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    SEC In The NCAA Tournament: May 17

    FRIDAY ncaa Softball RESULTS
    South Carolina 6, Houston 4
    Georgia 9, San Diego State 3
    Florida State 5, Mississippi State 2
    Arkansas 5, Fordham 1
    Florida 7, Hampton 1
    Tennessee 9, Longwood 0
    Missouri 3, Stony Brook 0
    Central Connecticut at LSU
    Alabama 4, Jacksonville State 0
    Kentucky 2, Marshall 1
    Texas A&M 12, Penn 0


    Career Day for Ashlyn Masters Leads Gamecocks to 6-4 Win over Houston
            
    AUSTIN, Texas – Junior designated player Ashlyn Masters drove in all six Gamecock runs, including coming through in the seventh, as South Carolina (33-23) downed Houston (40-19) in the first game of the Austin Regional in the 2013 NCAA Tournament at Red & Charlene McCombs Field.

    Masters came up with runners at second and third in the seventh and chopped a double down the left-field line, allowing both runners to score and regaining the lead for South Carolina at 6-4. That drove in junior second baseman Dana Hathorn and sophomore centerfielder Kristen Struett after the duo got a hit and a walk, respectively, to start the frame. They both moved into scoring position on junior right fielder Chelsea Hawkins’ grounder to third, setting up Masters’ second big hit of the day.

    Masters gave the Gamecocks their first lead in the third with her first grand slam. With an 0-2 count, Masters drove one over the wall in left for her fourth homer of the year to hand the Gamecocks a 4-1 lead. That plated Hathorn and Struett after singles as well as Hawkins after she drew a walk. Hawkins fouled off seven straight balls in a 1-2 count and eventually drew a walk in a 14-pitch trip, setting up the Masters blast.

    The Cougars took the initial lead in the first thanks to a Gamecock error. Kendra Cullum got a one-out single, and an error let Holly Anderson reach. A fly out to left retired Houston’s cleanup hitter for the second out. Kayla Holland poked a 3-1 pitch into shallow left center, enough to let Cullum score the unearned run.

    Houston tied things in the sixth with three runs. With two runners on and two outs, freshman Katie St. Pierre singled through the left side, scoring pinch runner Jennifer Hooker to make it a 4-2 game. After Cullum drew a walk to load the bases, Anderson hit a 1-1 pitch through the left side to plate pinch runner Taylor Duplechain and St. Pierre to tie the game at 4-4. Hathorn dove to stop the grounder by Haley Outon, and the throw to senior shortstop Samie Garcia covering second beat Anderson to end the sixth.

    Gamecock redshirt sophomore Julie Sarratt (12-7) got the hard-fought win, tossing six innings and giving up four runs, three earned, on 10 hits and two walks while fanning four. Diedre Outon (12-8) took the loss for Houston, allowing two earned runs on three hits and two walks in 4.2 innings of relief. She struck out three. South Carolina freshman Katie Marks picked up her second save of the year with a strikeout in an inning of relief.

    Masters posted her second six-RBI game of the year, posting all the extra-base hits for either team in the 2-for-4 day. Hathorn went 3-for-4 with two runs, while Struett scored twice in a 2-for-3 day. St. Pierre, Holland and Diedre Outon all had two hits. Anderson drove in two, with Holland and St. Pierre both driving in one.

    It’s the Gamecocks’ first win in NCAA Tournament play since the 2007 Columbia Regional, when the Gamecocks beat Oregon twice to claim the regional title to move into the team’s only NCAA Super Regional appearance in history.

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    Georgia Advances in Regional with 9-3 Win
     
    TEMPE, Ariz. – The University of Georgia softball team remained in the winner’s bracket of the 2013 Tempe Regional with its 9-3 win over the San Diego State Aztecs on Friday afternoon at Farrington Stadium, in Tempe, Ariz. The Bulldogs are now 39-19 on the year and will take on either Arizona State or San Jose State tomorrow afternoon at 6 p.m. ET. San Diego State falls to 35-19 on the year.
     
