VALDOSTA, GA – An uncharacteristically slow offensive day for the No. 17 Valdosta StateBlazers, resulted in a 6-2 loss to ninth ranked Alabama-Huntsville in Sunday’s Gulf South Conference softball series finale at Steel’s Diamond.
The Chargers (30-6, 15-6) slugged out 10 hits and scored at least once in five of the game’s seven innings, while Valdosta State (31-12, 13-9) was unable to develop a consistent offensive attack, despite their nine hits. Squandered opportunities ruled the day for VSU, as the Blazers stranded nine base runners in the afternoon showdown.
Stolen bases for the Chargers proved to be problematic throughout the day for Valdosta State and factored into the early lead that UAH established in the opening frame. In the second at bat of the day, left fielder Macie Couey chopped a single through the right side and promptly moved up 60 feet with the Chargers’ first of five stolen bases on the day. Couey advanced to third on a single by Tyler Harrison to put herself in position to score the first run of the game on a Kaitlyn Bannister fielder’s choice to Shelby Altman at shortstop.
UAH posted two insurance runs in the third and fourth, before the Blazers were able to cut into the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Chelsea Canara led off the inning with a single to left and took second on an off-line throw from Couey back into the infield. Brittany Britt entered to pinch run and advanced to third on a passed ball before coming in to score the Blazers’ first run on a clean single through the six hole by Hannah Strickland. Fran Johnson roped a single to right center field to push Strickland into scoring position with one away, but Mallory McNeal helped extinguish the rally with a sliding grab on a shallow fly ball to center field off the bat of Kelly Gordon. The catch accounted for one of the final two outs of the inning and slammed the door on the Blazers’ most threatening inning of the game.
Valdosta State’s only other run came by way of Heather Robinson, when she blasted her seventh home run of the season into the parking lot beyond the left field wall. The long ball was the first allowed this year by UAH’s Kimberly Jack, the reigning GSC Pitcher-of-the-Week, as well as the 2013 Freshman and Pitcher-of-the-Year.
Brianna Hancock (14-5) was charged with the loss, while Emily Glover (10-2) picked up her second win of the weekend. Jack was credited with her fourth save of the season after coming on in relief with a 4-1 lead in the fifth.
The season rolls on for Valdosta State this Thursday when the Golden Rams of Albany State come to town for a 4:00 p.m. doubleheader at Steel’s Diamond. Live coverage will be available for all of the action in the form of live stats, Twitter updates, and a video webcast at www.vstateblazers.com.
Source: Valdosta State University Athletics