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 at 1 PM.
About USSSA Florida Pride:
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!