Saluki softball splits double-header at Gamecock Invitational

By Dillon Gilliland, Sports Reporter

In its third doubleheader of the season, the Saluki softball team split with a win against Georgetown but fell to tournament-host South Carolina.

Prior to Saturday’s split at the Gamecock Invitational in Columbia, South Carolina, the Salukis handed Mercer its first loss in the first day of the tournament.

In the first of Southern’s two games, the Salukis shut down the Georgetown Hoyas (3-6) in only five innings.


The matchup marked the first time meeting between the two programs.

The Salukis came out firing on all cylinders as sophomore infielder Maddy Vermejan walked in a six-pitch at-bat.

Vermejan scored almost instantly as sophomore catcher Katelyn Massa hit a two-run home run that gave SIU an early 2-0 lead.

After the Salukis earn two singles and a walk, Massa knocked a grand slam out of the park to put Southern up 6-0. She finished the game 2-2 with two homers, six RBI and a walk.

In the same inning, the Salukis scored two more runs when senior infielder Haley Andrus hit a two-run single. Andrus finished 2-3 with four RBI.

In the fourth, sophomore first baseman Kyleigh Decker reached second and was driven home by senior shortstop Savannah Fisher on an RBI single.

On the defensive side, senior pitcher Brianna Jones shined throughout the first four innings without allowing a run. She earned her fourth win of the season and allowed seven hits, four runs and struck out four batters.


Vermejan started the fifth off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Freshman catcher Shelby Hodo then moved Vermejan into scoring position on a single.

Then, Decker reached on an infield single that scored Vermejan and advanced Hodo to third.

Freshman outfielder Jenny Jansen — who went 3-4 with two runs scored and one RBI — then knocked Hodo in on an RBI single. Both Decker and Hodo came across to score on a two-run double from Andrus that put SIU up 13-0.

Georgetown responded with a four-run rally in the bottom of the fifth, but it was not enough as the game was called.

In the second game of the day, Southern was in search of its first-ever win over South Carolina.

SC’s sophomore second baseman Mackenzie Boesel got things going for South Carolina in the first with a solo home run for a quick 1-0 lead.

Junior outfielder Kennedy Clark followed with a solo homer of her own that extended the lead to 2-0.

The Salukis could not get anything going as they suffered three one-two-three innings and struck out 11 times with only three hits.

The Gamecocks held on to their 2-0 lead for the entire game and took home another win against SIU.

Outside of the first inning, Southern’s pitching and defense held strong.

Jones took the rubber for two innings and allowed only one hit. She struck out one batter and hit one batter with a pitch.

Freshman pitcher Megan Brown took the loss in the matchup despite going four innings of two-run softball. She allowed five hits and hit two batters with pitches.

Although they only struck out one batter, they still forced nine fly outs and eight groundouts.

Up next, the Salukis (4-3) will conclude their stay at the Gamecock Invitational tomorrow when they take on Michigan State. First pitch is scheduled for 9 a.m.

Sports reporter Dillon Gilliland can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @DillonGilliland.

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