Whenever a VSU sports team defeats rival West Georgia, it makes for a good weekend.
Following two losses against Alabama-Huntsville, the highly ranked Blazers softball team went to Carrollton and beat West Georgia twice, by scores of 6-2 and 2-0, completing the sweep. This was the first of two meetings on the year between the two rivals.
“We dropped two to Alabama-Huntsville last year like that and then we swept them at home and beat them in the postseason,” Coach Thomas Macera said. “So there’s no red flag jumping up right now or panic. We then go to West Georgia, who swept West Florida the day before, and went there, played really well and took two games from them.”
Earlier in the season, Macera noted that his teams’ hitting had not necessarily come to fruition. Against West Georgia, the Blazers had just the right combination of knocking in runs, while also getting stellar contributions from the pitching staff.
In game one against West Georgia, April Hutchens got the Blazer offense rolling with a two-run double in the second inning. The Blazers would put the game away in the seventh inning with a Natalia Morozova two-run homer.
In game two, VSU was led by Melissa Jackson, as she went one for two with a solo home run.
Macera sees improvement, but believes as the season goes on the offense will get stronger.
“We’re getting better,” Macera said. “We just got to play more games. Again, it’s mid-March and we’ve played 16 games. We still haven’t played enough. We’ve had two of our top hitters out of the lineup. We’ve got one back for sure and the other is working to get back in it, and we may have her this weekend. We haven’t had our full squad on the field since early February. So when we get our full team out there, we’ll see what happens from there.”
The consistent bright point for the Blazers, though, is the pitching staff. It isn’t often that you find a pitching staff with ERA’s all under two. It’s said that pitching wins championships and there is no doubt that this team is led by not just one player, but all three pitchers.
“Our pitching is solid,” Macera said. “We have the best pitching staff in the country. We don’t just have one pitcher we’re relying on; we have a good pitching staff that we can go to. They’re all different; they all bring something different to the mound when they get out there and that’s what helps us.”
Against West Georgia, VSU had great contributions from Holly Satterfield and Krystle Robinson. Robinson pitched 7.2 innings in the series, giving up zero runs and three hits while striking out eight.
Satterfield, who is now boasting a .68 ERA on the season, gave up two runs in game one, but she got credited with the win.
VSU has a big weekend ahead as they look forward to the series’ against West Alabama and North Alabama.
“All the conference games are important,” Macera said. “The thing about softball is, everybody in our conference is very, very good. The conference is stacked in softball. You can’t take a breather in conference. If you do; you’re going to drop two games. So the four games this weekend are huge.”