VALDOSTA, Ga. (May 7, 2012) - Rollins came into Monday knowing they would have to beat top-seeded Valdosta State twice to advance to the super-regional tournament. After taking care of business in game one, giving top-seed Valdosta State their first loss of the regional tournament, 3-0, the fourth-seeded Tars dropped a heart breaker in game two, losing 1-0 in front of more than 370 people at the VSU Softball Complex.
Even with the 45 minute lay off between games, Bitzer picked up where she left off. She picked up back to back strikeouts and then got Samantha Posey to ground out to second to end the inning.
Rollins recorded their first hit off of Gunby in top of the second on a leadoff single by Krista Rodden. Following the Rodden single, Gunby retired Bitzer and then Meredith Foster on a sacrifice bunt to bring up Veronica Alred with two outs and Rodden on second.
But Alred was unable to capitalize on the early scoring chance, popping out to shallow left to end the Tars second.
VSU's first opportunity came in the third. Angela O'Conner drew a leadoff walk and then was replaced by pinch runner, April Collins. Bitzer then retired Clare Wamsley when she popped up a bunt attempt before April Hutchens picked up the Blazer's first hit of the game, an infield single in the hole on the left side.
With runners on first and second with one out, Courtney Albritton reached on a fielder's choice to third for out number two; Hutchens was out at second on the play.
With runners on the corners, Morgan Johnson followed with a single through the left side of the infield to score Collins to take the lead, 1-0.
Rollins looked to answer in the fourth, putting runners on first and second with one out but couldn't take advantage, stranding both after a strikeout and pop out to the shortstop ended the inning.
The Tars would mount a threat again in the fifth. Alred led off with a line drive single up the middle and was then sacrificed to second by Hilary Brown.
Hannah Lovestrand followed with a long drive to right center that appeared to have a chance to leave the ball park. But right fielder Wamsley made the catch while crashing into the wall to rob Rollins of at least the sure double that would have tied the game.
Gunby then got Aimee Halpin to ground out to end the inning with the Blazers still leading, 1-0.
The Tars would again put pressure on the Blazers in the sixth, but only to relinquish another opportunity, coming up empty after putting runners on first and second with one out.
Bitzer held VSU scoreless in their half of the sixth to hold the score, 1-0, in favor of the Blazers heading to Rollins' final at bat, with Alred, Brown and then Lovestrand due up.
On the first pitch from Gunby in the seventh, Alred brought the Tars fans to their feet, sending a long drive towards center. But for the second time of the afternoon, a Blazers outfielder, this time centerfielder Courtney Albritton, took a homerun away from Rollins.
Gunby then got Brown and Lovestrand to ground out to end the game and the season for the Tars.
"Couldn't imagine a better group of girls to be around in my first year of coaching", assistant coach Christine Roser added.
"These seniors are irreplaceable. They led this team to places that we have never been before as a program."
With the loss, Rollins ends their historic run with a 43-10 record.
Valdosta State improves to 51-4 and will host Florida Southern in the super-regionals May 11-12.