Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 20, 2014

VSU begins national championship hunt against Wayne State

For the second time this postseason, Valdosta State will face a pitching staff that has been nearly unhittable.

The Blazers became the first team to have success against Tampa in the South 2 Regional, and now hope to repeat that Thursday when they open the NCAA Division II national championship tournament.

The first possible roadblock on the Blazers’ path to a second national championship in three years is Wayne (Mich.) State at 5 p.m. Thursday at the James A Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Va.

This is Valdosta State’s third straight appearance at the national tournament with Blazers following up the 2012 crown with an early exit (0-2) last season in Salem.

The Warriors, 46-10, who are led by dual aces Lyndsay Butler and Briana Lee, won the Midwest Super Regional after dropping the first contest to host Missouri-St. Louis. Now Wayne State, which is making its third trip to the national tournament, puts those pitchers, who combined to strike out 494 batters in 351 2-3 innings while allowing only 202 hits and 62 runs — 45 earned — up against the powerful Blazers’ attack.

Valdosta State has one of the top offenses in the eight-team, double-elimination bracket, with 85 home runs to go along with a .334 average and 425 runs. Armstrong Atlantic, out of Savannah, also has hit 85 home runs with 413 runs and a .313 average, while top-ranked West Texas A&M has clobbered 103 home runs with 535 runs and a .358 average. Dixie State has a .375 team average.

The Blazers, who enter the tournament 45-14 fresh off a South Super Regional win at rival Alabama-Huntsville following the regional in Tampa, will depart for Virginia at 4 p.m. today from Steel’s Diamond.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 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

  • 2014 World Championships 216 (640x427).jpg Best of the Best

    The students of Performance Martial Arts Academy continue to rack up accolades and after a weekend in Little Rock, Ark., those accolades include the title of world champion.
    Mark Webb and Madison Swain both earned world championships at the American Taekwondo Association's Taekwondo World Championships a few weeks ago. Four other Performance Martial Arts students also competed in the event.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Berrien practice 1a.jpg Moving forward

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Falcons_Ryan.jpg Ryan takes teaching role for Falcons offense

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bridgestone_Tiger.jpg Woods faces 2 big weeks that shape rest of season

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728-Lowndes practice4.jpg Vikings working out with padded practice, scrimmage on the horizon

    The look was familiar Monday at Martin Stadium.
    The Lowndes High football team’s conditioning practice was essentially a duplicate of the workouts the Vikings have completed throughout the summer.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomasville_Ryals.jpg South Georgia special for high school coaches

    Phillip Johnson remembers when he had a “Wizard of Oz” moment.
    The North Carolina native moved to Georgia when he was 26 and Johnson, now Lanier County’s second-year head coach, recalls a 7-on-7 tournament leading to the realization that he wasn’t in Kansas — or in his case, North Carolina — anymore.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Induction Crowd: Honorees were genuine, down to earth

    More than 48,000 people gathered under the scorching sun at The Clark Sports Center for the 75th National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Sunday, including one woman who carpooled to the event with more than 40 other people.

    July 28, 2014

  • Braves trio all business at inductions

    The Braves seemed almost businesslike in their approach -- something you might expect from a trio that won so consistently.
    Managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa also remained calm and collected throughout their addresses.
    Frank Thomas took care of the emotional side, his voice breaking and his eyes moist during a heartfelt speech Sunday at the Clark Sports Center.

    July 28, 2014

Blazers Blog