South Carolina freshman pitcher Leah Powell hurled her fourth career complete game Friday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium as the Gamecocks defeated the Gators for the first time since 2013.
Florida managed only four hits and three walks off Powell en route to a narrow 2-1 loss. Junior right-hander Elizabeth Hightower made her 18th start this year for the Gators and gave up three singles in the top of the first, which led to South Carolina grabbing a 1-0 lead.
Florida negated South Carolina’s advantage in the bottom half of the inning when third baseman Charla Echols scored all the way from first on cleanup hitter Kendyl Lindaman’s double off the right-center-field wall.
After four scoreless frames, the Gamecocks broke the tie in the top of the sixth. Hightower allowed a leadoff double before southpaw Katie Chronister entered the circle and surrendered an RBI single up the middle to the first batter she faced.
Chronister settled in nicely and retired the next six Gamecocks, but the Gators came up short at the plate in the bottom of the seventh. Catcher Julia Cottrill poked a leadoff single up the middle and Jordan Matthews drew a pinch-hit walk to put the leading run aboard with two outs. But on a 2-2 count, left fielder Jaimie Hoover fouled out to the second baseman for the final out.
South Carolina: 2 / 6 / 0
No. 3 Florida: 1 / 4 / 0
Win: Powell (8-2)
Loss: Hightower (15-4)
Individual Stats (season totals)
Hightower: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (1.38 ERA)
Chronister: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (2.06 ERA)
- Adams: 1-3 (.411 BA)
- Lindsey: 0-2 1 BB (.347 BA)
- Echols: 0-2, 1 R (.369 BA)
- Lindaman: 1-3, 1 RBI (.321 BA)
- Cottrill: 1-2, 1 BB (.290 BA)
- Goddard: 0-2 (.191 BA)
- A. Goelz: 1-3 (.258 BA)
- Longley: 0-2, 1 HBP (.161 BA)
- Hoover: 0-3, 1 RBI (.253 BA)
Florida will look to bounce back Saturday night at 6 on ESPNU.