Written by: Rashad Milligan
As the end of the season nears, No. 24 Valdosta State softball team is eyeing another championship run.
The 31-12 Blazers are only focused on the “practice-by-practice” tasks, according to shortstop Shelby Altman.
VSU hosts Albany State (15-17) tonight for a doubleheader.
The Blazers will go to Carrollton, Ga., to face the University of West Georgia (17-21) in a three-game series. The Gulf South Conference rivals may have a losing record on paper, but the Lady Wolves beat No. 7 Alabama-Huntsville in an earlier series 2-1. It was the same UAH team that took the GSC lead from the Lady Blazers with a series sweep this past weekend.
That statistic, however, holds no meaning to the Blazers.
“It doesn’t matter if they’ve beat (Alabama-) Huntsville,” Altman said, continuing to preach that the team’s job is to “dominate, go hard and play our best.”
As Altman wraps up her senior season, she currently ranks in the top five in nine offensive categories in the GSC. This includes ranking seventh in the nation for home runs, 36th in the nation for runs batted in, and 36th for best slugging percentage in the country.
This weekend’s series against the Wolves may also be the weekend junior sensation Courtney Albritton makes GSC history. Albritton is currently nearing the record for career home runs in the conference, and she might not even realize it.
“(Albritton) doesn’t focus on records,” head coach Tom Macera said. “She probably doesn’t know how many home runs she has right now, but I do.
“(It) is an incredible feat when you see the other top players in that statistic accomplish their numbers in four years, and she’s about to do it in three. Courtney is a player who is humble and is going to bring her game every time.”
Shelby Altman said her teammates are aware of Albritton’s potential historic season, and they are all very excited for her. Altman later highlighted the fact that Albritton is one of the most humble teammates she has ever played with.
In addition to being the national player of the week two weeks ago, Albritton is currently second in the nation with 19 home runs.
Albritton’s secret to focusing on the actual game instead of the outside hype is quite simple. She said that she focuses not on how well she is playing, but more on whether her team is going to win.
This story was written by Rashad Milligan