    In their NCAA Tournament debut, the Geri Ann Glasco and Kaylee Puailoa went a combined 6-for-8 with five RBI to lead the Bulldogs. Glasco went 4-for-4, while Puailoa had a 2-for-4 day that included a three-run home run that gave the Bulldogs an early lead.
     
    Chelsea Wilkinson got the start for the Bulldogs and allowed three runs on five hits in three innings of work. She also struck out three batters. Morgan Montemayor came in in the top of the fourth inning and threw four brilliant innings for the Bulldogs to get the win and improve to 13-6 this year. She did not allow a hit, allowed just one base runner and struck out three of the 11 batters she faced. San Diego State starter Rebecca Arbino suffered the loss to fall to 20-13 on the year. She allowed five runs on seven hits in two innings in the circle. Danielle O’Toole threw the final four innings for the Aztecs, allowing four runs, only one of which was earned, on eight hits, while striking out four.
     
    Glasco gave the Bulldogs their first base runner of the game with a two-out single through the right side in the bottom of the first. Tina Iosefa followed with a single into shallow center before Puailoa worked a 10-pitch at bat before hammering a pitch high over the wall in right center to give the Bulldogs an early 3-0 lead.
     
    Georgia added a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to take a 5-0 lead. Christine Olney and Niaja Griffin each singled and moved into scoring position with on a passed ball. With runners at second and third, Anna Swafford took advantage of an Aztec error to reach second, but was thrown out at third for the second out of the inning. During the play, Olney and Griffin came home and put the Bulldogs up 5-0.
     
    San Diego State got three runs back in the top of the third to cut the Georgia lead to 5-3. After going down in order in the first two innings, the Aztecs strung together five-straight singles to score two runs. Patrice Jackson drove in the third run of the game with a RBI fielder’s choice that made it a 5-3 game.
     
    Swafford led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a home run that extended the Georgia lead back to three runs at 6-3. The home run was just the fourth one allowed this season by SDSU reliever O’Toole, who came on at the top of the third.
     
    Georgia plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to extend its lead to 9-3. Sito and Olney led off the inning with back-to-back singles to put runners on for Katie Browne, who hit into a fielder’s choice that saw Sito thrown out at home. With runners at first and second, Griffin reached on an error by the SDSU second baseman that loaded the bases for Swafford, who recorded a sacrifice fly that made it a 7-3 game. With the bases loaded after a single by Wilson, Glasco hit a two-run single to left, her fourth hit of the game, which brought the score to 9-3.

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    Defense Dooms Dawgs In NCAA Mobile Regional Opener Vs. Florida State

    MOBILE, Ala. – Mississippi State (32-23) committed four errors and Florida State’s Lacey Waldrop struck out 10 in a complete-game effort, as the Bulldogs fell to the Seminoles (42-16) by a 5-2 margin Friday afternoon in game one of the NCAA Mobile Regional. The Maroon and White return to action Saturday at 3:30 p.m. CT, when they play the loser of host South Alabama vs. Mississippi Valley State, which takes place Friday night.

    “We have to play better defense in the postseason,” Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. “It is the first time I have seen this team tight in
    12 days.”

    Junior All-NFCA South Region pitcher Alison Owen suffered the loss for MSU, falling to 16-13 overall. The junior surrendered five runs, but only two were earned, as MSU committed a quartet of errors for only the third time in 112 games under Stuedeman. Owen struck out six and walked none, increasing her NCAA-leading strikeout-to-walk ratio (236-to-21).

    Waldrop, an All-ACC First Team member, improved to a team-best 23-8. The righty gave up two runs (both unearned) on four hits and a walk.

    Florida State scored its first two runs of the game on a zany play in the bottom of the second. With a runner on second and two outs, Celeste Gomez struck out swinging on an 0-2 count and headed toward the dugout.

    The Bulldog defense trotted off the field after the appeared third out, the ball sat idle in the circle, but the Seminole base runners kept running. With all players off the playing surface except for Morgan Bullock and Gomez, both Noles trotted all the way home, ending an inexplicable turn of events which gave FSU two unearned runs.

