VALDOSTA, Ga. - Valdosta State used a strong offensive showing to overcome errors in both games as the Blazers swept Georgia Southwestern 8-5 and 12-6 in a non-conference softball doubleheader at Steel's Diamond at Blazer Park Tuesday.
After sitting through a two-and-a-half hour rain delay, the two teams both made defensive miscues in the first game that led to runs for the other team.
Valdosta State (6-0) opened the game one scoring in the bottom of the first inning as Courtney Albritton singled to open the frame and scored as Shelby Altman hit a home run before adding a third run in the second inning when Hannah Strickland singled home Angela O'Connor.
The Hurricanes (7-5) evened the game in the third inning as they plated three unearned runs. Elliott Martin reached on a fielding error by Albritton at shortstop to open the inning before Kiley Doster singled. After a sacrifice bunt, Hayley Knight singled home Martin and, two batters later, scored along with Doster when Ashley Clifton doubled to left.
A Karson King ground out in the bottom of the third scored Altman to give VSU the lead once again while the Blazers pushed their advantage to 5-3 in the fifth as it took advantage of a one-out error to score two unearned runs. An Albritton home run and a King run-scoring single in the sixth inning gave VSU a five-run lead while GSW got its final two runs in the top of the seventh.
Brianna Hancock gave up seven hits and five runs, two earned, in 6.0 innings to improve to 3-0 on the year while Georgia Southwestern's Allison Pastor allowed five runs, three earned, on eight hits to fall to 4-2.
In game two, Albritton committed three errors, all of which led to Hurricane runs. The first came in the first inning when Mason Moreland opened the game by reaching on an error and eventually scored on a Jordan Miller ground out.
VSU struck for two runs in the bottom of the first inning as Albritton walked and stole second before being sacrificed to third. Kiley Rusen singled her home and, after a walk and error, scored when Angela O'Connor drew a bases loaded walk that gave the Blazers a 2-1 lead.
Albritton's second error of the game in the second inning allowed GSW to tie the game at 2-2 while the Hurricanes got a run-scoring single from Knight in the fourth to regain the lead, only to have Fran Johnson lead off the bottom of the inning with her first career home run to once again even the score.
Valdosta State got four more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, including Albritton's fourth home run of the year, but the Hurricanes opened the sixth with back-to-back home runs by Janna Anderson and Nellie Moore, as well as a third run on Albritton's third error of the game to close to within 7-6.
VSU closed out the scoring with five runs in the sixth inning, including two-run singles by Altman and Ashley Steinhilber.
Hanna Lythberg improved to 2-0 on the year as she allowed six hits and four runs, two earned, in five innings while Ashley Cavender gave up five hits and seven runs, five earned, in 5.1 innings.
Altman was 3-for-7 with four runs driven in during the two games to lead Valdosta State offensively.
The Blazers hit the road this weekend when they travel to Decatur, Ala. to take part in the Charger Chill Out. VSU will play Indianapolis at Noon and Lander at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday followed by Palm Beach Atlantic at Noon and Wayne State at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.