Great Senior Day Crowd Watches Gamecocks Drop 4-1 Decision to Auburn
Three of South Carolina’s four hits come from seniors
S.C. – Another overcapacity crowd of 921 fans packed into Beckham Field
for the final home game of 2012, trying to cheer South Carolina (23-29,
3-22 SEC) to victory on Senior Day, but Auburn (31-19, 10-15 SEC)
spoiled things with a 4-1 win on Sunday afternoon.
twice with two outs in the fourth, as Brooke Lathan started the rally
with a single. Branndi Melero came up next and drove the 1-1 pitch deep
to center that the Gamecock centerfielder leaped and touched at the top
of the wall but could not hold. However, the ball stayed in the park,
allowing Lathan to score and Melero to tally a triple. A wild pitch
moments later allowed Melero to score to make it 2-0.
added another pair of runs in the fifth. Lauren Guzman started the
inning with a double and moved to third on Amber Harrison’s single.
Elizabeth Eisterhold plated Guzman with her sacrifice fly to right
center, and Harrison, who stole second during the at bat, moved to
third on the play. Caitlin Schultze followed with a ground ball to
short that scored Harrison, giving Auburn a 4-0 advantage.
Carolina threatened to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth,
getting two base runners on errors before senior centerfielder Lauren
Lackey dropped down a bunt single to load the bases with two outs.
Junior Samie Garcia, making her first career pinch-hitting appearance
for the Gamecocks, drew a four-pitch walk to force in senior third
baseman Sam Arbaugh to make it 4-1. Auburn went to the pen for Lauren
Schmalz for the third-consecutive game, and she got out of the inning
with a fly ball.
After a spotless sixth and getting the first
two outs in the seventh, Schmalz gave up back-to-back singles to
Gamecock freshman pinch hitter Kristen Struett and Lackey. But Schmalz
closed the door with a fly to right, capping her third save of the
Auburn starter Jenee Loree (11-7) got the win, giving
up one unearned run on two hits and two walks. In 4.2 innings, she
struck out five. Gamecock senior pitcher Kierstyn White (6-9) took the
loss, allowing four earned runs on seven hits without a walk while
fanning three in 4.1 innings.
Prior to the contest, the nine
Gamecock seniors, the most in NCAA Division I this year, received
framed jerseys from the team. All nine started, including the first
starts of the year for Arbaugh, Kylie Morin and Jackie Slawson. Morin
posted a single, the first in her two-year Gamecock career. Lackey also
had two hits in her last appearance at Beckham Field. Also making its
curtain call on Sunday was the grandstand at Beckham Field. The current
stands, batting cage and press box will be removed from the site so the
new 1,350-seat facility can be built for the 2013 season on the same
site that has hosted the team since 1983.