    The home team tacked on two more in the fourth, courtesy of a two-run home run to left field by Gomez. Florida State made it 5-0 one inning later with an RBI base knock to right by three-hole hitter Maddie O’Brien.

    Fighting for Mississippi State, the Bulldogs plated two runs on two hits in the sixth with RBI singles by junior Logan Foulks and redshirt sophomore Briana Bell. The Maroon and White had the tying run at the plate to end the sixth stanza, and the tying run on deck to end the game.

    Overall offensively for MSU, Bell went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Foulks, freshman Loryn Nichols and junior Jessica Offutt all went 1-for-3 at the dish for Stuedmean’s squad.

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    Gator Hurler Alyssa Bache Goes the Distance as Softball Tops Hampton, 7-1, to Open NCAA Play
     
    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida sophomore righty Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) worked a complete game, giving up just two Hampton (34-25) hits as the No. 2 seed Gator softball squad (53-7) downed the Lady Pirates, 7-1, to open NCAA Tournament play Friday evening in front of a crowd of 1,422 in Gainesville.
     
    In her first postseason start, Bache carried a no-hitter through four innings to improve to 9-0 on the season, adding her first postseason victory to a season resume that includes top-25 wins over Kentucky and FSU. Bache fanned four Lady Pirates and walked just one through her seventh complete-game effort of the year.
     
    The Gators advance to play game-one winner USF in tomorrow’s 1 p.m. game. Hampton and Georgia Southern will take to the field at 3:30 p.m. The losing squad in the 1 p.m. contest will face the winner of the 3:30 p.m. contest at 6 p.m. Saturday evening at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. All games in the 2013 Gainesville Regional will stream live and for free on GatorVision.tv.
     
    Florida and USF will meet for the third time this season, with UF going 2-0 against the Bulls in 2013, including a 3-1 victory in Tampa in February before a 9-1, six-inning run rule in Gainesville April 10. The Gators and Bulls are no strangers to NCAA Tournament play, as USF used a 1-0 win over UF in last year’s regional final to advance out of the Gainesville Regional and eventually on to its first-ever WCWS.
     
    Friday evening, Bache handled a career best four assists in the circle herself, while the Gators’ defense went to work behind her. UF chalked up 11 hits on the evening, with two each from freshman Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.), junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.), sophomore Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) and senior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.), Merritt with a perfect 2-for-2 performance with two runs scored.
     
    Florida added its 19th come-from-behind victory of the season after the Lady Pirates jumped out to a 1-0 lead on the Gators following an uncharacteristic UF defensive miscue in the first inning. Hampton’s Margaret Wilkins reached second on the play and was bunted to third before scoring on a Taylor McCoy groundout for the early 1-0 lead.
     
    The Orange and Blue then put up seven unanswered runs, four in the third, two in the fifth and one in the sixth to seal the opening-round victory. Haeger knocked in the game-tying run with a single up the middle before freshman Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) sent a sacrifice fly to right field for the eventual game-winning RBI. Horton then followed with a RBI single to left field and sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) smacked a RBI triple, UF’s 21st three-bagger of the season, to right field for the 4-1 lead after three frames.
     
    Bache maintained a no-hitter through four before Diamond Ponds connected for an infield single in the top of the fifth, but Florida kept Hampton off the board while adding to its tally in the bottom of the stanza thanks to two solo jacks from Horton and freshman Taylore Fuller (Trenton, Fla.). Horton stepped into double-digit homers for UF with her 10th of the season, while Fuller went yard for the third time this year in her first NCAA Tournament appearance.
     
    In the bottom of the sixth, Haeger capped off UF’s scoring by delivering a one-out single up the middle before a fly out and ground out retired UF.
     
    Hampton’s Carla Trimble beat out a two-out infield single in the top of the seventh for the Lady Pirates’ second hit of the evening, but Bache had Shine Huwe ground out to sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) at short stop for the final out of the game.
     
