FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (USC SID) – The South Carolina softball team (37-20) was unable to pull off the comeback magic one final time in SEC Tournament championship game, as the Gamecocks fell to top-seeded and No. 4 ranked Tennessee (44-8) 3-1 Saturday afternoon (May 13).
The Gamecocks became the lowest seed in SEC Tournament history to make the finals and also became the first double-digit seed to reach the championship game. Donnie Gobourne, Jordan Fabian, and Marissa Gonzalez were named to the SEC All-Tournament Team.
The Gamecocks jumped out to the early lead as Zoe Laneaux tripled with one out in the top of the first. Riley Blampied brought her home on a sacrifice fly to center field, giving South Carolina the advantage. The Lady Vols tied it on a couple of hits in the bottom of the inning, scoring with two outs.
Tennessee took the lead in the third with two outs, scoring twice on a two-out single after a South Carolina error extended the inning.
Carolina looked to have some magic left in the tank when Aniyah Black led off the top of the seventh with a double to the right-center gap. That is where the rally ended for the Gamecocks, as the next three batters were retired to end the game.
Karsen Ochs (7-6) took the loss, allowing two unearned runs in 1 1-3 innings. Bailey Betenbaugh started for Carolina and allowed one run in in 1 2-3 innings. Gobourne finished the game throwing the final three innings, allowing two hits, and striking out four.
The Gamecocks now await to hear their named called tomorrow during Selection Sunday on ESPN2 starting at 7 p.m.