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Proctor’s Walk-Off Slam Lifts No. 3 Blazers to Series Sweep of Montevallo

Posted at 7:30 PM, Mar 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-06 19:35:51-05

VALDOSTA, Ga. (vstateblazers.com) — Third time's the charm for the No. 3 Valdosta State Blazer softball team as it loaded the bases for the third time in the seventh inning, trailing 5-2 and sophomore Katie Proctor belted the first grand slam of the season for a 6-5, walk-off victory over visiting Montevallo Sunday afternoon at Steel's Diamond.

The Blazers improved to 16-4 overall and 8-0 in Gulf South Conference play with the three-game sweep of the Falcons, while UM fell to 7-10 overall and 1-3 in league play. VSU, who trailed the entire game until Proctor's blast, began the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff walk to sophomore Aniston Gano. For UM, Mychael McMillian relieved Mabry Norris following the base on balls. McMillian wasn't close on her first three pitches to junior Abby Sulte. Sulte singled to shortstop for two on and the tying run at the plate with nobody out. A walk to senior Nicole Pennington loaded the bases for the Blazers for the third time in the game. From there, Proctor belted her fourth home run of the season and her sixth of her career.

Proctor finished the game 1 for 4 with a run scored and four RBI. Gano was 1 for 2 with two run scored, one RBI and a home run, while Sulte was 1 for 3 with a run scored. VSU had six runs on eight hits with four errors in the contest. VSU junior hurler Samantha Richards went all seven innings allowing five runs – two earned, walked two and fanned eight as she improved to 12-1 on the year. McMillian (2-3) took the loss, allowing two hits, three earned runs and walked one. UM starting pitcher Kaylee Hawkins went 4.1 innings, allowing four hits, one earned run, walked five and fanned two. The Falcons finished with five runs on ten hits as Hannah Carey led the way going 2 for 4 with a run scored and three RBI, including a home run.

A single, double and error plated one run for the Falcons in the top of the first and Alisha Lanyon turned on one down the left field line with runners at second and third, but thankfully the umpire ruled it was just foul. Richards came back with her second strikeout for two away. On a 1-2 count, Richards got a pop up to shortstop for the third out.

A walk and single began the bottom of the first for the Blazers off Hawkins. Following an out, Sulte drew a walk to load the bases. Hawkins got a pop out to shortstop for the second out. Hawkins got a ground out to shortstop to get out of the jam unscathed as VSU left the bags full.

Following a double to begin the top of the third from Sierra Easterwood, Richards came back with her fourth strikeout of the contest for one out. A single to right followed putting runners at first and third with one away. A strikeout, attempted steal and throwing error scored the second run of the game for UM in the third.

With two out in the bottom of the third, Gano turned on the Hawkins offering and put it in the trees to right field for a 2-1 deficit and her fourth round-tripper of the season.

Two infield singles for the Falcons began the top of the fourth with nobody out. A pop up on a bunt attempt followed and a fly out to left for two away. Richards put Easterwood in an 0-2 hole and got out of the jam with an infield pop out to third, as UM left runners at second and third.

Montevallo stretched leads lead to 4-1 with the Carey blast in the top of the fifth with one out and a 3-2 count. VSU got a break as Carlee Mullinax hit a double to left, but was never announced as reentering the game so she was out to end the inning.

Sophomore Morgan Hill singled up the middle, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball for one out in the bottom of the fifth. A walk put runners at the corners and Gano at bat as the potential tying run. Following a meeting at the mound, Gano walked to load the bases, chasing Hawkins from the game. Norris replaced Hawkins in the circle for Montevallo to face Sulte. On a 3-2 count, Norris got Sulte swinging for the second out on the eighth pitch of the at bat. For the second time in the game, UM got out of a bases loaded jam with a ground out to shortstop.

Two infield singles began the top of the sixth for the Falcons and a bunt single loaded the bases with nobody out. Easterwood hit a sacrifice fly to center for a 5-1 lead. VSU got the second out with a foul out to first base. Another pop out allowed VSU out of the inning with just the one run allowed.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth, junior Taylor Lewis went yard for a home run and a 5-2 score. It was her third home run of the season. A walk to sophomore Taylor Macera followed and junior Hunter Meadows singled to right turning the lineup over to the top of the order. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third and, on a 2-2 count, Norris got a strikeout for the second out. Graduate student Ally Clegg lined out to second for the third out as VSU left nine stranded to that point.

Richards fanned two with two on in the top of the seventh, giving her eight punch outs for the game and two away in the frame. A ground out ended the top half for UM as VSU came to bat for the walk-off heroics.

VSU returns to the road at Union with a three-game series beginning Mar. 12 at 2 p.m. ET, followed by a single game on Mar. 13 at 2 p.m. ET. Check back with vstateblazers.com for links to live stats and streaming of the series.