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Blazers get regular-season sweep against West Florida

Valdosta- The No.4 Valdosta State softball team completes the regular-season sweep against West Florida after winning both games (5-3,4-1) in a doubleheader matchup Saturday afternoon at Steel’s Diamond at Blazer Park.

Senior outfielder Morgan Johnson’s two-run, walkoff home run lifted the Blazers in a come back victory in Game 1 and pitcher Brianna Hancock’s career-high 12 strikeouts performance pushed them in Game 2.

In the first half of the doubleheader, the Blazers chances of winning looked slim heading into the bottom of the seventh, down 3-0.

Nonetheless, after the first two VSU batters of the side got on-base on singles, two at-bats later pinch-hitter Lindsey Hamlin came through with a clutch game tieing three-run home run late.

Then the Argos commited just one error of Game 1 but the dropped sure-out couldn’t have come at a worst time.

The error by UWF outfielder Bianca Lopez allowed VSU infielder Courtney Albritton a double which kept the inning alive and Johnson went the distance in the next at-bat.

“Morgan has been rock soild on offense since she’s been here,” coach Thomas Macera said. “Mo has had so many key hits for us, it’s ridiculous.”

Gulf South Conference ERA leader and Game 1 starter pitcher Taylor Bailey kept the game scoreless after six inning however couldn’t seal the deal in the final side.

The Argos starting pitcher was Jordan Ratliff in Game 2.

Ratliff struggled against the Blazers in the earlier meeting this season and the results were the same a month later.

Again, UWF got on the scoreboard first in the other half of the doubleheader.

 Kasie Buckley hit a RBI-double early on giving the Argos a small lead however the Blazers responded in the fourth inning.

Johnson and Hamlin recorded their second homers of the day along with a solo homer by Shelby Altman to give VSU the three-run advantage over UWF.

Ratliff was taken out in the third inning during the last meeting and this time she was off the mound in the fourth after her shutout collasped.

VSU has won the last nine games between UWF.

The Blazers host West Alabama next Saturday at home.

“We’re just looking for next week right now,” outfielder Morgan Johnson said. “We know that every single game from here out we want to win because it will put us in the best position. We’re just taking it one game at a time.”

This article was written by Eric Jackson.

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