When the Blazers won the first NCAA Division II National Championship in school history nine months ago, Courtney Albritton led off the game homerun; she did the same in the season opener against Southern Arkansas. The Blazers ran though the season opening West Florida tournament in Pensacola, Fla. against South Arkansas and Young Harris.
Valdosta State’s 2012 National Championship’s momentum carried them to a 4-0 record through an opening weekend which featured four games in two days, including two on Super Bowl Sunday. The Blazers swept South Arkansas 6-0, 7-3 on Saturday and followed that up the next day by handing Young Harris two run-rule shortened losses 11-1 and 9-1.
“We saw somethings we need to work on,” Thomas Macera, Valdosta State Head Coach, said. “But, we hit seven homeruns on the weekend hit the ball real well, I’m so pleased with everything overall.”
Albritton and, fellow All-American, Morgan Johnson combined to go 10/26 with five homeruns, ten runs batted in, and 11 runs scored on the weekend.
“They’re All-Americans,” Macera said. “They’re both All-Americans for a reason. They were the two top hitters last year, and they are picking up where they left off.”
The Blazers have somehow found a way to improve on the pace they set last season when VSU Softball went 58-5 on the year.
At this point of the season last year, Valdosta State had stumbled out of the gate to a 1-3 record with an opening day lost to Berry College. This year, however, VSU has come out hot, winning their first four games by an average of seven runs a game.
The Blazers are back in action this Monday as they travel up to Albany for a doubleheader against Albany State. VSU went 4-0 against Albany State last season with by a combined score of 46-0.
Valdosta State then heads back home for their home opener on Tuesday with a doubleheader against Georgia Southwestern beginning at 2 p.m. Georgia Southwestern may also be seeking some revenge after being defeated by the Blazers 2-0 and 9-1 last season.
“We can’t look past anybody right now,” Macera said. “We’re still young and still trying to figure each other out. We made one mistake against Southern Ark. In the second game, and they tie it 3-3, then you’re back, battling, trying to get to a lead. Anyone can beat ya if you don’t play well. The focus is you gotta play well every time out or you’re gonna lose.”
Coach Macera has been impressed with his team’s offensive output thus far into the season, but he is still looking to clean up somethings defensively and with the pitching in these upcoming games.
“We are just trying to work on communicating better on defense,” Macera said. “Getting our pitchers to locate a little bit better, and just keep on hitting.”
Join the Blazers at the Softball Complex for the home-opener this Tuesday to watch the defending National Champions put on a show.