Valdosta Daily Times

April 22, 2013

VSU softball team splits doubleheader with Shorter

The Valdosta Daily Times

ROME, Ga. — Valdosta State won the first game 2-1, but fell by the same score in the second game, as the Blazers split a Gulf South Conference softball doubleheader against Shorter at Alto Park Sunday afternoon.

Valdosta State (33-9, 18-7 in the GSC) got on the board in the top of the first inning of game 1, scoring a run on a Sarah Vaughn single. With one out in the inning, Morgan Johnson and Shelby Altman singled, but a fielder’s choice erased Johnson. Vaughn followed with a base hit that drove home Altman for 1-0 VSU lead.

The Hawks tied the score in the bottom half of the inning. Kayla Cooper led off with a single and scored two batters later when Felicia Morris doubled.

The score remained tied at 1-1 for the next five innings. Then the Blazers scored the winning run in the top of the seventh inning.

Hannah Strickland singled to open the seventh and moved to second when Morgan Johnson drew a two-out walk. Then Altman singled to plate Strickland for the go-ahead run.

Then Valdosta State pitcher Hanna Lythberg held Shorter scoreless in the bottom of the seventh, and closed out the win.

Lythberg pitched a complete game and allowed just five hits and struck out six to improve to 11-3 on the season.

Shorter (37-9, 23-7) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second game, scoring runs in the third and fifth innings.

In the third, Morris hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Kendall Johnson. In the fifth, Morris doubled home Cooper for the game’s second run.

VSU got a run back in the sixth inning. Fran Johnson doubled with two outs and scored when Strickland followed with a single.

The Blazers had other chances to score, but they stranded nine base runners, including five that were left in scoring position.

VSU’s Brianna Hancock pitched all seven innings. She allowed six hits and struck out three, and fell to 12-4 on the season.

Valdosta State returns to action next Saturday, when it takes on Delta State in GSC action at Steel’s Diamond at Blazer Park. The doubleheader begins at 2 p.m.