Valdosta Daily Times

Blazers Blog

February 19, 2014

Macera wins 400th game as Valdosta State sweeps GSW

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State’s Thomas Macera reached a career milestone on Tuesday with his 400th win as the Blazer softball head coach, following a 4-0, 11-1 doubleheader sweep of the Georgia Southwestern Hurricanes at Steel’s Diamond at Blazer Park.

The accomplishment is one that has been reached just four other times in Gulf South Conference history, as Valdosta State’s all-time wins leader joins Alabama-Huntsville's Les Stuedeman, West Florida's Tami Cyr, Alvy Early of former GSC member Arkansas-Monticello, and former West Alabama coach Janet Montgomery in GSC 400-win club.

On the all-time wins list among GSC coaches, Macera now trails Montgomery by just 13 wins, while Early stands at 558. Stuedeman and Cyr have eclipsed the 800 mark with 852 and 854, respectively.

“The Gulf South Conference is a really really tough conference and I’m thankful to be able to win that many games here,” said Macera. “This accomplishment isn’t really about me though. It’s a testament to how good the teams have been that have played here and how consistent they've been.”

The scoring began in the second inning of Game 1, when Hannah Strickland ripped a double off of the wall in the gap with one away. Heather Robinson, a former Lowndes standout, took full advantage of the opportunity in the ensuing at bat with a long, high drive to left field that cleared the wall and gave the Blazers a 2-0 lead. The home run was Robinson’s first of the year.

In the Blazers’ half of the fourth inning, Valdosta State added an insurance run when Shelby Altman, who opened up the frame with a leadoff single, advanced to second on a Strickland sacrifice bunt and came around to score when GSW shortstop Keri Tompkins booted a Robinson ground ball.

Altman scored the fourth and final run in the sixth inning in a single at bat due to a four base error by third baseman Jordan Miller. On the attempt to field a ground ball and throw Altman out at first base, Miller’s throw overshot the first baseman and rolled all the way into the right field corner, which allowed Altman to make the full trip around the bases to put the Blazers up 4-0.

Brianna Hancock delivered a gem from the circle, as the Blazer hurler never allowed the Hurricanes to score and only gave up one hit throughout the seven inning shutout. Her final line included seven strikeouts and no walks, and the victory improved her record to 6-2 on the year.

“We’ve been working on not giving up walks and homers,” said Macera. “They don’t have to shut these teams out every night. We just want them to keep us in the game, and both (Brianna) and Maci (Fletcher) did a great job with that today.”

In Game 2, the Blazers scored in every inning to claim the mercy rule win.

The offensive barrage from Valdosta State included 11 Blazer hits, multiple hits from both Karson King and Altman, and a 2-for-3 effort by Fran Johnson. Johnson's strong performance at the plate included a screaming shot over the center field wall in the third inning, which accounted for two of her four RBI’s in the contest.

Fletcher picked up the win for Valdosta State for her first career victory to improve her record to 1-0 on the year. Fletcher allowed just one run on five hits and struck out one while allowing just one walk.

Next up for the Blazers is a trip to Pensacola, Fla., to take on the GSC rival West Florida Argonauts. The three-game weekend series is scheduled to kick off with a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, followed by Game 3 on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Text Only
Blazers Blog
  • Blazers to play three games on GSC-TV

    Valdosta State will play three televised games this fall, the Gulf South Conference announced Wednesday as it released its GSC-TV schedule.

    July 31, 2014

  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • Bubba Walker promoted to defensive coordinator

    Valdosta State Linebacker Coach Bubba Walker has been promoted to fill the open posiiton of defensive coordinator for the Blazer football team according to an announcement made by VSU Head Coach David Dean Thursday.

    July 18, 2014

  • Albritton wins NCAA Elite 89

    Courtney Albritton's tremendous 2013-2014 season earned her one more award Thursday night when the Valdosta State softball star won the NCAA's Favorite Elite 89 Winner contest by securing the more votes than any other student-athlete.

    July 17, 2014

  • Justin Roper named Valdosta State quarterbacks coach

    Valdosta State’s hirin of Justin Roper as quarterbacks coach, previously reported by The Times, was officially announced by the school and Blazer head football coach David Dean on Wednesday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Albritton.JPG VSU’s Albritton advances to finals of Elite 89 contest

    Another round, another first-place finish for Valdosta State’s Courtney Albritton.
    Albritton, the Blazers’ junior softball standout, was the leading vote-getter in the semifinal round of the NCAA’s Favorite Elite 89 winner contest with 1,483 votes in the two-day semifinal round that included 30 athletes. In the week-long first round, Albritton racked up 1,971 votes to lead the 89-person field.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Albritton in first place after opening round of Elite 89 voting

    July 14, 2014

  • Justin_Roper.JPG Roper to coach Blazers’ QBs

    Valdosta State has added an assistant coach to its staff, but it isn’t to fill Seth Wallace’s role.
    Former Oregon quarterback and University of Findlay running backs coach Justin Roper has been hired as the Blazers’ quarterbacks coach.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Div II Championship F_Rodg(11).jpg Beyond Sports Network releases 2014 preseason All-GSC football team

    Football season is right around the corner; exactly 57 days from now Valdosta State set to open its season at home against Albany State, but fans were able to satisfy his or her football withdraws on Tuesday when Beyond Sports Network released its Gulf South Conference preseason All-Conference team.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

Local Sports
Choose your subscription: