VALDOSTA, Ga.- The No. 11 Valdosta State softball team defeated West Georgia in the series finale of the three-game Red Clay Rivalry matchup, 10-4, giving VSU its fourth Gulf South Conference series victory and second GSC series sweep.
With the weekend sweep, the Blazers improved to 19-4 overall and 10-2 in conference play while the Wolves fell to 4-19 overall and 2-10 in league play.
The Wolves struck first in the top of the second behind a walk and a home run to take an early 2-0 lead. However, the Blazers answered right back in the bottom of the second behind junior Taylor Macera slapping a single to right center to get the Valdosta State bats going. A UWG wild pitch, a ground out and a Blazer walk advanced Macera to third as junior Morgan Hill cracked a base hit to send Macera home, cutting the West Georgia lead to 2-1. With two Blazers in scoring position, freshman Jayme Prandine singled to left center to score two, giving the Blazers the lead, 3-2.
West Georgia came right back out in the top of the third, launching a solo home run to tie the game up at 3-3. In familiar fashion, the Blazers struck back in the bottom of the third with back to back homers from Macera and freshman Jasmin Stewart as VSU took the lead once again, 5-3.
UWG tacked on another run in the top of the fourth behind a bases loaded walk, cutting the Blazer lead to one, 5-4. In the bottom of the fourth, sophomore Abby Sulte smashed a solo shot to kick off the inning and give Valdosta State a 6-4 edge.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Blazers loaded the bases behind a single from Hill, a couple of Blazer stolen bases and a pair of walks to set up Macera's towering grand slam home run, giving the Blazers a 10-4 cushion. Macera's Grand Slam was the first for the Blazers this season. The Blazer defense held on in the top of the seventh to take the 10-4 victory and complete the series sweep.
Senior Samantha Richards was in the circle for the Blazers, recording her 15th win and 14th complete game of the season. In her second start of the weekend, she fanned five, walked four and allowed four runs on seven hits. At the dish for the Blazers, Macera recorded three hits on four plate appearances for 5 RBI and three runs including a solo home run and a grand slam to earn Guardian Bank Player of the Game honors.
The Blazers will hit the road this week as they head to Florida Tech to take on the Panthers in a two-game doubleheader on Wednesday, Mar. 15 with action beginning at 4 p.m. For live stats, streaming and all thing Blazer softball, visit vstateblazers.com.