CLEVELAND, Miss. – Valdosta State improved to 31-2 overall and 16-0 in Gulf South Conference play with two victories over Delta State Sunday, 7-3, 3-1. Marti Littlefield bombed two home runs, and Morgan Johnson added one to keep VSU atop the GSC.
April Hutchens led the Blazers with a four for five performance, scoring two runs and walking once. She had an on-base percentage of .833 for the day. Johnson was four of eight with a team high three runs batted in and a run scored while Littlefield was three for six with two RBI and three runs scored. Courtney Albritton was three for seven with two runs scored and two other Blazers, Samantha Posey and Clare Wamsley, added a run each.
Alanna Hadley did not give up an earned run in seven innings. She walked three and gave up four hits while striking out four to move to 16-1 on the season. Brianna Hancock picked up the second win of the day with a three-strikeout performance. She walked two and gave up four hits and a run in seven innings of work.
The Blazers started off their April Fool’s doubleheader with three first-inning runs. Albritton singled followed by a bunt from Johnson. Next, Posey singled to right center field to load the bases. Delta State’s third baseman committed an error off the bat of Littlefield to score Albritton.
After Natalia Morozova reached on a fielder’s choice, Steinhilber did the same, but the second baseman committed a throwing error of which Posey took advantage. Posey scored the second run of the inning, followed by Littlefield for the early 3-0 lead.
In the third inning, Delta State answered with three runs, but the Blazers responded with two more runs in the top of the fourth. Wamsley reached on a walk, then three batters later, Johnson homered over the left field wall for two more VSU runs.
Albritton and Hutchens added two more runs in the sixth inning. Hutchens singled, as did Albritton and Johnson. On Johnson’s hit, Hutchens scored on an error by the center fielder. Next up, Posey hit a sacrifice fly to left field that plated Albritton for the Blazers’ last two runs of the game.
In the bottom of the sixth with Delta State trying to mount a comeback, Valdosta State squashed all hopes with a triple play. After two walks for Delta State, the Lady Statesmen’s right fielder lined out to Littlefield at shortstop, who threw it to Morozova at first, who forwarded it to Hutchens at second to catch both runners tagging up. After one more inning of scoreless play, the Blazers took the first game of the day.
Game two started a bit differently with Delta State claiming the early lead, scoring a single run in the first. That would be the only run for Delta State as the Blazers scored a run in three consecutive innings in the fourth, fifth and sixth. Of those three runs, Littlefield is responsible for two with solo home runs in the fourth and sixth.
In the fifth, Hutchens singled and scored on a double from Johnson to give Valdosta State the only runs it would need to stay undefeated in conference play.
Valdosta State returns home to host Albany State at 4 p.m. Tuesday.