Krystal Puga tallied her third multi-hit game of the weekend for the Red Storm going 2-fof-4 with a run scored
Feb. 11, 2018
MIAMI - Playing its fifth game in just three days, the St. John’s softball team fell, 6-3, to South Carolina on Sunday morning to close the Felsberg Invitational in Miami.
The Red Storm (2-3) was able to cut a six-run deficit in half in the sixth, but were unable to complete the comeback as the Gamecocks (4-1) escaped with a win.
Madison Morris earned her third start of the weekend from the circle but surrendered just two earned runs on the day after allowing only three hits and striking out a trio of hitters.
Krystal Puga tallied her third multi-hit game of the weekend for the Red Storm going 2-fof-4 with a run scored. In addition, Kaitlin Mattera, Gretchen Bowie, and Marissa Rizzi each drove in a run on the day.
South Carolina put together the opening threat in the bottom half of the first, placing a runner in scoring position with two outs; however, Morris was able to get her first of her three whiffs during the tilt to strand the threat at second.
In the second, the Gamecocks broke the deadlock with a two-run homerun in the frame, as Krystan White reached on an error before a two-run shot by Cayla Drotar put South Carolina in front.
St. John’s put together a threat in the next half inning, as Rizzi walked to open the frame. After a fielder’s choice by Hannah Anderson retired Rizzi at second, Lauren Zick sent a hot-shot up the third-base line for a single to move Anderson to third with two away. On the next pitch, Zick swiped second to put a pair in scoring position, but the Johnnies were unable to convert; however, as a groundout to first ended the threat.
Leading 2-0 entering the bottom of the fourth, the Gamecocks added to their lead. Following a hit batsman to lead off the inning, Drotar ripped a double into right field to bring home her third RBI of the morning, and extended the South Carolina lead to 3-0.
Trying to answer immediately, the Johnnies looked to get something going in the fifth as Rizzi reached on an error with one out, and advanced to second on a wild pitch just two batters later. Rizzi was stranded at second, however, following a strikeout.
St. John’s turned to McKenzie Murray in the circle as the game moved into the bottom of the fifth, but the Gamecocks put together their biggest inning of the game. After another hit batsman led off the frame, Mackenzie Boesel roped a RBI two bagger for the fourth run of the game. A pair of fielder’s choices brought Boesl home before a White triple plated a sixth run for South Carolina.
Facing their largest deficit on the early season, the Johnnies began to claw back in the sixth. Puga found a hole through the right side for a one-out single and Christina Melendez was struck by a pitch to put runners on first and second with just one away.
Following a pop out to short, Mattera got the Red Storm on the board with a RBI single to left field, advancing to second on the throw, and placing a pair in scoring position. Bowie then stepped to the plate and followed suit with another RBI hit to left, plating Mattera. The hit parade continued as Rizzi singled down the right-field line to score Mattera, and moved Rizzi to third to bring the score to 6-3 Gamecocks. Unfortunately, the rally came to an end with a groundout.
Cutting the defecit in half, Murray worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth to send the Johnnies back to the plate with momentum. Puga reached on a two-out single through the left side, but that was all the Red Storm was able to muster as South Carolina held on for the victory.
St. John’s will enjoy a week off before returning back on the road for the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. on Feb. 23-25.