993, 1996 and 2004 squads.
- On three occasions, Gamecock student-athletes tied the then-school record in runs scored. Twice, Samie Garcia accomplished the feat on Feb. 9, while Alaynie Page did it as well in the second game (vs. Stetson, Feb. 9).
- Samie Garcia reached base in each of her first 10 plate appearances.
- South Carolina opens the 2013 season with 22 road games (five weekends + one midweek DH) and 29 of 32 due to ongoing construction at the new Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
- The 1997 team spent 23 of its first 26 games away from home in the most similar stretch in the Gamecocks’ SEC-era history.
- The 1988 squad played its first 31 games away from Columbia (six weeks on the road), while the 1987 team spent its first 20 games traveling (10 days).
- The Gamecocks have 31 of their 53 scheduled games against teams who made the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
- All 24 SEC games are against NCAA tourney participants.
- Four of South Carolina’s SEC games will be on television, including one on national outlet ESPNU.
- Samie Garcia entered 2013 on many top 15 career lists at South Carolina, and her performance so far in 2013 has helped her leap up the charts.
- She’s third in batting average (.367), second in on-base percentage (.440) and fourth in slugging percentage (.543).
- After triples in the last four games of the UCF Holiday Inn Select Tournament, Garcia is tied for seventh in that career category with 10.
- Garcia is also fifth in hit-by-pitches (14), tied for 14th in homers (11), 15th in runs (103) and 19th in total bases (235).
- Currently, Garcia ranks as the 18th toughest Gamecock in recorded history to strike out, going 13.53 at bats per strikeout.
- In the per-game categories, she’s second in hits (1.20), third in runs (0.77), fourth in triples (0.08), sixth in home runs (0.08), seventh in walks (0.32) and 11th in doubles (0.17).
- She stole four bases in the Stetson Lead-Off Classic to move into the top 10 in that category. Now with 14 on the year, she’s seventh in stolen bases (40) and second in stolen bases per game (0.30).
- South Carolina returns four position starters from last year’s team, including 40 starts in right field (Chelsea Hawkins), 44 at catcher (Shelby Gonzales) and 54 at both shortstop (Samie Garcia) and second base (Dana Hathorn).
- The Gamecocks’ 2012 leaders in batting average, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, slugging percentage, walks and stolen bases graduated.
- Eighty-two percent of the team’s sacrifice hits departed, the highest of any offensive category. The next highest percentage is stolen bases (71%).
- Despite losing doubles leader Kaitlin Westfall and single-season home run record-tying holder Evan Childs, the Gamecocks have 51 percent of its doubles and 52 percent of its homers back in 2013.
- With the 11 departed players, the Gamecocks also lost players who took 41 of their 65 pinch-hitting appearances and the top four pinch runners.
- Back is the 2012 team leader in runs scored (Samie Garcia, 41), who also tied for the team lead in stolen bases.
- The team returns over two-thirds of the innings thrown in 2012, including ERA leader Audrey Broyles and strikeout leader Katelynn Howser.
- Coming back from season-long injuries last year are redshirt senior Kelley Dillon and redshirt sophomore Julie Sarratt.
- Nine newcomers join the roster, including six freshmen, a sophomore transfer and two junior-college transfers.
- The team is again dominated by South Carolina natives, with 40 percent of the roster hailing from the Palmetto State.
- The Masters sisters Ashlyn and Lauren are the first siblings to play on the same Gamecock team and the second set ever, after the Troesh sisters, Leanna (1997-99) and Debralee (2000-03).
- Junior Chelsea Hawkins is the niece of Tia Rogers (2002-04 letter-winner).
- While not a Gamecock, Samie Garcia is the cousin of Boston Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
- The Crimson Tide, ranked fourth in the NFCA/USA Today coaches poll, bring a 23-3 record into the weekend.
- Alabama is 1-2 in SEC play and has lost three of its last four games, falling to No. 3 Florida last Wednesday, before dropping the first two games of the series at No. 6/7 Tennessee.
- The Tide rank third in the country with 2.77 stolen bases per game and ninth with a 1.40 ERA.
- Five Alabama players hit over .400, with a sixth (Jackie Traina) with a .396 average.
- Freshman Haylie McCleney leads the SEC and stands second in the country with a .512 batting average. She also has not struck out in 82 at bats.
- McCleney and senior Kayla Braud front the speed game for Alabama, with 19 and 22 stolen bases, respectively. Andrea Hawkins and Keima Davis both have nine steals as well.
- Junior Kaila Hunt powers the lineup, posting seven homers and 30 RBI, tops on the team.
- Junior Jackie Traina is a dual threat, ranking second on the team with five homers and 20 RBI while also leading the way with 107 strikeouts in 85 innings in the circle.
- Traina brings an 11-2 record and a 1.48 ERA into the weekend, walking 35 in those 85 innings.
- Sophomore Leslie Jury has fanned 55 and walked 19 in 54.2 innings, posting a 1.15 ERA.
- Senior Lauren Sewell is 5-0 with a 1.60 ERA in 30.2 innings, striking out 30 and walking 19.
- Alabama and South Carolina both played Georgia Southern. The Crimson Tide needed nine innings to beat the Eagles 2-1, while the Gamecocks won 7-2 in Statesboro, Ga.
Ties Between South Carolina & Alabama
- Pitchers Lauren Sewell and Audrey Broyles both hail from Pembroke Pines Charter High School. The duo played for the Florida Gold travel ball team, with Sewell’s team coached by Audrey’s dad Johnny Broyles.
- Kaila Hunt and the Gamecock sisters of Ashlyn and Lauren Masters all graduated from Greenbrier High School in Evans, Ga.
- Gamecock sophomore Katelynn Howser and Crimson Tide freshman Kallie Case both played for the East Cobb Bullets in the Atlanta, Ga., area.
- Freshmen Andrea Hawkins and Katie Marks both played for the Texas Impact Gold team that finished second in the ASA Gold 18U Nationals last summer.