The South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the USF Bulls, 2-0, in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament's Tallahassee regional. Despite the low-scoring contest, the Gamecocks' defense, along with a strong pitching performance by Nickie Blue, were able to get just enough to squeeze their way to victory - the first time they have opened regionals with a win since 2013.
The Gamecocks' first run scored in the opening inning as Kennedy Clark doubled Alaynie Page home from second to make it 1-0. That was more than enough for Blue, who scattered eight hits while going the distance. While Blue failed to record a single strikeout, she produced 11 groundouts and recorded a pair of solid double plays in the 6th and 7th - both started by line outs to the mound - to take the wind out of the Bulls' sails. AAC pitcher of the year Erica Nunn took the loss in the circle as she allowed two runs (one earned) on just three while striking out five, but walked four.
South Carolina moves on to the winners' bracket game tomorrow against the winner of today's contest between the host Florida Sate Seminoles and the Florida A&M Rattlers. First pitch in Saturday's contest is set for noon ET at Joanne Graf Field on the FSU campus. USF will take on the FSU/FAMU loser in the elimination bracket after that contest.