VALDOSTA, Ga. – Valdosta State started the second day of the NCAA South Regional I Tournament with a bang, beating Alabama-Huntsville, 9-4, thanks in large part to a grand slam from Marti Littlefield. The win put Valdosta State in the 1 p.m. final game Sunday against Rollins and improved the team to 50-3 on the season. Alabama-Huntsville dropped to 42-15. The Blazers will need just one win to advance and host the Super Regionals next week. Rollins will have to win twice to advance.
Alanna Hadley pitched another complete game to improve to 27-2. She struck out five, walked two and gave four runs on six hits. But the story of the game was Valdosta State’s killer offense.
Littlefield was two for four with four RBI and a run scored while Morgan Johnson was a perfect three for three with an RBI and a run. Courtney Albritton, Samantha Posey, and Ashley Steinhilber all notched two hits each while Sarah Vaughn hit one, a homer, en route to 12 hits for VSU against UAH pitchers Whitney Toler and Christina Boczek. Eight Blazers scored runs with Albritton reaching home twice.
After Alabama-Huntsville took the lead with a run in the first inning, the Blazers struck back with a two-run homer from Vaughn, her second of the season.
The Chargers tied the game in the fourth when Sam Deep, pinch running for Abby MacKay, scored on a double from Meagan Billingsley. After that, the Blazers lit up the scoreboard.
April Hutchens reached on an error and scored on a single from Johnson to regain the lead, 3-2. After Hutchens, Albritton, Johnson and Posey hit three consecutive singles to load the bases. Littlefield knocked the grand slam to add four more RBI to her Gulf South Conference career record. The Blazers were able to plate one more run before finally ending the inning, having scored five.
Albama-Huntsville proved resilient, hitting a home run in both the sixth and seventh innings. Valdosta State added one run in the sixth when Albritton scored on a wild pitch after reaching base with a single. The big inning, however, was too much for the Chargers to overcome as the Blazers solidified a spot in the final game.