College Softball

USC Beaufort softball team ready for action in Smash Hit Classic

sports@islandpacket.comMarch 13, 2014 

The USC Beaufort softball team will play two home doubleheaders this week as they host the Smash Hit Classic through Saturday at Richard Gray Sports Complex in Hardeeville.

The Sand Sharks host St. Francis (Ind.) at 11 a.m. Thursday and Bryan (Tenn.) at 1 p.m. Saturday.

USCB, a perfect 8-0 at home, just had a seven-game winning streak broken when it lost 12-11 Saturday in the second game of a road doubleheader at Southern Wesleyan in Central. The Sand Sharks (15-3) rallied from a six-run deficit before the Warriors won in the bottom of the seventh.

Sand Sharks junior Kristy Cook (6-1) took her first loss of the season but is still the ace of the pitching staff with a 1.37 ERA and a pair of saves. Sophomore Ashlie Layman, a Thomas Heyward Academy product, is 6-0 with a 2.96 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 45 innings.

Offensively, the Sand Sharks are led by a trio of junior infielders.

Mariaha Sanborn is hitting .512 with three home runs, 17 RBIs and an OPS of 1.443 despite starting just 10 games. Taylor Triplett is hitting .433 with five home runs, 19 RBIs and a 1.236 OPS. And Maddie Byrd is hitting .438 with two home runs, 10 RBIs and a 1.439 OPS.

St. Francis is 1-5 and has been outscored 23-1 over its past three games. The Cougars are led by Erica Smith (.500, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs) and Stephanie Whitman (.500, 1 HR, 5 RBIs).

Bryan is 11-8 on the season. The Lions are riding a five-game winning streak.

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