CARROLLTON, Ga. (VALDOSTA STATE ATHLETICS) — Behind 20 runs on the afternoon, including five home runs, the No. 4 Valdosta State Softball team collected two Gulf South Conference wins over West Georgia Saturday afternoon in Carrollton, Ga. The Blazers took game one of the doubleheader, 6-5 and exploded in game two, winning 14-6 in five innings.
The Blazers improved to 26-5 on the year and 18-1 in the GSC and matched a season-high 14 runs in the nightcap Saturday as VSU also scored 14 runs at Lee on Feb. 26. The Wolves fell to 11-23 on the year and 4-15 in the GSC.
In game one, the Blazers wasted no time getting on the board as in the top of the first inning, sophomore Morgan Hill collected a walk, and graduate Ally Clegg was hit by a pitch to get base runners on first and second. Senior Nikki Pennington followed up the plays with a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Hill to tag up and reach home. Sophomore Katie proctor then hit a single into left field allowing Clegg to score to give the Blazers an early 2-0 lead.
VSU added to its lead in the top of the fourth inning when junior Taylor Lewis singled into right field which scored sophomore Kayla Tosone to put the Blazers up 3-0. The Wolves put one back in the bottom of the frame as the team hit a solo home run over the center field wall, 3-1.
The Blazers posted three more runs in the top of the fifth inning as Hill crossed home from a groundout and Proctor blasted a two run homer to give the Blazers a 6-1 lead.
West Georgia began its comeback bid in the bottom of the fifth inning as the team hit another solo home run and, in the bottom of the sixth, posted three more runs from an infield single and a two run home run.
The Blazer defense got out of the frame from a pair of strikeouts by junior pitcher Samantha Richards (20-2), who ended the seventh inning with no runs to bring the final score to 6-5 in favor of VSU.
Richards spent all seven innings inside the circle and recorded 16 strikeouts, five earned runs and no walks, while UWG's Macy Ann McKnight pitched the whole game for the Wolves and recorded four strikeouts, three walks and six hits.
In game two, VSU got on the board first again in the top of the second inning courtesy of Lewis hitting a solo home run to left field. The Wolves battled back and put up three runs in the bottom of the frame from a two run home run and a solo shot in the frame to bring the score to 3-1 in favor of UWG.
The Blazer offense exploded in the top of the third inning as the team posted eight runs in the inning. Clegg led off the inning with a solo shot to left field, and Pennington followed it up with a two run blast to center field. After three walks, UWG made a pitching change, Hill singled up the middle allowing two more runs to score. Two more baserunners then crossed home for VSU to put the Blazers up 9-3.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Wolves put three runs on the board from a three run home run, 9-6.
The Blazers ended the game putting up five more runs in the top of the fifth inning to bring the final score to 14-6. Hill recorded a two run home run into left field in the frame to spark the Blazers' scoring streak.
Hill (2-1) and sophomore Mia DeAngelis combined efforts in the circle and put up five strikeouts, two walks, seven hits and six earned runs through 22 at bats, while UWG utilized three pitchers, combining for two strikeouts, seven walks, 12 hits and 14 earned runs through 25 Blazer batters.
The Blazers will look for the series sweep with the Wolves on Sunday at 2 p.m. Following the series, VSU will return home and play host to No. 9 Auburn Montgomery on April 15-16 at Steel's Diamond at Blazer Park.
For all updates on Blazer softball, visit vstateblazers.com or follow Valdosta State Athletics on social media.