South Carolina (29-20, 6-14 SEC) recorded a three-run fifth inning to pick up a 3-0 victory against Mississippi State (30-18, 7-13 SEC) Saturday afternoon at the MSU Softball Stadium. The Bulldogs will look to avoid the sweep in the final home game of the season Sunday at 1 p.m. as part of Senior Day festivities.
"In this league, you just cannot take one pitch off," Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. "Any team can be great at any time. That is what is so great about college softball right now."
After giving up a leadoff single to start the game, MSU junior right-hander Alison Owen retired 12-straight batters before running into trouble in the top of the fifth. Carolina's Kristen Struett led off the frame with a single to left field, and just like Friday, the Gamecocks scored the first two runs of the game on a two-strike home run. The two-run USC lead provided by Ashlyn Masters was extended to three when Samie Garcia recorded a two-out RBI double to the gap in left field. The run came after a costly error by the MSU defense, which extended the inning.
Owen finished the game with eight strikeouts and zero walks, but fell to 15-9 on the season with the loss. It was the Gamecocks' Audrey Broyles who picked up the win, improving to 9-8 with the complete-game shutout.
For the second-straight day, junior second baseman Heidi Shape led the way offensively for State, finishing 1-for-3 with a walk. Junior Logan Foulks (1-for-3) and freshman Loryn Nichols (1-for-2) made up the rest of the hit total for the Maroon and White.
Admission is free for Sunday's finale, but for those who cannot attend, free live audio as well as video will be available online to HailStateTV subscribers (www.HailState.com/hstvlive). For live in-game updates of the series, follow the program on Twitter at @MStateSB. For pictures, like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateSB and visit the team's Instagram account at MStateSB. For pregame and postgame video, check out MSU's official YouTube channel at YouTube.com/HailState.