VSU Softball Picks Up Midweek Sweep Over Georgia Southwestern

| March 30, 2016


VALDOSTA. – The Valdosta State softball team swept the Hurricanes of Georgia Southwestern (3-1, 11-3), outscoring the Lady ‘Canes 14-4 to improve to eight wins over the course of the team’s last nine games on Tuesday afternoon in non-conference play at Steel’s Diamond at Blazer Park.

The bottom three positions in the Valdosta State order in both games of the Tuesday twin bill produced eight hits and six RBI’s over the course of the day, and the group was led by Taylor Hartenbach in game two, who went 3-for-3 with two doubles, four RBI’s, and two runs scored in game two alone. Danielle Patterson pinch hit in game two in the nine hole and delivered RBI singles in both plate appearances, while Lauren Shaw went 2-for-3 on the day with three walks, and Tara McIntyre added a single of her own.

In addition, both Brandy Morgan and Kiley Rusen, the team’s top two long ball hitters, homered in game one to account for two of VSU’s three runs. The slim lead proved to be enough for starter Caitlyn Calhoun (17-4) who battled through seven Lady ‘Cane hits to allow just one run. Calhoun escaped several jams in the contest and left eight GSW baserunners stranded, thanks in large part to ten strikeouts in the contest.

The only run Georgia Southwestern could muster in game one was a homer off the bat of Haley Goodson in the fourth inning, which cut VSU’s lead to 2-1. Morgan negated the run in the sixth, however, and gave Calhoun a much-needed insurance run with her aforementioned solo blast into the tailgaters beyond the left field wall.

Game two was all Valdosta State, as the Blazers took a 5-0 lead in the first after starter Savannah Carlisle allowed four walks in the first inning before Brittany Childs came on to walk another. The five walks, combined with back-to-back singles by Hartenbach and Chelsea Canara, gave Huntyre Elling (8-4) all she would need in the abbreviated affair, which the Blazers ended with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

VSU took a 9-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth after Hartenbach doubled in Hayley Cruthers and Patterson followed with one of her two RBI’s on the day, but GSW retaliated in the top of the fifth and scored three runs when Mikela Barlow doubled in a run and came in to score on a Hayley Tierce homer to left.

The Blazer offense fired back quickly, however, after Heather Robinson drew a leadoff walk. Pinch runner Caylee Hancock moved up to second when Cruthers singled to center field, and Canara drove the walkoff winner to left in the ensuing at-bat, which landed in front of left fielder Erin Steele for a single and skipped off her glove toward the wall as both Hancock and Cruthers crossed the plate to end the game.

VSU improved to 26-8-2 on the year with the victory, while the Hurricanes evened up their season record at 22-22 overall.

Next up for the Blazers, it’s a big Gulf South Conference showdown on the road against the Mississippi College Lady Choctaws, who have won each of their last 13 contests.

The three game weekend series is scheduled for a doubleheader start on Saturday in Clinton, Miss. at 5:00 p.m. EST, and live video, statistical, and audio coverage will be available for the entirety of the series at www.vstateblazers.com.

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