South Carolina Gamecocks softball drops a heartbreaker against USF, eliminated from NCAAs

For a moment, the South Carolina Gamecocks looked like the team in control. But then, in a matter of moments, it all fell apart.

South Florida scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the 7th to turn the tables and come away with an emotional 3-2 victory over the Gamecocks in the second of two elimination games in the NCAA Tournament’s Tallahassee regional.

In short, it’s the Bulls moving on to face Florida State tomorrow, and the Gamecocks staring at a long road home.

Julie Surratt was chugging along nicely, holding a 2-1 lead and needing just three outs to send her team to the third and final day of the regional. But things began to unravel, starting with a single up the middle by Courtney Goff. After Ronnie Gajownik bunted her over, Goff scored on a Lee Ann Spivey RBI single to tie things up. With Spivey advancing on the throw, Monica Santos walked, bringing up Kristen Wyckoff, whose shot to the middle of the infield scored Spivey to complete the comeback.

It erased a 2-1 Gamecocks lead that was established by a pair of home runs. Ashlyn Masters and Sarah Mooney each tacked on solo shots in the 3rd and 4th (respectively).

Carolina got to this one by beating Fordham earlier in the day, 5-4. Trailing 4-3 in the top of the 6th, Ansley Ard stepped up with Brooke Barnhill on 1st and laid down a successful sacrifice bunt–but the throw to first by Rams pitcher Patti Maloney sailed past first and all the way to the right field wall, allowing both Barnhill and Ard to score.

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