John Whittle | 24/7 Sports
Incoming pitcher Sage Mardjetko earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors in her home state of Illinois.
There’s a huge void on the mound that needs to be filled as Donnie Gobourne finished her one-year career with the South Carolina softball program. There are other pitchers moving on, too, and head coach Beverly Smith went and signed one of the top players in the country to take a leading role on the mound.
Sage Mardjetko, the two-time Gatorade Player of the Year for softball in her home state of Illinois, is getting set to come to Columbia with absolutely sterling numbers. In 36 games pitched as a senior this season, Mardjetko threw 143 1/3 innings and didn’t give up a single earned run.
For the second year in a row, she picked up the win in her team’s state championship game by throwing a no-hitter. This year’s was special, not only because it was the final game of her high school career, but it was a 12-inning no hitter that saw her strike out 24 hitters in the game.
In the 143 1/3 innings she pitched this season, she struck out 340 hitters and allowed only 18 hits with 18 walks. Over the course of her season, she tossed 12 no hitters, which included two perfect games.
Mardjetko is considered the No. 10 recruit nationally by Extra Inning Softball, and also hit for her Lemont High School team. Her numbers, which calculated through the quarterfinal round of the state tournament, included a .386 batting average with five home runs and a .754 slugging percentage.
According to a press release from Gatorade, Mardjetko also owns a 4.30 grade point average.
Mardjetko isn’t the only top-flight softball signee for the Gamecocks this offseason. First baseman Reganne Bennett won the Gatorade Player of the Year award in Michigan. Considered the No. 18 recruit nationally, Bennett batted .598 with 18 home runs and 20 doubles this season. She scored 60 runs and drove in 63 while posting a .664 on-base percentage and a 1.295 slugging percentage.
Bennett also featured as a right-handed pitcher and put up great numbers in the circle, too, with an 11-5 record with a 1.12 ERA. She struck out 239 in 131 2/3 innings pitched.