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Gamecocks Can’t Take Down NPF All-Stars, Falling 5-1
Sophomore Dana Hathorn drives in a run in 2-for-3 night
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Despite a 2-for-3 outing and an RBI from sophomore second baseman Dana Hathorn, the Gamecocks drop a 5-1 game to the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) All-Stars on Friday night in front of 617 fans at Beckham Field.
With attendance near capacity to see the fresh turf at Beckham Field, the NPF All-Stars got off to a quick start with two runs in the first. Singles from Francesca Enea and Brittany McKinney drove in Ashley Charters and Bianca Mejia to stake the pros to a 2-0 lead after a half inning.
The Gamecocks tried to tie it up in the bottom of the frame, starting the inning with singles from junior Samie Garcia and senior Lauren Lackey. After Jamee Juarez tallied two of her 11 strikeouts, sophomore Chelsea Hawkins drew a walk to load the bases for Hathorn. She slapped a single to left that scored Garcia. Lackey tried to score as well, but Megan Wiggins’ throw beat her home to end the inning and Carolina threat.
The All-Stars added two more in the second, as Caitlin Lever drove home Roya St. Clair after she started the inning with a double. Wiggins followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Charters. The pros posted their final run in the seventh when Jenn Salling’s sacrifice fly scored Wiggins.
South Carolina posted hits in the third and fourth from senior Kaitlin Westfall and Hawkins, respectively but did not threaten again until the seventh, when Hathorn started the frame with a single. The NPF team got two outs before junior Hannah Milks reached on an error, giving the Gamecocks two runners on for the top of the order. But Juarez got a pop fly to get out of the inning and close the game.
No All-Star had more than one hit, but Charles scored twice without a hit. Juarez went the distance, scattering six hits and an earned run while posting those 11 strikeouts. Redshirt junior Audrey Broyles posted three shutout innings, fanning one and walking three.
The Gamecocks face Winthrop and Gardner-Webb in a doubleheader in Rock Hill on Sunday afternoon starting at 1 p.m.
Team NPF will continue the Back to School Tour against the University of Alabama on Sunday at 2:30pm at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL.