Valdosta Daily Times

March 26, 2014

Cream of the crop

Blazers’ Albritton, Hancock earn GSC weekly honors

Staff reports
The Valdosta Daily Times

— One Blazer was nearly unhittable for a week. The other hit just about everything over the fence.

As a result, Valdosta State senior pitcher Brianna Hancock and junior leadoff hitter Courtney Albritton earned both Gulf South Conference softball’s Pitcher and Player of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday.

It is the third straight season, the Blazers have swept the weekly awards. Last April, Morgan Johnson and Hanna Lythberg were honored. In 2012, Johnson and Alanna Hadley won April 3, two weeks after Hadley and Albritton were selected, and one week prior to Albritton and Hadley again winning.

Hancock hurled three complete game shutouts, throwing 15 innings and striking out 18 hitters against Miles and GSC foe Christian Brothers. She walked three and allowed three hits, holding the Golden Bears and Buccaneers to a .064 batting average.

All three of those hits came in Sunday’s series finale against the Bucs as Hancock no-hit Miles on Tuesday and repeated the feat in Saturday’s second game against Christian Brothers, her second and third career no-hitters.

Hancock, who is second in the conference with 92 strikeouts, lowered her ERA to 2.59 and has now captured the conference’s weekly honor for the second time in her career.

“She threw good, and now we just hope we can keep it rolling,” VSU coach Thomas Macera said Saturday after her second no-hitter. “She’s been working hard, and she’s a senior so she knows it’s now or never. She’s been working hard.”

And while Hancock was limiting her opponents to just three hits, Miles and Christian Brothers combined to record just three outs against Albritton, which netted her the weekly honor for the second time this year and fifth time of her career.

In 13 at-bats, the reigning GSC Player of the Year, recorded 10 hits, eight for extra bases including seven home runs. Hitting .769 on the week, Albritton’s on-base percentage was .813 and her slugging percentage was an absurd 2.462. During Saturday’s second game, Albritton hit three home runs as she went 3-for-3, part of a perfect day at the plate that included four home runs.

Hitting a home run in each of the week’s five games, Albritton has homered in six of VSU’s past seven games and now is tied for the national lead with 16 home runs on the year.

“If you throw something and it doesn’t move, I don’t care who you are, Courtney is going to hit it,” Macera said Saturday. “She is just a very special player. She doesn’t miss many.”