Long Ball Gets Blazers Past Lady Canes

Long Ball Gets Blazers Past Lady Canes

AMERICUS, Ga. -- Valdosta State used the long ball to take a nonconference doubleheader from the Georgia Southwestern State University softball team at Lady Canes Field Tuesday.

The Blazers won the first game 2-1 behind a 2-run shot in the first inning and took the second game 7-3 with five runs coming off home runs. GSW fell to 10-13 overall, while Valdosta improved to 19-7 with the sweep.

Game 1: Georgia Southwestern 1 Valdosta State 2

GSW starter Shannon Gibson got a groundout from Jessica Mohl to begin the game, but followed that by hitting Taylor Hartenbach before Brandy Morgan drilled a 2-run homer over the fence in left field to give the Blazers an early 2-0 lead.

The Lady Canes answered in the bottom half of the inning, led by a leadoff double from Mikela Barlow. Ansley Dean put down a sacrifice bunt moving Barlow to third and she came across the plate when Lauren Kuerzi followed with an RBI single to right field making the score 2-1.

That was the only run production GSW could manage, however, in support of a complete game six-hit effort from Gibson. Hayley Tierce, Elizabeth Wills, Cassidy Burton and Chloe Zoeller each recorded a hit apiece.

It was the third straight game this season the Lady Canes lost to Valdosta State by a single run after falling 4-3 and 6-5 on the road in February. 

Game 2: Georgia Southwestern 3 Valdosta State 7

The Blazers jumped out in front again, this time in the second inning thanks to a Heather Robinson 2-run homer to center off GSW starter Ansley Dean. Valdosta would get to Dean again in the fifth and knock her out of the game when Hartenbach drilled a 3-run shot to right center giving VSU a five-run lead.

GSW was able to get a rally going in the sixth when Barlow led off with a single and Dean walked after moving to the designated player spot. Tierce followed with a sacrifice fly to right moving Barlow to third and she scored on a double from Kuerzi. Wills brought home Dean with a single, making it 5-2, but Avery Lamb came on to replace starter Kathryn Carter and got the final two outs to end the threat.

VSU added two insurance runs on three hits off reliever Brittany Childs in the seventh to regain the five-run advantage. Childs led off the bottom half with a single and pinch-runner KayLynn Church came around to score on a Tierce RBI groundout to make it a 7-3 final.

Up Next: The Lady Canes get back into Peach Belt Conference play with four road games this weekend. GSW faces Georgia College Friday in a doubleheader at 2:00 p.m. and will play a two-game set with Augusta beginning at 12:00 p.m. Saturday.