    Jailynn Jackson (26-12) was charged the loss in the circle for Hampton (4.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 2 K), as Florida improved to 19-6 (.760) in NCAA Regional play under head coach Tim Walton with Friday’s win, making the Orange and Blue 44-29 (.603) all-time in the NCAA Tournament.

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    TENNESSEE ADVANCES TO NCAA REGIONAL WINNER’S BRACKET

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Ivy Renfroe struck out six over five strong innings, Cheyanne Tarango had a two-RBI hit and a three-run jack and Rainey Gaffin had a two-run blast to lead No. 7 national seed Tennessee to a 9-0 win in front of a sold out crowd over Longwood in Friday's Game 2 of the Knoxville Regional.

    A limited number of single day tickets will be available at the stadium box office when gates open an hour before game one (12:30 p.m.).

    Tennessee was led by Renfroe in the circle, who allowed just two hits in the shut out of Longwood, her fifth of the season.

    She was aided on the offensive front thanks to a 2-for-3 effort by Tarango, who knocked in five runs on the day, and Gaffin who also tallied two hits on the day, one that went out of the park.

    The Lady Vols started things off by putting together a four-run bottom of the third inning beginning with a walk to Kat Dotson and Lauren Gibson's second intentional walk of the game. A ground out to third by Madison Shipman advanced the runners up a bag and they both came home on a single to right field by Tarango.

    Gaffin followed the Tarango single with a home run to dead centerfield to give Tennessee a quick 4-0 lead.

    UT followed up their four-run third with a five-run fourth inning. After the bases loaded on Gibson's third walk of the day, Shipman sent two runners home on a double to left center.

    Once again, the initial RBI hit was followed by a home run, this time Tarango blasted a three run shot that clanged off the left field pole.

    The Lady Vols sat down Longwood 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth and walked away with the run-rule victory.

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    MARSTON’S HOME RUN LIFTS NO. 6 MIZZOU PAST STONY BROOK, 3-0
                                                                                                                                                                                    
    COLUMBIA, Mo. – Senior Jenna Marston (St. Louis, Mo.) hit a three-run home run to lead the sixth-seeded Mizzou softball team over Stony Brook, 3-0, Friday in the second game of the Columbia Regional. Marston’s bomb was her first since early in the 2011 season. Senior Nicole Hudson (Webb City, Mo.) pitched her second complete game shutout of the year to earn the win in the circle. She improved to 11-5 on the season after allowing just two hits to the Seawolves.
     
    The Tigers (36-11) continue in the 2013 NCAA Division I Softball Championship with Hofstra (44-11) on Saturday, May 18, at Noon CDT, while the Seawolves (35-24) take on Oregon State (33-23) at 2:30 p.m. CDT.

    Stony Brook threatened first in the top of the second inning when the Seawolves put runners on the corners with two outs. The Tigers thwarted the opportunity when SBU catcher Nicole Schieferstein grounded out to Hudson to end the inning.

    With one out in the bottom of the third, freshman 2B Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.) singled to right field and Marston notched a walk to put runners on first and second base. Mizzou was unable to capitalize with consecutive popouts from Hudson and sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo (Poway, Calif.).

    Mizzou finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth with walks and Marston’s timely hitting. Senior catcher Rachel Hay (Kansas City, Mo.) led off the inning with a walk. Redshirt freshman Taylor Gadbois (Maryville, Mo.) pinch ran for Hay and promptly stole second. Crane walked with one out, setting the stage for Marston’s three-run home run.

    Hudson worked around singles in the sixth and the seventh to clinch the win for the Tigers.

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    Alabama Beats Jacksonville State, 4-0

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala.  – Following a weather delay of more than two hours, the Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Jacksonville State Gamecocks 4-0, to close day one of the 2013 NCAA Softball Tuscaloosa Regional being held at Rhoads Stadium this week.

    The Tide picked up two runs each in the third and fifth innings. In the third, junior Ryan Iamurri and senior Kayla Braud crossed home plate on a Molly Fichtner single. In the fifth, Alabama used the long ball to plate its runs with junior Kaila Hunt and sophomore Jadyn Spencer both sending the ball over the fence with back-to-back home runs. Sophomore Leslie Jury picked up the win for Alabama, pushing her record to 17-7 on the season, while junior Tiffany Harbin took the loss for JSU, falling to 17-14.

