VALDOSTA — Game 2: Valdosta State 7, Delta State 5
The Blazers continued to pound the ball in game 2, collecting 11 hits and scoring seven more runs.
Altman had a monster game at the plate, hitting two home runs and driving in five runs. She went 3 for 4.
“She’s a great player,” Macera said. “She’s just a really good kid, she works hard and she can play.”
Delta State grabbed the early lead, scoring two runs in the top of the first. Taylor Holland drove in Kaitlin Moore with a double to left, then scored on an error to give her team a 2-0 lead.
But the Blazers answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Albritton singled and Morgan Johnson doubled, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Altman singled through the left side, scoring Albritton. Steinhilber followed with a sacrifice fly to left, and Johnson ran home to tie the score.
Delta regained the lead in the top of the third. With two outs, Holland beat out an infield single, then back-to-back singles to left by Alvarez and Taylor Hughes loaded the bases. Then Caroline Womack walked to force in a run, putting the Lady Statesmen ahead 3-2.
But in the bottom half of the inning, Altman jumped on a pitch and drove it over the Talk 92.1 FM sign in left center for a solo homer, making it 3-3.
Then Steinhilber stepped up to the plate to lead off the bottom of the fifth, and hit a towering fly ball down the left field line. The ball cleared the fence just inside the foul pole for a home run. The fans got a coupon for food from Zacadoo’s — it was the Zac’s Jack inning — and the Blazers got their first lead of the game, 4-3.
The Blazers added three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Albritton singled and Morgan Johnson doubled. Then Altman unloaded on a pitch, and hit a long fly ball to left field. The ball cleared the left field fence and the fence behind it, and landed in a bush next to Ashley Cinemas. Altman’s three-run homer extended Valdosta State’s lead to 7-3.
Delta State tried to rally in the seventh. Two singles and an error loaded the bases with one out. At that point, Macera brought Lythberg out of the bullpen to replace starter Brianna Hancock. Alvarez singled up the middle, scoring Kayla Wilson. Then Moore scored on a fielder’s choice, cutting VSU’s lead to 7-5.
“They always battle hard. They always play us hard,” Macera said.
But Lythberg got the next hitter to hit a ground ball back to her, and she threw the ball to Rusen at first for the final out.
Albritton and Morgan Johnson both had two hits and scored two runs. Tiffany Adkison also had two hits. Steinhilber drove in two runs.
Hancock (13-4) allowed five runs, three earned, and 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings. Lythberg picked up her second save.
In between games on Saturday, Valdosta State’s four seniors — Morgan Johnson, Steinhilber, Vaughn and Adkison — were honored.
“It’s a great senior class,” Macera said. “They’re taking a lot away from here. They’ve won a lot of championships. They’ve taken away a (national championship) ring. They’re great players. I’m sad to see them go.”
Valdosta State will play its final regular season games today, when it hosts Christian Brothers at 1 p.m. at Steel’s Diamond.