Big Day For Blazer Softball Ends With 8-2 Win Over Shorter

| May 6, 2016

vsu softball may

VALDOSTA – On the same day that Heather Robinson, Kiley Rusen, and Caitlyn Calhoun all earned NFCA All-South Region honors, the trio helped lead Valdosta State to a huge 8-2 victory over the Shorter Hawks in the first round of the NCAA Division II Softball South 2 Regional Tournament in Valdosta, Ga.

In Thursday’s victory, which lifted the Blazers to a 41-12-2 overall record, Valdosta State’s offense posted fourteen hits and tallied one or more runs in all but one inning.

Shorter, who fell to 30-21 and will face West Florida at 4:00 p.m. on Friday in the loser’s bracket, struck first in the contest with one first inning run. The Blazers fired right back, however, thanks toChelsea Canara, who delivered a timely two-out, two-run single in the bottom half of the frame to put VSU on top.

In the second, Savannah Thomas led off the top half with a single and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Taylor Ann Oda. Carson Carriker capitalized on the opportunity during the next at bat with an RBI single, which plated Thomas and tied the contest up at 2-2.

The Blazers didn’t allow the tie to hold for long though, as Head Coach Thomas Macera‘s group continued to fire away at Shorter starter Payton Lippert (17-12) and scored another two-out run on a base hit by Kiley Rusen that deflected off of the glove of Ericka Bynum at first base and traveled far enough away from the bag to allow Rusen to reach and Danielle Patterson to score from third base.

Seven of VSU’s eight runs came with two outs in the contest, and the additional run came on a solo blast off the bat of Robinson, who received her first career All-South Region award as a member of the esteemed First Team earlier in the day. Once the Blazers claimed the lead in the bottom of the second, Blazer starter Caitlyn Calhoun (28-5) settled in to blank the Hawks the rest of the way.

Eight of VSU’s nine hitters on the day had at least one hit, and Canara led the way with a 3-for-3 effort that included three RBI’s. Patterson also racked up three hits, while Robinson and Jaime Phillipseach added two.

VSU will square off against Rollins on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the winner’s bracket, with the winner advancing to the South 2 Region Final on Saturday. The losing team will play at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening against the survivor of the 4:00 p.m. elimination game between UWF and Shorter.

For more information on the NCAA South 2 Regional, including links for live coverage to all games and full results for each game already played, visit the Tournament Central page HERE.

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