Victoria Williams’ solo home run in the top of the second inning lifted the South Carolina Gamecocks to a 1-0 victory over the USC Upstate softball team Wednesday evening in non-conference action from Cyrill Stadium.
Upstate falls to 32-12 on the season while South Carolina improves to 31-10 overall.
Jessica Elliott (16-2) picked up the win after tossing 4.0 scoreless innings and gave up three hits, three walks and three strikeouts. Lexi Shubert (5-4) suffered the loss allowing one run on six hits, no walks and five strikeouts in a complete game effort. Nickie Blue (5) earned the save as she pitched 3.0 innings in relief and surrendered one hit, no walks and no strikeouts.
Williams led the Gamecocks with two hits and one RBI, while four others recorded one hit each. Ansley Gilstrap went 2-for-3 for the Spartans to lead them offensively, and Brittany Case and Ryan Rector collected one hit apiece.
South Carolina took the 1-0 lead with one out in the top of the second as Williams hit a 1-0 offering from Shubert over the right center field fence to give the Gamecocks the one-run advantage. Upstate looked to go ahead in the bottom of the second when Abbie Millete led off the inning with a walk, was pinch-run for by Kristen Wright, and Megan Obier dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner. After Gilstrap’s single to left field, Elliott ended the frame with back-to-back strikeouts.
In the bottom-half of the third, Rector doubled down the left field line with one out and Amy Szymanowski drew a walk to give the Spartans runners on second and third with two outs. Elliott worked out of the jam with a foul out.
Shubert would also work out of trouble in the seventh to keep the Upstate deficit at 1-0. The Gamecocks put their first two runners on base with a hit by pitch and single. Shubert compiled three of her five strikeouts after that to keep the score at 1-0 as she retired the side with three consecutive strikeouts, including two swinging.
Blue entered the game to begin the bottom of the fifth and allowed a leadoff single to Case. Following the base hit by Case, Blue retired the final nine Spartan batters to receive the save.
Upstate is off until Wednesday, April 20 when it hosts South Carolina State in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.