Blazer Softball Wins One and Ties One Against Lee

| March 28, 2016

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VALDOSTA – The Valdosta State softball team played through adverse weather conditions to pick up an 8-0 Gulf South Conference win over Lee before game two ended in a 7-7 tie in the seventh inning.

The day’s results moved Valdosta State to 24-8-2 on the year and 12-7-1 in GSC play, while the Flames dropped to 12-21-1 on the season and 2-17-1 in league action.

Valdosta State controlled game one from the outset, as Hayley Cruthers drove in the game’s first run with a two-out single through the right side in the bottom of the first inning. The base hit plated Jaime Phillips, who led off with a base hit and moved into scoring position on a grounder to first off the bat of Kiley Rusen.

VSU added another in the second, thanks to a leadoff home run by Brandy Morgan. The tape measure shot to left field by the sophomore marked her eighth of the year and represented her first of three RBI’s in the contest.

Working with a 2-0 lead in the third, Blazer starter Caitlyn Calhoun (16-4) recorded her third consecutive scoreless frame to set the stage for an offensive explosion by VSU in the bottom half of the inning. Rusen led the frame off with a single to right, and Cruthers followed with a walk. Chelsea Canara slapped an RBI single to left in the ensuing at bat, and both Canara and Cruthers moved into scoring position on Rachel Polacek’s attempt to throw pinch runner Kaylee Brown out at the plate. Morgan drove in the pair of base runners with a screamer off the center field wall, and she came in to score one batter later on a Taylor Hartenbach single to right, which put VSU in front 7-0.

Needing just one additional run to invoke the mercy rule, Heather Robinson answered the call with a 2-out blast to center field in the fourth. Calhoun slammed the door in the top of the fifth to record her 11th shutout of the season.

In game two, the Blazers and the Flames traded runs throughout, with Valdosta State playing from behind during most of the contest.

The Flames took an early 2-0 lead in the first before the Blazers tied the game up with a two out, two run double by Canara. The Flames then moved ahead 5-2 with runs in both the second and third inning, but the Blazers fired back again and tied the contest up when Hartenbach scored from third on Emily Dagnan’s attempt to throw Tara McIntyre out at second base on a stolen base attempt with runners at the corners.

With the score knotted up at 5-5, Hallie Davis connected in the fifth for a long two-run shot to left, but Phillips answered one inning later with a towering two-run drive over the left field wall and into the parking lot. The homer proved to be a critical one and prevented a loss for VSU, as the rains came moments later and forced a cancellation with the score locked up at 7-7.

Head Coach Thomas Macera entered the weekend with no ties over the course of his 11-year career at Valdosta State. This season, the Blazers have seen two games end in ties due to poor weather conditions.

The Blazers will continue their 2016 season on Tuesday with a midweek, non-conference doubleheader against the Georgia Southwestern Bobcats. First pitch for game one is slated for 4:00 p.m., and live coverage will be available at www.vstateblazers.com.

VStateBlazers.com

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