VALDOSTA, GA. (WTXL) — Winning not one, but two elimination games to advance to the College World Series will go down as an all-time memorable moment for Valdosta State softball. With their backs against the wall, the Lady Blazers found a way to get the job done.
Whether it was out in the field or inside the batter's box, time and time again VSU came through with clutch plays to take down a very talented West Florida team in Saturday's South Regional championship. Plays like Nicole Pennington’s 15 pitch at bat in game one that ended in a bases-clearing three-RBI triple which ended up scoring the game winning runs. Or Samantha Richard’s dominance from inside the circle shutting down the Argos offense. One thing is for certain, Valdosta State has earned the right to compete for an opportunity at a national championship.
“So I had a quote said to me before the game yesterday. (Ronald) Acuna (Jr.) said it just the other day and he said in all of these situations where the pressure is on I want to be in that situation," says Valdosta State shortstop Nicole Pennington. "And that’s what I told myself in that situation, `` I want this at-bat, I want this pitch and I want to do this for my team.”
“It was all about our fans and they have our backs, I know my team has my back so I just had to have theirs. Mine was to play for your teammates and play your heart out, leave it all out on the field and that was the thought process for today," adds teammates Samantha Richards. "And it turned out well for us.”
The NCAA Division II College Softball World Series begins Thursday May 27, in Denver Colorado. The Lady Blazers will face top-seeded Augustana (SD).