VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The No. 2 Valdosta State softball team swept the season series with West Georgia on Senior Day with a 5-0 victory in a resumed game from Saturday and a 9-0 victory. The Blazers hit 11 home runs in the series and outscored UWG 25-0. VSU extended its winning streak to 18 games, marking the longest winning streak since winning 26-straight during the 2015 season. The Blazers hit .356 for the series with 25 runs scored, 26 hits, two doubles, 11 home runs and 23 RBI.
The team slugged a blistering .836 and reached base at a .440 clip with nine walks and two hit batters. UWG entered with a 2.46 ERA for third-best in the GSC and teams were hitting just .201 against it. VSU run-ruled the Wolves twice in 18 innings for the series, allowed 11 hits, walked one and fanned 23 as UWG hit just .167. The Wolves entered the series hitting .311 for the season.
With the 11 round-trippers, it gave VSU a national-best 76 home runs for the season, which is seventh all-time in school history, two shy of the 2010 team with 78 dingers. VSU now has hit 11 home runs this weekend, 13 last weekend versus West Alabama and 12 in the previous home series versus West Florida the last weekend in March. This series also marked the first time VSU has not allowed a run to a conference opponent in a three-game series in recent memory. In addition, the Blazers have not allowed a run in the last 32 innings, dating back to a 10-1 victory over West Alabama on Apr. 11 Prior to the resumption of the second game Sunday, the Blazers honored four outstanding seniors who were playing in their final regular season home series in a Blazer uniform.
#2 Valdosta State 5, West Georgia 0 (Game Two, resumed from Saturday)
VSU began the bottom of the second with a single from Robb and a walk to freshman Aniston Gano off UWG starter Morgan Goree Saturday afternoon. Crandall hit an RBI chopper off the third base bag for a 1-0 lead. Junior Baylee Everson then singled over third base for an RBI and a 2-0 lead. Freshman Kayla Tosone hit a high chopper to load the bases turning the lineup over.
Goree and the Wolves got out of the jam as VSU left the bags full. Following the frame, the rains came and the was suspended and moved to Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Sophomore Samantha Richards took over in the circle in the top of the third when play resumed Sunday, from freshman Morgan Hill and fanned the first two batters. Alley Taylor singled to left with two out, followed by a single from Ashley Ellison for two on base. Richards came back striking out the side to leave two Wolves stranded. In the bottom of the third, L. Hill took the second pitch from Goree yard to left center field for her ninth home run of the season and a 3-0 lead.
VSU had a walk to senior Kiley Robb and she got to third, but VSU was unable to capitalize any further in the inning. The home run was the Blazers’ national-leading 72nd of the season. VSU hit six round-trippers in the series -opener Saturday. VSU again put a runner at third with two out in the bottom of the fourth, but this time Everseon scored on a wild pitch for a 4-0 lead. With one out in the bottom of the third, Gano doubled to the right field gap for runners at second and third. Goree got the second out with a strikeout and out of the jam with a ground out to short, leaving two stranded in scoring position.
With two out in the bottom of the sixth, M. Hill hit her 12th home run of the season to right center for a 5-0 lead. VSU was unable to score more runs as the game went to the seventh inning for the first time at home since Mar. 14. Richards retired the Wolves in order in the seventh for the victory. Richards went five innings after M. Hill pitched the first two innings yesterday. Richards allowed four hits and fanned eight improving to 19-2 on the year. Goree took the loss (6-4), allowing eight hits, five earned runs, walked three and fanned six. Everson was 2 for 3 to lead the team in hits for the Blazers. She scored one run and drove in one, while recording a stolen base. Six other Blazers each had one hit. Taylor and Kristyn Nix each had two hits for the Wolves.
#2 Valdosta State 9, West Georgia 0 (Game Three)
UWG put runners at the corners with one out in the top of the first. Sophomore Hunter Meadows made a great catch in center field and throw to home to keep the runner at third for the second out for hurler M. Hill. A ground out to second got the Blazers out of the jam unscathed. A pair of hits from the Hill sisters put runners at first and second with one out in the bottom of the first. Goree walked Gano to load the bases with two away. On a 3-2 count to Everson, Goree got a big strikeout to get out of the inning as VSU left the bags full. A pair of singles from Tosone and Meadows with one out and a passed ball moved them to second and third in the bottom of the second. A wild pitch from Goree plated Tosone for a 1-0 VSU lead.
Another passed ball plated the second run of the game. UWG made a move to the bullpen as Lexie Close relieved Goree. L. Hill took a Close pitch to left center for a 4-0 lead and her second home run of the day and tenth of the season. An error brought Everson to the plate as the ninth batter of the inning. Everson laced a single through the right side for an RBI and a second error of the inning moved her to second. Crandall laced a double to the right field gap, plating two more runs for a 7-0 lead.
Junior Nicole Pennington belted her national-leading 18th home run of the season – a solo shot in the bottom of the third for an 8-0 lead. Lamb came in to pitch the fourth for the Blazers. M. Hill went three innings, allowing four hits and fanned one. An error on the Blazers put a runner at first, but Lamb retired the side. Gano began the bottom of the fourth with her ninth home run of the season for a 9-0 lead. Kaley Dowdy relieved Close and retired the next three hitters.
Lamb fanned the first two batters in the top of the fifth and got a fly out to center to end it for the 16th run-rule victory of the season and tenth in five innings. L. Hill went 2 for 3 with a run scored, two RBI and a home run. M. Hill improved to 6-1 on the year in three innings, allowing four hits and fanned one. Lamb went the final two innings, fanning three. The Blazers return to the road next weekend at Christian Brothers, beginning with a doubleheader Saturday at 2 p.m. ET, followed by a single game Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.