Valdosta Daily Times

Top Sports News

October 24, 2013

Vikettes, Hawks use late-inning heroics to split doubleheader

VALDOSTA — Two games, both decided in the final inning, and today we’ve got more softball to play. The Lowndes Vikettes and Hillgrove Hawks split their Sweet 16 doubleheader on Wednesday forcing one more game today at Lowndes.

The doubleheader turned out to be the tale of two games with a pitching duel in the first game and a slugfest in the second.

In Game One, Haley Fowler took the mound and continued to build on what has been a sparkling season both on the bump and at the plate.

Fowler pitched seven innings of two-run ball — one earned — to keep the Vikettes within striking distance of the Hawks and their excellent pitching.

Hillgrove went up early in the game as they got to Fowler for two runs, but Lowndes showed resolve and continued to battle all night long.

Becca Prairie cut the lead to a run with a double in the fifth inning, but in the sixth inning, the Vikettes would leave two runners on base, setting the stage for the first big late-game hit of the evening.

As if it were from a scene in a movie, Madison "Mad Dog" Floyd strolled to the plate with runners on second and third and two outs with a chance to be the hero in the bottom of the seventh in a one-run game. Floyd didn’t let the opportunity pass her by.

After working a full count, Floyd found a pitch she liked and hit it all the way to the wall to bring both runners home.

“I was super nervous going up there,” said Floyd. “It was nerve-racking. Once I got in the count, I settled down and I was like, ‘It’s now or never so I’ve got to do something.’ The whole game was a team effort; it wasn’t just that one hit. We all worked together.”

Lowndes looked to ride the momentum of the walk-off victory to another playoffs sweep, but the Hawks wouldn’t go down quietly.

Crystal Eason is the other half of Lowndes’ dominating duo of starting pitchers, but Hillgrove was up to the challenge; the Hawks loaded the bases in the first inning on a hit, error, and bunt before the first out of the inning was recorded.

Eason was able to work herself out of the jam with only one run being given up thanks to two big strikeouts and a ground out to first to end the inning.

The Vikettes showed their resiliency by getting the run back in the next inning on an illegal pitch by Hillgrove’s Taylor Decelles, but they could not hold the Hawks bats.

A double put Hillsgrove up 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth, but once again, Lowndes bounced back, this time in the top of the sixth, by scoring two runs on an error on a ground ball to second base.

However, Ambria Derry clubbed the go-ahead home-run to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning to put the Hawks up 4-3. Two doubles later and the score was 5-3.

Hillgrove would continue their offensive explosion at the expense of Eason who would get roughed up for 10 runs in five innings of 10-3 loss to the Hawks.

“Hillgrove’s a great team, that’s what’s expected at this time. In the Sweet 16 they’re all good,” said Lowndes head coach Stewart Thomas. “They hit the ball well, they have two good pitchers. We hit the ball well too, that’s what we did in the first game. We got some big hits when we needed them. Madison Floyd came up with the game-winning hit. That’s what we need to do, you play good defense, you pitch well, and you give yourself a chance to win at the end.”

Hillgrove stayed another night in Valdosta and to play the rubber match of the series today at 4:30 p.m. at Lowndes, which should give the Vikettes the slight advantage.

“I think it’s all about a routine,” said Thomas. “That’s what we’ve got going for us and that’s the positive of these girls working hard and winning region. It gives them a chance to stay in the routine, play at home, play on their own field and Hillgrove can’t do that, they have to stay in a hotel. They don’t get to sleep in their own beds, they have to eat a continental breakfast so that’s tough. But the end of the day it’s going to come down to who executes.”

 

1
Text Only
Top Sports News
  • Blazers to play three games on GSC-TV

    Valdosta State will play three televised games this fall, the Gulf South Conference announced Wednesday as it released its GSC-TV schedule.

    July 31, 2014

  • 2014 World Championships 216 (640x427).jpg Best of the Best

    The students of Performance Martial Arts Academy continue to rack up accolades and after a weekend in Little Rock, Ark., those accolades include the title of world champion.
    Mark Webb and Madison Swain both earned world championships at the American Taekwondo Association's Taekwondo World Championships a few weeks ago. Four other Performance Martial Arts students also competed in the event.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • 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

  • Valwood.jpg A Different Look

    With football summer workouts in full swing, occasionally the intensity and competitive drive can wane going against teammates. But on Friday, Valwood, Brookwood, Lanier County and Tiftarea Academy broke up the monotony by meeting at Goddard Field for a four-team, 7-on-7 passing league.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • pilcher.jpg Berrien competes in 6-team passing camp

    If Ed Pilcher had his way, Berrien High would never throw the football.
    But that doesn't mean the veteran coach doesn't enjoy the opportunity that a passing league, or the six-team passing camp at Cairo on Thursday morning, can provide his Rebels.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bubba Walker promoted to defensive coordinator

    Valdosta State Linebacker Coach Bubba Walker has been promoted to fill the open posiiton of defensive coordinator for the Blazer football team according to an announcement made by VSU Head Coach David Dean Thursday.

    July 18, 2014

  • Albritton wins NCAA Elite 89

    Courtney Albritton's tremendous 2013-2014 season earned her one more award Thursday night when the Valdosta State softball star won the NCAA's Favorite Elite 89 Winner contest by securing the more votes than any other student-athlete.

    July 17, 2014

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results