South Carolina’s 1st inning grand slam ends Utah softball’s season in 5-1 loss

May 19, 2024, 7:32 PM | Updated: Jun 11, 2024, 8:51 am

Utah Utes pitcher Mariah Lopez goes into her windup as the softball team plays Ole Miss in the NCAA...

Utah Utes pitcher Mariah Lopez goes into her windup as the softball team plays Ole Miss in the NCAA softball regional championship at Utah in Salt Lake City on Sunday, May 21, 2023. Utah won 4-1. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

DURHAM, N.C. — All it took was one swing Sunday afternoon.

With bases loaded at the top of the first inning, South Carolina’s Aniyah Black took an 0-1 pitch to deep left field and over the wall. And with the grand slam hit, South Carolina took a commanding 4-0 lead before Utah even had a chance to hit.

Utah quickly got two outs after the grand slam to end the half inning, but the damage was already done.

Despite the rough start, Utah also loaded up bases in the bottom of the inning, but Karlie Davison took a 1-0 pitch and popped it up behind the catcher, who had no trouble securing the third and final out to keep a clean slate.

It was the closest Utah got as South Carolina topped the designated home team for the elimination game in a 5-1 win. South Carolina advances to play Duke in the Durham regional final, while Utah’s season comes to an end.

After the first inning, in which South Carolina consistently found the timing of starter Sarah Ladd, Utah head coach Amy Hogue elected to put seasoned veteran Mariah Lopez in the circle for the duration of the game.
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South Carolina’s 1st inning grand slam ends Utah softball’s season in 5-1 loss