Valdosta Daily Times

February 23, 2014

VSU softball splits doubleheader at West Florida

Staff reports
The Valdosta Daily Times

PENSACOLA, Fla. —

The Valdosta State softball team opened up a weekend series against the Argonauts of West Florida with a split in Gulf South Conference action Saturday, falling 6-2 and winning 10-6.

In what initially appeared to be a quiet Game 1 third inning, West Florida strung together a two-out rally that plated three runs to break the scoreless tie and give the Argonauts a three-run advantage. Following the first two outs of the inning, UWF teamed up for a series of at-bats that included a walk, a single, and back-to-back doubles by Jessica Wilkinson and Elizabeth Nugent to cap off the three-run barrage.

The Blazers were unable to break through in the top half of the fourth inning, and the Argonauts expanded VSU's deficit in the bottom half thanks to a two-run home run from Jenna Belser, her first of the year. The long ball brought in Jordan Camp, who pinch ran for Lou Barnard after her leadoff single, and gave the Argonauts a 5-0 advantage after four.

An additional insurance run for West Florida in the fifth inning came in the form of a solo shot by Wilkinson.

The Blazers were held scoreless until the top of the sixth when Shelby Altman blasted a two-run shot to center field for her second of the season, which cut the deficit to 6-2 and brought in April Collins, who finished the game 2-for-2.

In Game 2, Valdosta State opened up the scoring right away in the top half of the first inning. Collins continued her .500 day with a one out single and advanced to second on a walk by Kiley Rusen. In the ensuing at-bat, Karson King walked to load the bases, and Altman followed with a comebacker that deflected off the pitcher, allowing the second baseman to make a play at first as Collins scored from third for the Blazers first run.

The Blazers teamed up for an offensive onslaught through out the rest of Game 2, scoring runs in four of the next six innings, with the biggest number coming in the top half of the final inning, as the Blazers scored four runs to break out to a 10-2 lead.

The final push for Valdosta State featured a seventh inning in which five Blazers reached safely. The big blow in the frame came from Altman, who lifted a long ball over the right center field wall with two aboard. The home run for the Blazer shortstop was her third of the day and accounted for three of the four runs scored in the half inning.

The Argonauts responded with four runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh, but the deficit proved to be too much to overcome, as the Blazers held on for the four run win.

Maci Fletcher threw a complete game for VSU.

The three-game series continues today with a rubber match scheduled for 2 p.m.