Tide Softball At South Carolina

The No. 4 ranked Alabama softball team (32-6, 10-4 SEC) will travel to Columbia, S.C. to continue the road portion of its Southeastern Conference schedule in a three-game series against South Carolina (15-16, 2-13 SEC). Friday will feature a doubleheader between the Crimson Tide and Gamecocks beginning at 5 p.m. EDT (4 central) and Saturday's series finale will be played at 2 p.m. EDT.

After earning three wins in as many games against No. 6 Georgia last weekend, Alabama sophomore pitcher Kelsi Dunne was named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week, USA Softball Player of the Week and SEC Player of the Week. In 13 innings pitched, she gave up one earned run, struck out 11 and allowed eight hits. She held the potent Georgia offense to a .190 average and posted a 0.54 ERA on the weekend. Dunne now has six wins against ranked opponents on the season.

Freshman Cassandra Reilly-Boccia continued to torch opposing pitchers with a two-hit, four RBI performance against Samford on Wednesday. In her last 11 at-bats Reilly-Boccia has collected seven hits, 10 RBI and one home run.

Looking at South Carolina: The Gamecocks welcomed Coastal Carolina for a non-conference matchup on Tuesday night and won the contest 10-2 in six innings. Prior to hosting the Chanticleers the Gamecocks were scheduled to take on Winthrop on April 2, but the game was canceled due to inclement weather.

South Carolina last took the field at Charlotte on April 1 and lost the game 2-0.

Their most recent series against an SEC opponent took place on March 28 and 29 in Auburn, where the Tigers won two out of three games. The Gamecocks are batting .221 on the season and holding their opponents to a .269 clip. South Carolina's pitchers combine for a 3.32 ERA and the opposition holds a 1.89 mark.

Ashton Payne and Jill Semento lead the Gamecock's at the plate. Payne shares the lead for hits on the team with 24 and paces the squad with a .304 batting average. Semento has driven in a team-high 15 RBI off 18 hits and sports a .300 average in addition to her .417 slugging percentage.

South Carolina's efforts in the circle are led by Audrey Broyles and Kierstyn White. Broyles has started 17 games and holds a 9-7 record. In 105 innings pitched Broyles has struck out 110 and given up 39 runs for a 2.47 ERA. White has a 5-1 record and three saves in 21 appearances. In 58 innings pitched White has given up 28 runs to total a 2.66 ERA. The Gamecocks return 11 letterwinners to a team that went 21-26 in 2008.

The Crimson Tide holds a 22-14 record over the Gamecocks in the 36 meetings between the two schools. In three games against South Carolina in 2008 Alabama collected three shutout wins, the last of which was played on April 20 with the Tide winning by a 6-0 score. In the last contest against USC, Charlotte Morgan batted 2-for-3 with three RBI on the strength of her 14th home run on the season.

In Bama's last outing, a non-conference matchup against instate rival Samford on Wednesday night, the Crimson Tide cruised to a five-inning, 11-1 victory. Cassandra Reilly-Boccia led Alabama's efforts at the plate hitting 2-for-2 with four RBI and Cat Dozier added a 2-for-3 performance with three RBI. Amanda Locke earned the win to improve to 7-0 on the season. Locke pitched five innings, gave up one run and struck out four in addition to turning in a 1-for-1 night at the plate with two RBI and her sixth home run of year.

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