#28 South Carolina Softball 2018 Preview

South Carolina Gamecocks
Overall Rank: #28
Conference Rank: #9 SEC
South Carolina Logo
South Carolina reached the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight time in 2017, but the offense could not do enough to get out of the Regionals. The Gamecocks were shutout twice by host Arizona. The key for Coach Beverly Smith and company this season will be getting more consistent production at the plate. However, there are also some holes to fill in the circle. With seven starters returning though, South Carolina should be able to do enough to make it six consecutive tournament appearances.
2017: 34-25, 8-15
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Beverly Smith
Key Departed Players:
Victoria Williams, UTL, .301 BA, 6 HR, 32 RBI
Kaylea Snaer, 1B, .268 BA, 8 HR, 24 RBI
Nickie Blue, P, 2.59 ERA, 154.0 IP, 102 SO
Jessica Wlliott, P, 2.80 ERA, 132.2 IP, 107 SO
Key Returning Players:
Mackenzie Boesel, IF, .341 BA, 10 HR, 41 RBI
Tiara Duffy, OF, .319 BA, 4 HR, 18 RBI
Krystan White, IF, .291 BA, 2 HR, 38 RBI
Alyssa VanDerveer, C, .286 BA, 8 HR, 26 RBI
Cayla Drotar, P, 3.53 ERA, 89.1 IP, 41 SO
The lineup will again build around Mackenzie Boesel. She led the team with a .341 batting average, 10 homeruns and 41 RBIs. Alyssa VanDerveer has some power in her bat as well and Krystan White drove in 38 runs. Tiara Duffy ranked second on the team with a .319 average and is the team’s biggest threat to steal a base too. South Carolina will be able to work around those proven players and build a decent lineup that can do some damage. Replacing Nickie Blue and Jessica Williott may prove to be more difficult. Those two were a productive one-two punch in the circle. Cayla Drotar did receive some experience as a freshman, making 17 starts and throwing 89.1 innings. She should be ready to be the ace of the staff, but Coach Smith did bring in some other options, including Georgia Southern transfer Dixie Raley.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament