Valdosta, GA - In a battle of two top five teams in the country, No. 4 Valdosta State lost to No. 1 Alabama-Huntsville at the softball complex Friday. Valdosta State fell, 3-1, in game one, and despite going up 4-0 early, fell in game two by a score of 9-5.
Alabama-Huntsville improves to 37-1-1 and 21-0 in Gulf South Conference play while Valdosta State falls to 31-8 and 16-7 in the GSC.
The Blazers tallied 14 hits and five runs on the day, but the Chargers put up 20 hits to reach a fairly efficient 12 runs.
Playing as the designated player, Jordan Martin led the team in batting average, finishing two for four with a run scored. Martin, Marti Littlefield, Morgan Johnson and Sarah Vaughn each registered a run batted in while Littlefield, Johnson and Natalia Morozova each hit one double.
Morozova and Littlefield led VSU in hits with three each while Martin, Johnson and Vaughn each finished with two hits. Melessa Jackson and Samantha Posey rounded out the hitters with one each.
Game one was a defensive struggle highlighted by great catches. Johnson made a diving catch to rob the UAH leadoff hitter in the third. Later, Posey made a catch on a low liner to third to end the inning. Morozova also caught a low line drive to hold runners in the sixth inning.
But Alabama-Huntsville was able to eventually score those runners in the sixth after scoring in the top of the fifth inning. Kellie Johnson singled, moved to second when Kelli Long grounded out and scored on a Mary Kelley double.
After a scoreless bottom of the fifth for VSU, the Chargers completed a two-run sixth inning. Alabama-Huntsville hit back-to-back doubles, then Meagan Billingsley plated both runs with a double to center field.
The Blazers were able to answer with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Posey was hit by a pitch, then stole a base. On a Johnson ground out, Posey reached third, and scored on a Littlefield double.
Neither team would score in the seventh to secure the first UAH victory in Valdosta since April 11, 2009.
Holly Satterfield gave up eight hits in the game. She struck out six and walked one in seven innings.
Game two proved to be more of an offensive slugfest with a combined seven pitchers being used. Margaret Carter started for VSU and pitched two innings. Krystle Robinson lasted three innings, and Satterfield finished the last two.
Carter gave up four hits and four runs while striking out one. Robinson struck out two and walked one while giving up five runs and seven hits. Satterfield struck out two and gave up a hit.
After a three-and-out top of the first in game two, Valdosta State put an early stamp on game two with four runs. Morozova and Vaughn each singled while Littlefield reached on an error between those two batters. Morozova scored on the error, and Littlefield scored on Vaughn’s hit. Martin plated Vaughn on a single of her own, then scored on a Johnson single.
Unfortunately, despite tallying seven hits throughout the rest of the game, VSU would not score another run. The Chargers, meanwhile, responded with three runs in the second off of a Billingsley home run. Long started the third inning with a solo homer to negate VSU’s early 4-0 lead.
With the game tied, Alabama-Huntsville scored three runs in the fourth, then added two more insurance runs in the sixth.
Valdosta State will look to bounce back in the team’s final scheduled games of the regular season Saturday. The Blazers will face West Georgia at the softball complex at 2 and 4 p.m. Senior Day festivities will start at approximately 1:40 p.m. In addition to live stats, the game can also be watched via webcast.