Mackenzie Boesel, Cayla Drotar, Kenzi Maguire and Lauren Stewart have all chosen to return to the South Carolina softball program, the team has announced. Seniors this past season, the four were all given the opportunity to return for another season when, on March 30, the NCAA voted to grant another year of eligibility to spring sport athletes whose seasons were cut short because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The four have been an essential part of South Carolina’s success over the past four seasons. Boesel (.349 BA, 205 starts in 205 games, 52 doubles, 28 home runs) and Maguire (.308 BA, 189 starts in 193 games, 123 runs, 36 doubles, .954 fielding percentage) have started at second base and shortstop, respectively, since they stepped on campus, and have been a potent 1-2 punch at the top of the Gamecock lineup. Drotar has been a steady presence in the circle (41-21, 2.72 ERA) and at the plate (.268 BA, 21 home runs, 21 doubles, 86 RBI, .507 slugging). Stewart (.291 BA, 74 runs, 11 doubles) has been stellar in centerfield (.980 fielding percentage).
With the four choosing to return, South Carolina will bring back 85 percent of its 2020 runs scored, 86 percent of its hits, 83 percent of its doubles, 85 percent of its home runs and 87 percent of its RBI.
Nine of South Carolina’s top 10 individual batting averages from the 2020 season will return for 2021, while seven of the eight (excluding pitchers) starters will be back as well. Including the DP position, nine routine starters will be back. The Gamecocks are also set to bring back the players responsible for 20 of the team’s 22 stolen bases.
In the circle, South Carolina will bring back 12 of its 17 wins from 2020 (71 percent) and its lone SEC winner last season, Karsen Ochs.