VSU Softball Closes Season With a Pair of Losses

| May 9, 2016

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VALDOSTA – The Valdosta State softball team squandered a late lead to fall 3-2 to Rollins early in the day before suffering a 6-2 elimination game loss later in the day to West Florida on the second day of the NCAA South 2 Regional Tournament at Steel’s Diamond at Blazer Park in Valdosta, Ga.

The wins for Rollins and UWF earned both teams the right to compete in the South 2 Regional Final on Saturday, while Valdosta State saw their season come to an end.

The Blazers opened up an early lead in the first contest of the day against the Tars, scoring one first inning run on a successful squeeze bunt by Brandy Morgan. Jaime Phillips, who led off the frame with an infield single and moved to third on a Kiley Rusen single, scored on Morgan’s bunt and put the Blazers on top 1-0.

The Tars bounced back in the second to knot the game up at 1-1 after capitalizing on a pair of walks with an RBI single by Sid Masso, who joined Chelsea Reed as one of two Rollins hitters to swing for multiple hits on the day.

After an offensive drought by both teams, Valdosta State came alive and reclaimed the lead in the 6th with a timely, two-out double down the left field line that plated Rusen, who opened the frame with a walk.

Down to their final out and trailing 2-1, Rollins converted a bleak situation into a jubilant celebration in the bottom of the 7th with four straight hits for two runs and a walkoff 3-2 victory.

With the help of her offense, Niki Fogle secured the win to improve to 26-10 on the year, while Caitlyn Calhoun suffered defeat to close out her impressive senior campaign at 28-6.

In the second game of the day, Hayley Cruthers struck a screaming line drive back toward the middle in the first inning, but starting pitcher Becca Taylor saved the day for the Argonauts when she stuck her glove out and snagged the potential base hit out of the air to leave three Blazers stranded and escape the inning.

From that moment forward, the contest belonged to the Argonauts. UWF plated a pair in the first inning and never looked back, which secured Taylor her 16th win of the season and improved her overall record to 16-7.

Valdosta State closed out their 2016 campaign with a 41-14-2 record, while West Florida improved to 42-16, and Rollins upped their overall record to 38-14-1.

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