SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – Valdosta State shut out Arkansas-Monticello in two games Sunday to earn the team’s third consecutive Gulf South Conference Championship. The Blazers put away the Cotton Blossoms, 4-0 and 2-0.
Margaret Carter made an impressive showing, pitching 10.2 of the 14 innings played. She gave up just five hits and no runs as she struck out three to earn two victories.
As VSU tends to do, the Blazers used a big inning to open up game one against UAM. Valdosta State scored four runs in the third inning and would not need more to get the win.
April Hutchens, who finished the day two of six with a run scored and great defensive plays, started the team with a single. Jordan Martin sacrificed Hutchens to second. Then the Cotton Blossoms committed two errors which VSU was able to score a run. After a single from Marti Littlefield and a double from Morgan Johnson, VSU had put three more runs on the board. Johnson knocked two RBI.
With the win, the Blazers forced a second winner-take-all game. Johnson almost scored the first run of the game in the second inning, but it was called back due to her leaving early and not tagging up on a fly ball. Out to prove she deserved the run, Johnson scored two innings later on a Colette Rollins single.
In the fifth inning, Martin came home on a sacrifice fly from Littlefield after she reached on a single up the middle.
Behind the great pitching of Carter, Arkansas-Monticello had no chance of piling up runs in the game. In the bottom of the seventh, the Cotton Blossoms went three up, three down.
Pitchers Carter and Holly Satterfield along with Melessa Jackson and Litttlefield were named to the All-GSC Tournament team.
Now Valdosta State will wait for the NCAA Regional seeding to determine where VSU will head for the first round of the NCAA tournament. Continue to check back at www.vstateblazers.com for updates throughout the week.