COLUMBIA, S.C. – In a Tuesday night showdown in Columbia, S.C., the Duke Blue Devils (16-11) fell in a 6-1 decision to the No. 16 South Carolina Gamecocks (25-4) at the Carolina Softball Stadium.
The contest looked to be a pitching duel after the first two frames, as both starters tossed back-to-back three up, three down innings. The Blue Devils broke through for the game’s first hit in the top of the third, as Haley Wymbs ripped a single up the middle with one out. The Gamecocks were able to halt the Blue Devils after that and then struck first in the home half of the frame, using two singles to drive home the game’s first run and take a 1-0 advantage.
South Carolina’s lead did not last long as Duke responded in the next half inning. A Raine Wilson double, Rachel Abboud single and Amelia Wiercioch hit by pitch would load the bases with one out, setting up Jill Ferraro’s RBI single to tie things up at 1-1. SC would respond with a strikeout and fly out to avoid any more damage.
Duke was able to keep things quiet for SC in the bottom of the fourth, but could not fend off the home team in the fifth, as the Gamecocks plated four runs to jump in front, 5-1. South Carolina plated one more run in the bottom of the sixth, using a single and a double with two outs to push its lead to 6-1.
Ferraro led off the Blue Devils’ final time around, putting together an impressive 14-pitch at-bat that ended in the veteran leader drawing a walk. A wild pitch would move Ferraro to second, but that would be as far as Duke would get, as the Gamecocks retired the next three batters to secure the win.
Wiercioch earned the start for Duke, going 4.0 innings and giving up one run on four hits and striking out three. She gave way to Peyton St. George (4-3) in the fifth, who went 2.0 innings and struck out three in her sixth-straight relief appearance.
Four different Blue Devils earned a hit on the night, including Abboud, who upped her career-high reached base safely streak to seven-straight games, and Wymbs, who increased hers to four-straight contests.
The Blue Devils remain on the road during the week, taking on East Carolina Wednesday, March 21 at 5 p.m. on C-USA TV. Duke will then return home to host the Louisville Cardinals in ACC play, Friday, March 23 - Sunday, March 25. All three of those contests will be live streamed on ACC Network Extra, which fans can access through WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app.
For more information on Duke softball, follow the Blue Devils on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for “DukeSoftball”. You can also find all-access coverage of all Duke athletic programs on SnapChat by searching for “dukeathletics”.
2018 Duke Softball Program Firsts...
Game: Feb. 8, 2018 vs. FAU (Game 1)
Win (Team): Feb. 8, 2018 vs. FAU (Game 1), 4-3
Win (Individual): Katherine Huey vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
At-Bat: Jameson Kavel vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Pitch: Amelia Wiercioch vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Baserunner: Jameson Kavel (Walked, 1st Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Hit: Amelia Wiercioch (Double, 1st Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Single: Rachel Abboud (3rd Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Double: Amelia Wiercioch (1st Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Walk: Jameson Kavel (1st Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Hit By Pitch: Ashleigh Rodriguez (7th Inning) vs. FAU (Game 2), Feb. 8, 2018
Run Scored: Raine Wilson (1st Inning, Amelia Wiercioch 2 RBI Double) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Run Batted In: Amelia Wiercioch (1st Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Sacrifice Hit: Jazmine Moreno (SAC Bunt, 1st Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Sacrifice Fly: Rachel Abboud (5th Inning) vs. FAU (Game 2), Feb. 8, 2018
Strikeout: Amelia Wiercioch (Strikeout Looking) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Stolen Base: Dominique Salinas (2nd Inning) vs. FAU (Game 2), Feb. 8, 2018
Complete Game: Katherine Huey vs. Michigan State, Feb. 9, 2018
Shutout: Katherine Huey vs. Michigan State, Feb. 9, 2018
Complete Game Shutout: Katherine Huey vs. Michigan State, Feb. 9, 2018
Extra Innings Game: Feb. 10, 2018 vs. Boston University (L, 7-4 )
Home Run: Katherine Huey (2-Run, 4th Inning) vs. Penn State, Feb. 16, 2018
Save: Amelia Wiercioch vs. Penn State, Feb. 16, 2018
Comeback Win: Feb. 16, 2018 vs. Penn State (Trailed 5-0 in T3, won 7-5)
Triple: Jameson Kavel (6th Inning) vs. Purdue, Feb. 16, 2018
One-Hitter: Amelia Wiercioch vs. Purdue, Feb. 16, 2018
Double Play Turned: 5-3 (Raine Wilson to Rachel Abboud) vs. Purdue, Feb. 17, 2018
Winning Streak: 5 Games (Feb. 16 vs. Penn State - Feb. 23 vs. Morgan State)
National POTW Honor: Katherine Huey (espnW), Feb. 21, 2018
Extra-Innings Win: March 2, 2018 vs. Yale (W, 4-3 )
Grand Slam: Amelia Wiercioch (4th Inning) vs. Lehigh, March 3, 2018
Run-Rule Victory: March 4, 2018 vs. Kent State (W, 8-0 )
ACC Contest: March 9, 2018 at North Carolina (L, 2-1 )
Multi-Home Run Game: Raine Wilson at North Carolina (Game 1), March 10, 2018
Midweek Contest: March 14, 2018 at Charleston (W, 5-1)
ACC Victory: March 16, 2018 vs. Boston Colllege (W, 4-3)
Four-Hit Performance: Rachel Abboud vs. Boston College, March 17, 2018 (4-for-4)
ACC Series Victory: March 16-18, 2018 vs. Boston College
ACC Series Sweep: March 16-18, 2018 vs. Boston College