Senior Stephanie Humphrey kept No. 13 South Carolina without a hit Monday night and the Lady Vol softball team plated two runs in the top of the eighth inning to surprise the Gamecocks, 2-0, in Columbia.
The Gamecocks run-ruled the Lady Vols, 9-1, in five innings earlier in the day.
"I thought that we played great defense and came through with several clutch hits when we needed them," Humphrey said. "I was just trying to keep the game close since I know our offense can score a lot of runs.
"I had no idea that I had thrown a no-hitter until all of my teammates mobbed me in the circle."
Having secured the 300th victory in the program's eighth-year existence and her second career no-hitter, Humphrey became the first UT pitcher to no-hit an SEC opponent. Freshman Stacey Jennings threw the program's first perfect game earlier this season against UNLV.
"Stephanie was phenomenal," UT co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "This was rewarding to her since she had lost to the Gamecocks in each of the last two years."
Humphrey also tied Jackie Beavers' record of 10 consecutive wins in the circle to raise her season record to 10-2, and 1-0 in the SEC.
The twinbill split enabled Ralph and Karen Weekly's club to enter Wednesday's 4 p.m. rubber match at 32-13 overall and 5-6 in league action and ended a seven-game drought versus USC.
South Carolina, the two-time defending SEC Eastern Division champions, dropped to 25-9 and 9-4 in SEC play.
"This just shows the resiliency of youth," Weekly said. "South Carolina really took it to us in the first game and beat us in every aspect. We had a long talk with our kids in between games, and they responded with one of our best efforts of the season. I was particularly happy with the fact that we had 11 hits in game two against very good pitching."
In the top of the eighth, freshman Kristi Durant doubled to center field to boost her hitting streak to 12 games and was replaced on second base by classmate Kim Anders. Amber Rhinehart's career-best fourth hit of the game put runners on the corners for Tennessee.
Lauren Mattox came up next and rocked a double into left centerfield to score Anders with the first run. Jennings followed with a single to left field that plated Rhinehart for a 2-0 Lady Vol lead.
In the bottom the eight, Humphrey had USC's Meghan Cornett and Ashley Smith ground out to Durant at third base. The final batter, pinch hitter Melissa Sandel, launched a shot into deep right field that Jennings had to back-track on to make a sparkling catch to end the game, triggering an out-pouring from the Lady Vol dugout.
Humphrey, who entered the game with an 8.53 earned run average in SEC games this season, almost threw a perfect game. She only allowed a leadoff walk to Amber Curtis in the fourth.
Results of Wednesday's game were not available at press time.
Humphrey no-hits No. 13 USC
Published: Thu Apr 03, 2003 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 05:00 p.m.