Townsend Sets Record In Track - Softball Advances!

<IMG SRC= ALIGN=RIGHT HEIGHT=44 WIDTH=100>Tucson, Ariz. - Senior Jodi Fittro's two-run home run in the fourth inning proved to be the winning difference for South Carolina as the Gamecocks defeated Cal State Northridge (27-23) 5-3 in an elimination game of the NCAA Championship regional at Tucson, Ariz. The Gamecocks (40-19) earn their 40th win of the year ...

... marking the fifth straight year to record a 40-win season. Fittro went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI's to keep Carolina alive. Starter Melanie Henkes (18-5) went six innings as she gave up three runs on nine hits. Aleca Johnson played a critical role in the bottom of the seventh as she recorded her fourth save of the season.

With the mission of staying alive, Carolina took charge early as the Gamecocks took a 2-0 lead in the first when Debralee Troesh hit an RBI-double to score Nancy Crane and eventually scored on an error by Northridge right fielder Emilee Moores. The runs snapped a seven inning scoreless streak for the Gamecocks in the tournament.

Ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first, Northridge had a chance to score when Jan Moshier hit a single to centerfield to drive in Sondra Milchiker, but Fittro made an outstanding throw home to prevent the run from scoring.

Up 3-0 in the fourth, Fittro hit her sixth home run of the season, 38th for the Gamecocks, to add two more runs and give USC a 5-0 lead, it's largest of the tournament.

Carolina had a 5-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth before the Matadors got on the board with a solo home run by Moshier to prevent the shutout. Northridge continued to stay in the game as they scored two runs in the fifth off of a home run by Christen Bedwell. The Matadors scored all three runs off of two home runs.

Also for Carolina, Amber Curtis went 2-for-4 while designated player Kristin Hall went 2-for-3. Troesh recorded USC's only other RBI. The Gamecocks scored two runs on Northridge errors. Pitcher Kia Fennell took the loss for the Matadors and finished the season 17-12.

The win ended the season for Cal State Northridge and advanced Carolina to day three of the tournament. The Gamecocks will now face either Boston College or Minnesota on Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. (PT) in another elimination game.

Fred Townsend Sets SEC Record In Decathlon; Women Send Trio to Finals in Two Events on Day Two of SEC Championships

Women's team in fourth, men's in seventh in early stages of conference championship meet

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - South Carolina's second day of competition at the SEC Outdoor Championships was highlighted by a SEC record set by Fred Townsend and a trio of athletes advancing to the finals in both the 400m hurdles and 200m dash. After two days of competition, the women are tied for fourth with 11 points while the men are in seventh with three points.

Fred Townsend set a SEC record in the decathlon running of the 110m hurdles. Townsend ran a 14.23 in the 110m hurdles portion of the decathlon, smashing the old record of 14.45 set by Lawrence Johnson of Tennessee in 1996.

"Fred had a great run," said Carolina Head Coach Curtis Frye. "He has run faster but not during the decathlon. Even after that performance, he is in a tough fight as the field in this decathlon is the best the SEC has seen in some time. If he can finish in the top five it was be great."

In the 400m hurdles, three athletes qualified for the finals as Tiffany Ross (57.34), Shevon Stoddart (57.88) and Tawana Watkins (1:00.67) all recorded NCAA qualifying marks. Lashinda Demus missed the 400m hurdles check-in and by SEC rules, is ineligible to compete in the remainder of the meet.

In the men's 400m hurdles, Kenneth Ferguson ran the day's best time, sending him to the finals with a NCAA qualifying mark as he ran 49.81. Charles Ryan also ran a NCAA qualifying mark, running 52.69 as he finished 13th overall in the preliminaries.

Aleen Bailey (23.23) and Erica Whipple (23.43) advanced to the finals of the 200m dash as they both set NCAA qualifying marks. Bailey recorded the top time in the 200m dash for the day while Whipple's time was the best of her heat.

Boikhutso Ramomene finished ninth overall in the 800m run with a time 2:10.82, a mark that sends her to the finals on Sunday. On the men's side, Otukile Lekote qualified for the finals of the men's 800m run finishing ninth overall in the preliminaries with a time of 1:49.52.

Antoinette Wilks placed third with 5,208 points and Chelsea Hammond fourth with 5,022 points in the women's heptathlon. The duo finished 1-2 in the long jump, led by Hammond's win.

Fred Townsend finished first in the 110m hurdles race of the decathlon on his way to a sixth overall placing in the event, scoring 7,136 points. Teammates Garry Martin (10th; 6,667 pts.) and Ben Yocum (12th; 5,573 pts.) also competed in the two-day decathlon competition.

In the women's hammer throw, Keri Groover set a personal best mark of 147' 5 as she finished 25th. Her former personal best mark was 144' 9".

Day three of the four-day meet begins Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EDT at the University of Tennessee's Tom Black Track. Live results can be found at

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