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Gamecocks host Missouri for senior weekend – University of South Carolina Athletics

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina softball team concludes the regular season when the Gamecocks host No. 13 Missouri May 3-5. Saturday's game will be broadcast nationally on the SEC Network.

South Carolina will honor its seniors before each game throughout the weekend. Former players Karsen Ochs and Haley Simpson will be honored Friday; Aniyah Black, Denver Bryant, Jen Cummings and Riley Blampied on Saturday; and Bailey Betenbaugh, Zoe Laneaux, Alana Vawter and Kianna Jones on Sunday.

On Friday, the first 250 fans will receive a free rally towel. The first 250 fans on Saturday will receive a free Gamecocks softball t-shirt. On Sunday, the first 100 fans will receive an ice cream sandwich and after the game there will be autographs with the team on the field.

SENIOR WEEKEND

RV South Carolina Gamecocks 33-18, 8-13 SEC
Trainer
: Beverly Smith | 14th season
AVG leader
: .355 | Carlie Henderson
RBI Head
: 33 | Riley Blampied
Home run leader
: 6 | Riley Blampied
ERA leader
: 0.86 | Reganne Bennett
Strikeout leader
: 100 | Wise Mardjetko
Wins leader
: 15 | Alana Vawter

#13 Missouri Tigers 37-14, 10-11 SEC
Trainer
: Larissa Anderson | 6th season
AVG leader
: .371 | Alex Honnold
RBI Head
: 33 | Alex Honnold
Home run leader
: 6 | Kara Daly
ERA leader
: 1.24 | Whitten, Lilly
Strikeout leader
: 113 | Laurin Krings
Wins leader
: 13 | Cierra Harrison

Information about the series
Series story: Missouri leads 16-9
Last meeting
: Missouri 2, South Carolina 1 | April 3, 2022 | Columbia, Missouri
H: 3-6 A: 2-10 N: 4-0
Last 10
April 22, 2018 – H-W, 6-2
May 3, 2019 – A – L, 4-3
May 4, 2019 – A – L, 7–6
May 5, 2019 – A-W, 5-2
April 1, 2021 – H – L, 13-4 (6)
April 2, 2021 – H – L, 7-3
April 3, 2021 – H-L, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m
April 1, 2022 – A – L, 4-2
04/02/2022 – A – L, 7-3
April 3, 2022 – A – L, 2-1

CARRY OUT

  • The 2024 season will be the 51st season for the Carolina softball team.
  • The Gamecocks are ranked No. 24 in D1softball and continue to receive votes in this week's two major polls from NFCA/USA Today and ESPN/USA Softball.
  • Carolina is on a streak of 13 consecutive games against a top-25 opponent.
    • This is the third consecutive season of playing against a ranked opponent ten or more times in a row.
    • It is the longest streak of games against top-25 opponents in program history (11 twice).
  • Sage Mardjetko was named SEC Freshman of the Week for her performance against then-No. 21Kentucky.
  • Missouri has won the last two meetings between the programs (2021 and 2022).
  • The series win over then-No. 21 Kentucky was Carolina's first in the series since 2015.
  • Carolina ran four double plays against Florida on April 21, setting a program record for the second time this season.
    • They are the only team in D1 to have four double plays in a game twice this season.
    • They rank 9th nationally in doubles per game and 5th in total DPs.
  • The Gamecocks earned a walk-off win over Winthrop in 11 innings on April 3.
    • It's the fourth time this season Carolina has played more than 10 innings, the most in Division I.
  • It is the most games with more than 10 innings in a season since 1995, while 1986 holds the record with five. Carolina also played four times in 1988.
  • Carolina is ranked 8th in D1 and has the most extra-inning games played this season with 8 (seven teams have played 9).
  • Alana Vawter was named SEC Pitcher of the Week for April 2nd.
  • The Gamecocks defeated Ole Miss, their first SEC road win since 2013 (4/26-4/28, at Mississippi State).
  • Carolina hit a triple play in the third inning against Charleston Southern, the first in recorded Carolina softball history (since at least 2000).
    • It is the fourth triple play recorded in Division I this season.
  • The Gamecocks won 6-4 in 12 innings at Clemson earlier this season.
    • It was Carolina's longest game since a 4-3 loss to Arkansas on April 15, 2000.
  • The 2-0, nine-inning win over Ole Miss was the longest shutout for the Gamecocks since a 1-0 win over Longwood on Feb. 11, 2017, also in nine innings.
  • Jori Heard pitched a perfect game in a 4-0 win over Bethune-Cookman on March 2nd. It was the first 7-inning perfect game in Division I this season.
    • Heard's perfect game is the 11th in program history as she becomes the seventh Gamecock pitcher to achieve perfection.
    • It was the first perfect game for South Carolina since Melissa Hendon against Pittsburgh on March 4, 2007.

VAWTER ON THE NATIONAL STAGE

Alana Vawter came to the Gamecocks after a standout four-year career at Stanford. Her list of accolades is long, but she also ranks among the country's active career leaders in a variety of pitching categories:

  • She ranks first in Division I and second among all NCAA players in:
    • Game start: 123
    • Innings pitched: 834 1-3
  • Ranked second in DI and fifth overall in complete games (82)
  • Second place in DI and fifth overall in wins (92)
  • Ranked third in DI and NCAA with 162 appearances
  • Fourth place in DI and 12th overall in shutouts (29)
  • Ranked 18th in DI in ERA with a value of 1.79
  • Ranked 20th in DI with 615 and 45th overall in strikeouts

OW, THAT HURTED!

  • Jen Cummings ranks 4th in DI with 50 pitches in her career.
  • It also ranks 8th among all divisions.

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME

  • South Carolina has a 262-128 (.672) record at home during the Beverly Smith era, including a 4-1 record at home when it hosted a regional game at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
  • Carolina has hit .500 or better in 10 of Beverly Smith's 13 seasons at home.
  • Prior to 2021, South Carolina had not lost double-digit home games in seven years and has won 20 or more seven of the last eight seasons (including 2020).

GAMECOCKS VS. RANKING OPPONENTS

  • South Carolina has a record of 170-394-1 (.302) against opponents ranked in the NFCA's top 25 since 1995.
  • Broken down by venue, the Gamecocks are 82-138 (.373) at home, 43-182 (.191) on the road and 46-73-1 (.388) in away games at neutral sites.
  • This season they have defeated #21 Kentucky (twice), #10 Florida, #17 Arkansas, #16 Mississippi State, #11 Clemson, #24 Boston U and #13 Utah.
  • In 2023, the Gamecocks went 12-16 against ranked opponents. Earned victories over #3 Florida State, #4 Tennessee, #13 Georgia, #11 Florida (twice), #14 LSU, #16 Alabama, #16 Auburn (twice) and #23 Texas A&M (three).

HISTORICAL RECORD OF SOUTH CAROLINA

  • South Carolina has played 2,627 games in its softball history and has posted a record of 1,690-930-7 (.645) in its 51-year history.
  • Under the leadership of head coach Beverly Smith, the Gamecocks have posted 30 or more wins in nine of the last 11 full seasons.
  • Carolina has also defended its homeland well, claiming 17 or more wins in friendly matches in each of the last nine years.

For the latest in South Carolina softball, visit GamecocksOnline.com or follow the team's social media accounts on Twitter @GamecockSoftbllFacebook /GamecockSoftball and Instagram @GamecockSoftball.

Anna Harden

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