Valdosta Daily Times

April 21, 2013

VSU softball blasts three grand slams, sweeps West Georgia

The Valdosta Daily Times

CARROLLTON — Valdosta State blasted three grand slams in the first game and followed with two more home runs in the second game as the Blazers swept West Georgia 13-2 and 10-2 Saturday afternoon.

Shelby Altman gave VSU (32-8, 17-6) in the top of the third inning as she connected on the first grand slam of the game, an opposite field shot to right that scored Hannah Strickland, April Collins and Courtney Albritton, each of whom had singled to open the inning.

Ashley Steinhilber made the Wolves pay for an error in the fourth inning as her two-out homer to center scored Collins, who had reached on the error, Morgan Johnson, who doubled with two outs and Altman, who drew a walk to load the bases.

West Georgia (14-31, 6-24) got a run back in the bottom of the inning, only to have have the Blazers answer with five in the fifth inning. Albritton provided the big hit in the Valdosta State half of the fifth inning as she hit a ball over the wall in center with Collins, Fran Johnson and Brittany Britt on base while Sarah Vaughn added a run-scoring single that plated Altman for the final VSU run of the game.

West Georgia got its final run in the bottom of the fifth when Elizabeth Burton doubled to open the frame and scored on a Haley Richards double.

Hanna Lythberg pitched all five innings of the game and allowed six hits and two runs while striking out five to improve to 10-3 on the season. Meanwhile, Katie Shultes gave up 13 hits and five walks in five innings to fall to 10-15.

Fran Johnson provided the Blazer power in the second game as she hit two home runs, her fourth and fifth of the year.

Albritton scored the first run of game two in the top of the first inning as she scored on a throwing error while Vaughn added a sacrifice fly in the frame before Johnson led off the top of the second with her first roundtripper of the game.

After Kiley Rusen singled home two runs in the top of the third inning, Johnson hit her second homer in as many at-bats as she followed with a shot over the way in left. Albritton, Morgan Johnson and Angela O'Connor added run-scoring hits in the frame to push Valdosta State's lead to 10-0.

Nicole Yancey gave West Georgia its only two runs with a home run in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Brianna Hancock struck out eight batters and gave up four hits and four walks in a complete game to up her record to 12-3. Meanwhile, Yancey surrendered 11 hits and all 10 VSU runs in 2.2 innings to fall to 0-4.

Albritton had four hits, five runs batted in and four runs scored in the two games to lead the Blazers offensively. Morgan Johnson also tallied four hits while Fran Johnson and Vaughn had three each.

Valdosta State returns to action today when it travels to Rome to face Shorter at 1 p.m.