VALDOSTA, GA – As the Valdosta Softball team prepares for their third straight appearance in the NCAA South Super Regional Tournament, three Blazers received All-South Region honors on Monday. Additionally, Courtney Albritton was named the Daktronics South Region Player-of-the-Year for the second consecutive season.
Joining Albritton as an All-South Region First Team selection is Blazer shortstop Shelby Altman, who has lifted her batting average up over .400 in recent weeks to .404 and was named the Most Outstanding Player in the Gulf South Conference Tournament two weekends ago in Cullman, Ala..
Altman’s .579 performance at the plate during the tournament played a huge role in Valdosta State’s acquisition of their sixth straight GSC Championship. Her offensive efforts were equally matched on defense as the senior made several key defensive plays including a game winning double play against Alabama-Huntsville that sent the Blazers to the championship game. The Alma, Ga. native’s season stats have placed her among the top hitters in the GSC in hits, runs scored, runs batted in, home runs, and total bases.
Rounding out Monday’s awards for Valdosta State was a Second Team All-GSC honor for senior pitcher Brianna Hancock. Hancock has only gotten better as the season has progressed, and her stellar efforts from the circle in recent weeks were capped off on Sunday with one of her most impressive outings of the 2014 season, a 1-0 shutout against the nation’s fifth ranked Tampa Spartans. She recently increased her 2014 strikeout total to a league leading 191, and her 2.76 ERA ranks her among the top five in the Gulf South Conference.
The South Region Player-of-the-Year award came for Albritton in recognition of a season that has so far included a VSU record-tying 25 home runs, an eye-popping batting average of .443, and a GSC best 76 runs scored. She currently ranks as the second best home run hitter in all of Division II, and her runs per game total places her fourth among all Division II softball student-athletes.
The Blazers head to Huntsville, Ala. this weekend for a best-of-three set this weekend against the Chargers of Alabama-Huntsville, with the first game slated for a 6:30 p.m. EST start on Friday, May 16.