Complete-game shutout and back-to-back homers propel Gamecocks

Complete-game shutout and back-to-back homers propel Gamecocks

From staff reports | File photo by Allen Sharpe

No. 16 South Carolina’s Kelsey Oh tossed a complete-game shutout in a 2-0 victory over No. 24 Ole Miss on Saturday at Beckham Field to open a three-game series. Oh threw a season-high nine strikeouts and allowed just three hits as the Gamecocks earned their first series-opening win of the year. 

Lauren Stewart and Alyssa Kumiyama blasted back-to-back home runs with two outs in the bottom of the second as the Gamecocks earned their second win over a ranked opponent this season. 

The shutout over an SEC opponent marked the first time since a 3-0 win over Auburn on April 23, 2017 that the Gamecocks blanked a conference opponent. 

South Carolina (23-7, 2-5 SEC) looked poised and ready for a speedy Ole Miss (21-8, 2-2) lineup that featured a hard-throwing Brittany Finney. 

The Gamecocks and Rebels traded a scoreless first before Stewart and Kumiyama’s two-out blasts in the bottom of the second gave Carolina the 2-0 lead it wouldn’t surrender. 

Oh (3-2, 1-0) was magnificent in the circle. She had four strikeouts through two innings, including three in the second inning alone, and eventually had six through the first nine outs. 

The Rebels looked to make a comeback in the sixth as a walk to start the frame followed with a stolen base put a runner on second with just one out. With South Carolina leading 2-0, Oh struck out the next two batter to end the scoring threat as Ole Miss didn’t put a runner into scoring position the final three outs. 

Stewart and Kumiyama accounted for two of the three hits on the afternoon for the Gamecocks. Mackenzie Boesel had the third. 

NOTES

The Gamecocks hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the second. This was the second time this year SC had done so and the first time since Feb. 24 against Winthrop. 

Oh tossed seven scoreless innings and a season-high nine strikeouts. The win marked South Carolina’s second shutout victory of the season and the first since Winthrop on Mar. 7. Including today, Oh has 17 strikeouts in her last two SEC games. 

Kumiyama has been on fire at the plate her last five games. She has posted a .400 batting average with six hits, three of which have been home runs. She also has an SC-best eight RBI during that stretch of games.