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Badgers Fall on Opening Day

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The Spring Hill College softball team fell to Valdosta State, 10-8, and No. 1 North Georgia, 11-3, on opening day of the 2024 season during the Gulf Shores Invitational at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex on Friday.

The Badgers started the season off taking an early lead over the Blazers in the bottom of the first thanks to an RBI single by Airyonna Weaver, followed by heads-up baserunning from Weaver to score on a throwing error by the catcher. Taylor Pittman also tallied her first RBI as a Badger to round out the 3-0 lead.

Valdosta State answered in the top of the second with four runs and tacked another on in the top of the third inning. Meadow Villar recorded her first home run at SHC on the first pitch of the at bat to cut the Blazer lead to 5-4.

VSU pushed its lead back to two runs (6-4) in the fifth inning, before Alexis Yuratich scored a fielder’s choice RBI and Bailey Cox added a two-run RBI single. Weaver tallied another RBI, this one a double, to push the Badger lead to 8-6 in the bottom of the fifth.

Valdosta State came back in the seventh with a pair of two-run RBIs and defeated Spring Hill 10-8 in the season opener.

In the second game of the day, SHC faced the defending national champion and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) unanimous No. 1 preseason poll pick North Georgia.

The Nighthawks stormed ahead to a 4-0 lead by the third inning. Badger newcomer Cat McCulley brought in three runs on an RBI triple in the fourth inning to make it a one-run game (4-3). UNG answered with a two-run RBI in the fifth to extend its lead to 6-3. Five more runs piled on by North Georgia solidified the 11-3 loss for Spring Hill.

Game Details
Date: Feb. 2
Time: 12:30 p.m. / 3 p.m.
Venue (Location): Gulf Shores Sportsplex (Gulf Shores, Ala.)

Results
Valdosta State 10, Spring Hill 8
Records: Valdosta State (2-0, 0-0 GSC), Spring Hill (0-1, 0-0 SIAC)

#1 North Georgia 11, Spring Hill 3
Records: North Georgia (2-0, 0-0 PBC), Spring Hill (0-2, 0-0 SIAC)

They Said It
Head Coach Hanna Lythberg

On the game
“Very happy with how the team competed today. A few more timely hits and a cleaner defense and I think the outcome of game 1 could’ve been changed. Extremely proud of the way Leighanna Turk threw in the circle against ranked opponents and how Rycca Hinton, Meadow Villar and Airyonna Weaver swung the bat in game 1. ¬†All in all, I’m proud of the team and how we showed up today and I’m excited to see our growth.”

Up Next
Spring Hill continues its opening weekend at the Gulf Shores Invitational with games against (RV) Auburn Montgomery and West Georgia on Saturday.

For complete coverage of Spring Hill softball, follow the Badgers on social media @ShcSoftball (X), /SHCBADGERS (Facebook), @shc_softball (Instagram) or visit the official home of Spring Hill athletics at shcbadgers.com

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