COLUMBIA, SC — There are moments when we know someone was there for us. That moment happened for USC senior Krystan White. Her walk-off home run sends South Carolina into their NCAA softball regional final.
After losing to Liberty this afternoon South Carolina's season came down to an elimination game against Hofstra on Saturday night.
The Gamecocks trying to keep their season alive and not lose as the top seeded host of a Regional.
Hartsville's Cayla Drotar hit a two-run home run in the first inning. She hit her 9th long ball off of Sophia Dandola who is coming off of a perfect game.
But Nikki Michalowski of Hofstra would also homer. This was the second deep ball for Hofstra and this one made it a 3-2 game in the top of the 5th.
Then Sarah Edwards comes back for the visitors with a huge hit. It's a double to left field and that can't be fielded by USC's Kennedy Clark. So Hofstra get two runs and now has a 4-3 lead in the top of the 6th.
Last chance for USC in the bottom of the 7th on Malcolm X's birthday. They had to win by any means necessary.
Krystan White at the plate with two outs facing Sarah Cornell who had 10 strikeouts in this game. But "Whitey" as Krystan's teammates call her is clutch.
Krystan swings and she calls it. Her swing sends the ball deep to left field. She pointed in that direction right after making contact and it goes over fence for the walk-off game winner.
If you remember Krystan did this in March against Texas in almost the same spot. I did a feature on her this week as she is playing to honor the memory of her father Buck who passed away before the season started.
South Carolina survives as they win it 5-4 and will move on to the Region Final. This team is #BuckStrong.
"Before that at bat I was just going to take it one pitch at a time. Jana (Johns) getting on was huge for us there and just trying to get on anyway possible and luckily one swing did that there for me and I know Daddy was there with me in that moment," Krystan said.
"We've won a lot of games late and I think that's given us a lot of our confidence this season but yeah we never feel like we're out of a game," USC head coach Beverly Smith said. "I would prefer we would get those kind of hits when we've had runners on. But today we had a ton of runners on. I think left 10 in the game and we were really needed a clutch hit. We needed someone to step up today and thankfully it happened to be Whitey in the bottom of the seventh but we'll take it. "
South Carolina will need to more wins to advance to the Super Regional. Liberty is undefeated in this double elimination regional. USC and Liberty will play 4 pm on Sunday at Beckham Field.