The Valdosta Daily Times
LIVINGSTON, Ala. —
Valdosta State was unable to overcome an early deficit in the first game, falling 3-2, but cruised to a 6-2 victory in game 2, as VSU split a Gulf South Conference softball doubleheader with West Alabama on Saturday afternoon at the UWA Softball Complex.
West Alabama (12-5, 3-3) jumped out on top in the first game, scoring the contest’s first three runs, including two in the bottom of the first inning. Anna Shartzer opened the bottom of the first with a single to left and moved to second on a throwing error on the play. Tamara Vickers followed with a single that scored Shartzer, and also moved up a base on an error before Brooklyn Phillips delivered a one-out double that scored Vickers to give UWA a 2-0 lead.
Three walks in the fourth inning led to a Shartzer single that upped the Tiger lead to 3-0.
Valdosta State (19-4, 7-2) got two runs back in the top of the fifth inning, as Courtney Albritton drove in Hannah Strickland and scored on a Morgan Johnson sacrifice fly.
VSU had its chances in the last two innings. The first two batters of the sixth got on base but were stranded, while a Karson King single preceded a double by Ashley Steinhilber in the seventh. However, King was thrown out at home attempting to score.
Brianna Hancock (5-2) took the loss. She gave up eight hits and four walks to go along with the three runs in six innings of work.
The two teams traded runs in the first inning of game 2. The Blazers added a second run, on an Albritton RBI single, in the second inning. UWA once again tied the score in the bottom of the third. However, that run would be the last of the day for the Tigers, while Valdosta State would score the game’s final four runs.
Albritton put the Blazers back in front in the top of the fourth inning with her ninth home run of the season.
Strickland’s bases loaded walk in the fifth forced home Shelby Altman to push VSU’s advantage to 4-2.
Altman added a run-scoring single in the sixth. Fran Johnson drew a walk later in the inning with the bases loaded to close out the scoring.
Valdosta State pitcher Kenzi Reed gave up nine hits, but just two runs in 6 1/3 innings, to up her season record to 9-1.
Albritton had three hits, three runs scored and three RBIs in nine at-bats to lead VSU offensively. Altman also finished the day with three hits.
Valdosta State returns to action on Sunday at 2 p.m., when it travels to Huntsville, Ala. to take on Alabama-Huntsville in a GSC doubleheader.