Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 6, 2013

Blazers to host South Region, face ASU Friday

VALDOSTA — The road to the national championship in the South Region must come through the home of the defending Division II national champion Valdosta State Blazers.

As expected, the nationally fourth-ranked Blazers were tabbed the top seed in the South Region, as announced through the NCAA website Monday morning, and will host the South Region Tournament this weekend.

The Blazers, who won a record fifth straight Gulf South Conference championship Sunday with a 4-3 win over rival Alabama-Huntsville, will open the South Region Tournament at Steel’s Diamond at Blazer Park Friday evening with a game against No. 8 seed Albany State, set to begin at 7 p.m.

Tampa, the No. 4 seed, and Saint Leo, the No. 5 seed, will also visit Valdosta this weekend for the double-elimination tournament. The two teams will play Friday night at 4:30 p.m.

Alabama-Huntsville is the No. 2 seed in the region and will host the sub-region tournament consisting of No. 3 North Alabama, No. 6 Barry and No. 7 West Alabama.

Rollins, last week’s No. 7 team, was dropped from the field because of the automatic berth awarded to Albany State, last week’s No. 10 seed that won the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship this past weekend.

The Blazers open the tournament Friday against the Golden Rams, whom they’ve met four times this season. The Blazers are a perfect 4-0 this season against the Golden Rams, outscoring them 45-3.

VSU has not played Tampa or Saint Leo this season. Those two teams will meet Friday, and the winner will face either VSU or Albany State, while the losers of the opening Friday games face off in an elimination game Saturday morning.

The winner of the first loser's bracket game Saturday will face the loser of the first winner’s game in the final game Saturday evening, with the only 2-0 team advancing to the championship game Sunday.

The final team with one-loss in the tournament will advance to Sunday, needing to win both games on Sunday to advance to the Super Regional the following weekend.

Saint Leo clinched the Sunshine State Conference championship with a sweep over Florida Southern in late April, the school’s first softball conference championship since 1981.

Tampa finished second in the conference, just a game behind St. Leo.

VSU last played Saint Leo and Tampa in 2012. The Blazers were 1-0 against Tampa, winning 4-1, and a perfect 3-0 against Saint Leo. In the games against Saint Leo, the Blazers won by an average of 4.6 runs per game.

Being at home this weekend for the regional tournament is an advantage for Valdosta State. In two of the last four seasons, when the Blazers have hosted the regional and super regional, they have gone on to play for the national championship.

In the seasons where they were on the road for the regional tournament, they failed to advance past the super regional best-two-out-of-three series.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Former Blazer Kugbila out for season

    Now, after missing the 2013 season with a knee injury, this signals another hardship for the promising guard.

    July 25, 2014

  • LHS baseball signing Two Lowndes grads sign scholarships

    Lowndes graduates Henry Hoff and Nick Higginbotham decided to take the next step in their respective baseball careers together on Thursday as both signed a letter-of-intent with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 150723-Lowndes_Brooks5.jpg Winding Down

    In its final 7-on-7 test of the summer, Randy McPherson was pleased with how the Lowndes football team looked Wednesday morning.
    Brooks County coach Maurice Freeman, on the other hand, was worried about the kind of hole the Trojans would have dug for themselves at Martin Stadium against the Vikings and Lafayette (Fla.) had it been a real game.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog
More