Softball tops Elon at Diamond 9 Tournament

The Gamecocks closed the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic 3-3 after falling to Missouri, Georgia and finally Florida.

Just a few hours before being shut out by the undefeated Florida Gators 10-0, the Gamecocks pulled off a victory against Elon 7-6. The previous day, despite losing to the Georgia Bulldogs, they beat the College of Charleston 6-4. They began the tournament with a loss to Mizzou, but won against Nebraska at Omaha 3-1.

In the game against Elon, it was Emily Woodruff who led the day with her three runs. Stephanie Lewis, Cadi Oliver, Whitney Gillespie and Ella Denes all contributed with one run apiece. Freshman pitcher Kirsten Titus led the game with her pitching and kept Elon from scoring until the bottom of the third inning.

Neither team scored during inning one, but the Gamecocks took off in the top of second.

After a single from Lewis, Whitney Gillespie was able to take the first run of the game home. Emily Woodruff homered the very next pitch and took a run home along with  scoring Lewis and Cadi Oliver.

The score was 4-0 at the end of second inning and would stay that way until the bottom of the third. A single gave Elon their first run of the night. The Gamecocks took another run from Woodruff at the top of the fourth to put them ahead 5-1. Two more runs from Elon came in the bottom of the fourth bringing the score to 5-3 still with JSU in the lead.

The Gamecocks went scoreless in the top of the fifth. Another run from Elon in the bottom of the fifth closed the lead to just one run. At the top of the sixth, Denes had a homer that took Woodruff home and earned the Gamecocks two more runs. The score sat 7-4 and would until the final opportunity for Elon in the bottom of the seventh. They put a scare on the Gamecocks by coming within one run, but they couldn’t quite close it. The Gamecocks won the close match 7-6.

A few hours later, they took on their most experienced opponent yet: undefeated SEC team Florida. Neither team scored for the first two innings, but it only took three innings for Florida to rack up the 10 runs necessary to take the game and shutout the Gamecocks.

JSU moves to 5-5 on the season. They head to Louisiana to play in the Louisiana Tech Tournament that begins on Feb. 26. They begin the tournament against Grambling State, then play Lamar the same day. Feb. 27 brings Liberty then host LA Tech that evening.

The Gamecocks will play their first home match against in-state SEC opponent Alabama on March 6.

Rebakah Hawkins
Staff Reporter

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