South Carolina was able to get back in the win column on Thursday as they bested the Mercer Bears 3-1.
It took until the sixth inning for either team the score, and it was the visiting Bears who were able to strike first. Thanks to a single by Taylor Rodgers, Mercer took a 1-0 lead into the bottom half of the sixth inning. The Gamecocks, however, would not roll over and instead chose to burst for a 3-run inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Taylor Williams was hit by a pitch, allowing for Kaylea Snaer to walk on in to tie the game.
After that, Kamryn Watts reached on an error that led to the go-ahead run scoring from third. Tiara Duffy then drew a walk, showcasing patience at the plate in a tense situation, which allowed for the third run to come to pass. While South Carolina squandered the opportunity to break the game open with the bases still loaded after Duffy’s walk, Jessica Elliott was able to shut the door on any comeback attempt in the top of the seventh as she struck out the last two batters she saw.
The win boosts South Carolina’s record to 24-17 on the year.
Today’s Softball Schedule
|North Texas vs. Florida||Noon||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|LSU vs. South Carolina||Noon||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|Ole Miss vs. Missouri||1 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|Tennessee vs. Texas A&M||1 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|Auburn vs. Alabama||1 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Georgia vs. Arkansas||2 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|Kentucky vs. Mississippi State||2 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|Florida A&M vs. Florida||2:30 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
From a passing glance, the SEC softball schedule for Friday looks like it would certainly provide intrigue. Based on rankings, we have two matchups featuring Top 25 teams and, in general, nine ranked teams from the conference in action. Conference records, on the other hand, may lead you to believe that these matchups lose a little luster.
For example, we have LSU and Ole Miss facing off. The Tigers are ranked 11th and the Rebels are ranked 25th. A look at the standings, and these two appear overmatched. LSU is 8-4 in conference play thus far while Ole Miss is a paltry 3-9. The Rebels are still good, don’t let that fool you, but they’d need a herculean effort to make an ascent up the ladder. That said, they stand with lots to gain if they’re able to knock off LSU a bit this weekend and could cause disruption for a Tigers team that is three games back of Florida for the top spot in the conference.
Speaking of those Gators, they travel to Lexington for a big series against Kentucky. Again, however, there’s a wide valley separating the two in conference record. UF checks in at a hearty 13-1 but the Wildcats, on the other hand, are 5-7, giving off a six-game difference in the loss column. The same essentially stands here as it does in LSU-Ole Miss: UK could make some headway with a few wins this weekend over the vaunted Gators, who could continue to distance themselves from Texas A&M and Tennessee, each of whom are breathing down their necks.
The Aggies are also in action this weekend, as the second-place team in the conference squares off with Arkansas. The Razorbacks are 25-14 on the year but have a record of just 4-11 in conference, which ranks fourth worst among the 13 teams in the league. With a record of 2-8 in their last 10 games against conference opponents, Arkansas is in serious need of righting the ship and picking up quality wins. That opportunity stands right in front of them against the fifth-ranked Ags this weekend.
Georgia and Mississippi State square off in a Bulldog-heavy matchup as well. Despite the fact that they’re ranked 19th in the country, the ‘Dawgs have a league-worst 2-10 record in conference play so far. That said, State isn’t too far behind, checking in at 4-8 through their first 12 games of conference play. UGA could maneuver their way out of the cellar with a series win and, consequently, could send State down there depending on the rest of the results around the conference this weekend.
Interestingly enough, the tightest game of the weekend based on league standings involves ranked-vs.-non-ranked opponents. Seventh-ranked Auburn will be hosting Missouri, and the two Tigers aren’t separated by too much in the standings. Although Mizzou has played just 11 games to Auburn’s 12, they are three games back in the loss column, trailing Auburn 8-4 to 4-7. Missouri could do some significant chipping away at the standings if everything goes according to plan for them, but make no mistake, they’ll have their hands full.
The lone nonconference matchup is a major one as South Carolina goes back to work in Columbia. Coming to town? The second-ranked Florida State Seminoles. You might remember that the ‘Noles fell to the Florida Gators earlier this week, and the Gamecocks, despite being far off rom what UF is this season, will be looking to make some noise around the country in this series. We’ll see if they’re ultimately successful or not.