With a 6-3 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies, the South Carolina softball team advances to the SEC Quarterfinals to face the top seed Florida Gators in the SEC Tourament Thursday. The Gators swept the Gamecocks in the beginning of April, outscoring them 45 to 5 over a three-game series.
South Carolina has been led all season by outfielder Alaynie Page, who leads the team in batting average, home runs, runs batted in and on-base percentage. She has been able to lead in all those categories batting lead off. Against the Gators, Page struggled, going 1 for 6 and only getting on base three times all weekend. When facing the Aggies, Page was able to get on base every time she went up to bat. The Gamecocks need their catalyst to perform well when they face the Gators.
The Gamecock pitching is led by Nickie Blue. The sophomore pitcher is fourth in the SEC with a 1.70 earned run average with a 19-7 record and 152 strikeouts. She pitched all three games against the Gators when they met in April, allowing a total of 10 earned runs.
As for the Gators, their week has been headlined with six players given SEC honors. Most notably Kelsey Stewart and Lauren Haeger were awarded with SEC Player and Pitcher of the Year respectively. Kirsti Merritt, Aleshia Ocasio, Nicole DeWitt and Kathlyn Medina were all honored as well.
First pitch on Thursday is at 4 p.m. in Baton Rouge.