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March 29, 2012

No. 1 Blazers sweep SLU

Hadley named National Pitcher of the Week

VALDOSTA — One the same day the Valdosta State softball team officially moved into the nation’s top ranking, the Blazers swept the Saint Leo Lions in a doubleheader at the VSU softball complex.

The Blazers improved their winning streak to 21 games, while improving their overall record to 27-2, posting a 6-2 game one victory and a 10-3 game two victory.

“I didn’t bring up the ranking,” Valdosta State head coach Thomas Macera said. “Saint Leo beat North Georgia when they were ranked No. 1. They have beaten some good teams, so we have to play our best game every time we go out. We can’t take anyone for granted, or any record for granted. We have to play our game.”

Senior pitcher Alanna Hadley, who was named National Pitcher of the Week prior to the start of the game, was the workhouse for VSU, earning the victory in both games. Hadley threw a complete game in game one, while coming out of the bullpen in game two. Altogether, Hadley delivered 9.1 innings of work, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits.

“It is huge for her,” said Macera of Hadley’s national award. “She earned it. She won against two very good teams and everything she gets she has earned. She is keeping us close and that is all we ask, that someone keep us close and give us a chance to win.”

Offensively, senior Marti Littlefield was 5 of 6 with five runs batted in and two runs scored, both of which came on home runs in game two. Meanwhile, Morgan Johnson continued her hot bat, going 3 of 6 with 3 RBI and two runs scored, with a game one home run.

“(Morgan) is hitting the ball unbelievably well,” Macera said. “Morgan is one of the top hitters in the conference right now, if not the best in the conference. Mo is killing the ball and she is seeing it really well right now. Marti had big bombs there at the end and she is hitting the ball better than she was.”

Courtney Albritton improved her case for Freshman of the Year, going 4 of 7 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Clare Wamsley was 3 of 5 with two runs scored and an RBI. April Hutchens was 3 of 7 with 2 RBI and a run scored, and Angela O’Connor scored three runs in game two.

Altogether, VSU managed 23 hits between the two games, as eight different batters recorded hits on the night.

“Everybody comes out and works as hard as they can,” Johnson said. “If they are in the lineup, then they have the opportunity to score. Hutchens had two great hits in the bottom of that second game that helped put us back up. I mean I wouldn’t want to pitch against us.”

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