#21 South Carolina Softball 2020 Preview

South Carolina Gamecocks
Overall Rank: #21
Conference Rank: #7 SEC
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South Carolina has reached seven straight NCAA Tournaments. There is little doubt that 2020 will make eight. Last season the Gamecocks lost their opener in the tournament to South Florida and did well to rebound from there, but ended up falling to Florida State in the Regional Finals. Coach Beverly Smith returns plenty of talent and, if this group can find an ace, could make a much deeper tournament run.
2019: 28-19, 9-14
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Beverly Smith
Key Departed Players:
Kennedy Clark, OF, .383 BA, 8 HR, 33 RBI
Dixie Raley, P, 3.63 ERA, 11-5 W/L, 124.0 IP, 101 SO
Key Returning Players:
Mackenzie Boesel, IF, .356 BA, 8 HR, 37 RBI
Jana Johns, IF, .348 BA, 15 HR, 44 RBI
Kenzi Maguire, IF, .321 BA, 5 HR, 27 RBI
Lauren Stewart, OF, .293 BA, 7 HR, 29 RBI
Cayla Drotar, P/DP, .288 BA, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 3.52 ERA, 12-9 W/L, 130.1 IP, 73 SO, 6 SV
Kelsey Oh, P, 4.79 ERA, 5-5 W/L, 62.0 IP, 63 SO
Karly Heath, P, 3.19 ERA, 8-0 W/L, 48.0 IP, 42 SO
The Gamecocks return three of their four regular pitchers from a season ago. Cayla Drotar led the way with 130.1 innings pitched, posting a 3.52 ERA and a 12-9 record. Kelsey Oh hurled 62.0 innings and started 13 contests, while Karly Heath started 11 games. Heath only pitched 48.0 innings, but she was very productive, going 8-0 with a 3.19 ERA. Having options in the circle is nice, but South Carolina will need to be more consistent. The hitting can make up for any lapses on the mound. Last season the team led the SEC in batting average, doubles, home runs per game and on-base percentage. Jana Johns and Mackenzie Boesel were the most dynamic hitters on the team. Boesel hit .356 with eight homeruns and 37 RBIs, while Johns hit .348 with 15 homeruns and 44 RBIs. With Lauren Stewart, Kenzi Maguire and Drotar also back, this lineup has proven hitters top to bottom. Kassidy Krupit, a transfer from Baylor, will add yet another quality bat to the roster after belting ten homeruns with the Lady Bears last season.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament