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Blazers weather the storm, sweep Hurricanes

The No. 10 Blazers (30-5) have been red hot as of late, following up a weekend sweep of Lee with a doubleheader sweep over the Georgia Southwestern Hurricanes (29-10), winning the games 6-4 and 5-2.

The latest wins push the Blazers’ streak to six. The Blazers have also won 14 of their last 15 games overall.

Game 1: Blazers 6, Hurricanes 4

VSU started off game one hot, as the Blazers scored four runs in the first inning to jump out to an early advantage.

“Our hitting was solid tonight,” senior pitcher Samantha Richards said. “That very first inning really boosted our confidence.”

That advantage would be short lived, however. In the second inning, Hurricanes first baseman Isabel Marcotte hit her first of two home runs in this game to cut the Blazers’ lead to 4-2.

The Blazers were quick to respond, scoring two more runs in the third inning, including a home run from junior catcher Kinzie Nelson, to go up 6-2.

The Blazers and Hurricanes traded two more scoreless innings before another two-run home run by Marcotte in the top of the sixth pulled the Hurricanes within two.

With her eight strike-out performance, Richards helped secure the Blazers’ game one victory.

“Georgia Southwestern gave us a good game,” Head Coach Thomas Macera said. “Their record shows they are as good as us, and they gave us quite the challenge this evening.”

Game 2: Blazers 5, Hurricanes 2

Game two of this doubleheader would be another close contest, as sophomore Madison Lumpp got the start on the mound for VSU.

Thanks to two stolen bases in the first inning, junior right fielder Morgan Hill helped get the Blazers on the board first.

Batting was once again solid for the Blazers as they drove home four runs in the first three innings.

“We hit well today,” Macera said. “We had a few home runs in both games, but that is our game plan. We come out swinging the bat.”

After the Blazers held the Hurricanes scoreless for the first three innings, Marcotte once again hit a two-run home run deep to left field to get the Hurricanes on the board.

In a game that showcased hits and home runs, the biggest play was made on the defensive side of the ball.

In the top of the fifth inning, down two, with a runner on base, Lumpp threw a fastball that was driven deep to centerfield, which looked like it would be the tying home run.

“I knew she was a home run hitter,” centerfielder Jasmin Stewart said. “I saw the ball going back, so I jumped to make the play. I didn’t have anything to lose.”

On the leap, the true freshman came down with an amazing catch that robbed the tying run.

“It felt great to make that play,” said Stewart. “The fence didn’t feel great, but we made the play, and that is what matters.”

Richards then came back in to finish the game as the Blazers added an insurance run in the sixth inning.

Richards retired the last batter on a strikeout, one of 10 she threw over both games, as the Blazers took game two.

“Both pitchers did a good job today as they kept us in the game,” Macera said. “We played well overall in both games.”

The Blazers will wrap up their eight-game home stand when they host West Alabama. The series will kick off with a doubleheader on Friday, April 7, and wrap up on Saturday, April 8.

Written by Jack Calhoun, Staff Reporter. Photo courtesy of Bailey Storey, Photo Editor.

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