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Everything you missed in Gamecock Athletics during May

<p>University of South Carolina baseball players make a toast while the alma mater plays after a loss to Texas A&amp;M on April 6, 2024. The Gamecocks are 21-10 overall on the season.</p>
University of South Carolina baseball players make a toast while the alma mater plays after a loss to Texas A&M on April 6, 2024. The Gamecocks are 21-10 overall on the season.

The school year may have come to a close for some students, but Gamecock Athletics was still in action throughout May, wrapping up its spring season in conference and national competitions. Here鈥檚 what South Carolina's spring sports teams have accomplished since the end of the academic year. 

Baseball

South Carolina鈥檚 baseball team captured one more series win against Missouri in early May before getting swept by both Georgia and Tennessee in its final two regular-season SEC series. The team finished the regular season 33-21 overall and 13-17 in the SEC

The Gamecocks headed to the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama, from May 21-26 as the No. 10 seed, as a result of their end-of-season slump. However, South Carolina's bats ignited and helped the team claim opening-round and quarterfinal victories over No. 7 seed Alabama and No. 2 seed Arkansas to move into the winner鈥檚 bracket.

The No. 11 seed LSU Tigers were the first to beat the Gamecocks, narrowly defeating them 11-10. South Carolina then had one more shot, facing No. 3 seed Kentucky in the double-elimination bracket. Its 6-5 victory over the Wildcats sent the team to the semifinals, where they had a rematch against the LSU Tigers.

South Carolina came up short again with a 12-11 loss in extra innings. Despite its conference tournament run coming to an end, the Gamecocks had reached the semifinal for the first time since 2017.

鈥淚t鈥檚 hard to believe you can have significant growth on a team this late in the season, but we did,鈥 former head baseball coach Mark Kingston said. 鈥淲e did because there were so many different challenging situations that our kids will be able to learn from.鈥  

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The Gamecocks鈥 run helped it capture the No. 2 seed in the Raleigh Regional of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. NC State, James Madison and Bryant round out the rest of the regional.

Ultimately, South Carolina went 1-2 in the regional, effectively ending its season. Following the loss, Kingston was also relieved of his duties as head coach. 

Softball

South Carolina鈥檚 softball team finished its season 34-21 overall and 8-16 in SEC play. The Gamecocks headed into the conference tournament on May 7, as the No. 11 seed. The team's campaign would come up short in a heartbreaking 3-2 walk-off loss to No. 3 seed Texas A&M in the quarterfinals. 

鈥淚 guess this is what the SEC tournament looks like. It was a heartbreaker,鈥 head softball coach Beverly Smith said. 鈥淚 thought we had an outstanding performance from Sage Mardjetko on the mound, a career-high in strikeouts against a really tough A&M offense.鈥

The Gamecocks went home and waited to hear its name called for its placement in the NCAA tournament. The Gamecocks found themselves as the No. 2 seed in the Durham Regional, which included Duke, Utah and Morgan State. 

Despite two victories over Utah, South Carolina fell to the regional's host, Duke, twice, eliminating it from the postseason and ending its 2024 campaign. 

Women鈥檚 golf

Despite a quarterfinal loss to LSU in the SEC Conference Championship in April, the Gamecock women鈥檚 golf team was awarded its fourth-straight No. 1 seed in its 25th consecutive NCAA Regional selection. 

South Carolina headed to the 12-team Auburn Regional from May 6-8, led by head women's golf coach Kalen Anderson, who was recently named SEC Coach of the Year. The Gamecocks tied-fourth place finish was enough to clinch its spot in the NCAA Division I Women鈥檚 Golf Championship for the fourth consecutive year

Junior All-American Louise Rydqvist sunk the clinching par putt to not only send the Gamecocks to the NCAA finals, but finish tied for second place individually. 

鈥淲eek after week after week [Rydqvist] carries us on her shoulders,鈥 Anderson said. 鈥淭he performance she had here was unbelievable. She is just so steady and so consistent 鈥 consistency is what this game is all about.鈥 

South Carolina received the No. 3 rank heading to the championship in Carlsbad, CA from May 17-22. 

The Gamecocks were unable to break the top-15 cut to advance to the medal round and settled for 23rd at 40-over par for the tournament. Despite a slip in the rankings, Rydqvist became South Carolina's eighth player all-time to be named a WGCA First Team All-American , while junior Hannah Darling earned an Honorable Mention. 

Track and field

The Gamecock men's and women鈥檚 track and field teams competed in the SEC Championship in Gainesville, Florida, from May 9-11 and shattered multiple records. 

Both teams finished 10th, the men鈥檚 highest placement since 2019 and the women鈥檚 since 2021. In total, eight Gamecocks were awarded Second Team All-SEC honors as they turned their sights to the NCAA East Regional that took place May 22-25 in Lexington, Kentucky. 

The Gamecock women set the tone early sending eight competitors to the line and advancing eight to the next round in the NCAA National Championship in Eugene, Oregon. The men additionally advanced three more to the championships on their first day of competition. 

On the final day of the regional, the Gamecocks qualified for a total of 13 combined events and recorded 24 qualifying times between the two teams. The women led the way, qualifying for seven events.

Tennis

South Carolina women鈥檚 and men鈥檚 tennis opened up May with their NCAA Tournaments ranked No. 16 and No. 19, respectively. Both teams drew Old Dominion as their opening round opponent. While the men advanced to the second round with a win, the women lost a heartbreaker to the Monarchs and were eliminated. 

The men then knocked off No. 14 NC State in the second round, which came down to a deciding match for the doubles duo of freshman Jelani Sarr and sophomore Lucas Andrade da Silva. The underclassman pair rallied to send their team to the Super Regionals, where the Gamecocks ultimately fell to No. 2 Virginia.


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