COLUMBIA, S.C– Despite a two-out rally in the top of the seventh inning, the Ohio softball team (4-2) fell to No. 15 South Carolina, 4-2, in the opening game of the 2019 Gamecock Invitational Friday night (Feb. 15) inside Carolina Stadium.
South Carolina was quick to test the Bobcat defense. After a scoreless top of the first inning for the Bobcats, South Carolina would load the basses with two outs. However, the Bobcats forced a foul out that held the Gamecocks off the board.
After a pop up to second base by senior Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) and a fly out to the infield by senior Natalie Alvarez (Long, Beach, Calif.), freshman Caroline Spacek (Beaumont, Texas) drew a walk and then advanced to second base on a passed ball. A line out to the pitcher for Ohio would leave Spacek stranded at second and end the top of the frame. In the bottom of the frame, with one out the Gamecocks singled to center field that later led to a stolen base after a strikeout. With two outs, South Carolina popped up to second base to end the second inning, keeping the game 0-0 after two innings. .
In the top of the third inning, senior Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio) was hit by a pitch. Freshman Taytum Hargrave (Warsaw, Ind.) would reach first but the Gamecocks would record their first out on a fielder's choice at second. Sophomore Allie Englant (Long Beach, Calif.) singled and would advance to second base on a throwing error, advancing Hargrave to third with one out. South Carolina kept Ohio off the board on a strike out that was followed by a fly out to center field. After Ohio struck out the Gamecocks' first batter, South Carolina drew a walk. After a fly out to second base, South Carolina stole second and drew a walk but, the Gamecocks fouled out to right field, stranding its two runners to end the third inning.
After a scoreless top of the fifth for the Bobcats, South Carolina would be first to score. After a bunt single, the Gamecocks would get on the board with an RBI double. Then with runners on first and second, the Ohio defense forced two outs. Unfortently, the Gamecocks would register a two-RBI double before the end of the inning, putting the Gamecocks up 3-0 after five.
After a scoreless inning for the Bobcats in the top of the sixth, South Carolina would add on again in the bottom of the sixth, taking a 4-0 lead into the final frame.
In a last chance effort by the Bobcats, senior Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio) led the top of the seventh inning off with a single, before being caught stealing. Cole would then draw a walk before moving to second when Hargrave reached on a fielder's choice, putting runners on first and second. Both runners would move up on a ground out, before sophomore Katie Yun (North Canton, Ohio) would rope a single to center field, scoring Hargrave a Cole, cutting the Gamecocks' lead in half. Unfortunately, the Bobcats would be unable to add on, falling to South Carolina, 4-2.
Overall, Ohio scored two runs on four hits, while South Carolina scored four runs on eight hits.
Individually, Yun went 1-for-4 with two RBI, while Englant, Alvarez and Day all went 1-for-3. Hargrave and Cole both scored a run for the Bobcats.
In the circle, sophomore Madi McCrady (Brimfield, Ohio) pitched seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, walking four and striking out two.
The Bobcats return to action at the 2019 Gamecock Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 16 when the Bobcats take on UNC Greensboro at 10 a.m.