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    Aggies Reach 40-Win Mark with 12-0 Run-Rule of Penn

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Marking the eighth 40-win season under Head Coach Jo Evans, the 16th-seeded Texas A&M softball team (40-15) stretched to a 12-0 five-inning run-rule of Penn (30-19), Friday in the first round of the NCAA College Station Regional at the Aggie Softball Complex.
    The Aggies will face former Big 12 rival Baylor tomorrow at 2 p.m. CDT on ESPN. The winner of that game will advance to Sunday’s Championship Series. The Lady Bears also had a shutout win in day one of the NCAA Tournament, topping Arizona 7-0.

    “I am very pleased with the way our ball club came out tonight,” Evans said. “I thought we had a great approach at the plate and we were disciplined. We were aggressive when we got strikes in the zone and took advantage of the mistakes that their pitchers made up in the zone. I like our attitude coming into it - we’re on a mission. We’re working hard to where we want to be and we understand that we only get where we want to be if we can take care of business against Penn.”

    Senior Meagan May earned her third spot at the top of A&M all-time record lists, tying Aggie All-American Megan Gibson’s career RBI record at 183. May also owns the career home run record, which she stretched to 65 tonight, and the single-season home run record of 24 that she set as a freshman in 2010.

    A&M put up five runs in each of the first two innings for a 10-0 lead that Penn couldn’t answer. Junior Amber Garza plated the first run of the day on a one-out RBI single to right-centerfield that scored junior Jenna Stark from second. Another base hit, by freshman Cali Lanphear put two on base before junior Nicole Morgan added a third-consecutive single to send Garza in for the 2-0 lead.

    With two on base and still just one out, junior Cassie Tysarczyk pounded a home run over left-centerfield for three RBI and a 5-0 Aggie lead in the first. Tysarczyk, who still has one year of eligibility left, finished her undergraduate degree a year early and received her A&M diploma along with senior Sydney Shannon, today before the game in a special presentation by A&M President R. Bowen Loftin and A&M Athletic Director Eric Hyman.

    The Quakers couldn’t stop the bleeding in the bottom of the second, as A&M’s lead grew to 10-0. Tysarczyk picked up her fourth RBI of the night when her two-out single to right field plated Lanphear, who reached on her second base hit in as many at-bats. With two aboard, senior Mel Dumezich added her second base hit of the day to send Morgan and Tysarczyk home for the 8-0 lead. May’s two-run home run in the next at-bat pushed Dumezich across the plate for the Aggies’ ninth and 10th runs of the night.

    A single run in the bottom of the third stretched the lead to 11-0 when Morgan pounded a base hit to left field and scored junior Emily Albus, who reached on a walk, from second.

    A&M pinch hitters had successful outings in the top of the fourth. Junior Kaydee Rayburn reached on a single to left and Shannon hit a laser down the left-field line behind her, and freshman Breanna Dozier battled to draw a walk.

    Sophomore Lauren Ainsley entered to pitch in the top of the third, and had to go into the nine-hole in the lineup, despite only having one career at-bat. With Rayburn and Shannon on base, the hurler hit a ball on the screws that flew through the left side and scored Rayburn for the 12-0 lead.

    In 2012, Ainsley borrowed a bat and helmet against Iowa State when the Aggies ran out of substitutions and she was forced to hit with bases loaded.
    The then-freshman took advantage of the situation against the Cyclones and slugged a grand slam.

    Penn got just one runner on base on the night when shortstop Stephanie Caso doubled down the left-field line in the top of the third.

    Aggie hurlers Dumezich and Ainsley combined for a near-perfect game with the one-hitter, allowing just one runner on base through five complete frames. Ainsley (13-7) took the win after throwing three innings of relief, allowing one hit and striking out five. Quaker starter Alexis Borden (17-11) suffered the loss, allowing 10 earned runs on nine hits and two walks while fanning three in 1 2/3 innings in the circle.