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Gamecocks' Postseason Run Cut Short By Florida State

South Carolina's Softball team saw their season come to end on Sunday afternoon, dropping their Regional Final to the Florida State Seminoles.
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South Carolina's Softball team had a tremendous bounce-back season in 2023, accomplishing a slew of feats after accumulating a losing record in 2022 that led to questions surrounding the long-term outlook of the program. Transfer pitcher Donnie Gobourne became one of the best pitchers in College Softball, the Gamecocks nearly became the lowest-seeded team to ever win the SEC Softball Tournament Title and they took one of the highest national seeds in the NCAA Softball Regionals, No. 3 Florida State, to the brink of elimination.

Unfortunately, South Carolina didn't have enough left in the tank in a winner-take-all game seven in the Tallahasee regional on Sunday afternoon, as they dropped the game to the Florida State Seminoles 1-0. The game came down to two different facets; one bang-bang error made in the field by the Gamecocks and the shutdown stuff possessed by Florida State starter Kathryn Sandercock.

To start with the error, Gamecock starter Bailey Betenbaugh had managed to maneuver her way past some traffic on the basepads in the second inning, but wasn't so lucky in the bottom of the third inning. After giving up a single, with the runner subsequently advanced on a fielders choice, Seminole outfielder Jahni Kerr would hit a slow tapper in which Betenbaugh had to run in order to field the ball, and then attempted to make a tough throw to first base. The throw wound up rapidly dissipating for first baseman Jordan Fabian, as the ball went past the infield and lead to Josie Muffley easily scoring to give Florida State a 1-0 lead that they wouldn't give up.

South Carolina's batting lineup ran into a buzzsaw in Seminole starter Kathryn Sandercock, whose changeup kept the Gamecock batters off-balance all game long and lead to her first career perfect game and Florida State's first perfect game in postseason history. Donnie Gobourne and other key pieces will be moving on this offseason, making the next seven months a pivotal stretch in terms of development in Beverly Smith's program.

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