Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Coastal sweeps Liberty

The Lady Flames honored outfielder Jill Stephens on Senior Day during game three

In their final three-game home series of the season, the Liberty Lady Flames (19-33, 8-16 Big South) softball team was swept by rival Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (34-20, 19-5 Big South), April 26-27, extending its losing streak to 11 games.

Dive — a Lady Flames softball player slides head-first into first base against the Chanticleers. Photo credit: Katelyn Welch

Coastal Carolina 5, LU 1

In the first game of a doubleheader Friday, April 26, the Lady Flames fell to the Chanticleers, 5-1.

Freshman Cassidy McCoy brought home the Lady Flames only run in the bottom of the seventh when she hit a double to center field.

Liberty was hit hard in the top of the fifth inning with the Chanticleers scoring four runs off of two hits. One of those hits came from starting pitcher Kiana Quolas, who sent a three-run home run to center field.

Starting pitcher Chandler Ball threw a complete game, striking out four, while allowing three earned runs on four hits. Her record fell to 8-14 on the season.

Quolas struck out five and allowed only one run on five hits, improving her record to 20-8 on the year.

Liberty out-hit the Chanticleers 5-4, but most of their runners were left stranded on base. Sophomore Kelby Allen went 1-3 with a single and a stolen base.

Coastal Carolina 9, LU 0

In the second game of the doubleheader against Coastal Carolina, the Chanticleers scored seven runs over a two-inning span to beat the Lady Flames, 9-0.

Coastal Carolina’s starting pitcher Ashley Bagwell shutout the Lady Flames, recording nine strikeouts in the process. Her no-hitter bid was broken up in the bottom of the third by Liberty second baseman Megan Robinson. However, Bagwell improved her record to 11-8.

Coastal Carolina third baseman Kory Hayden led her offense with a home run and 4 RBI’s. Center fielder Brook Donovan also drove in two runs to help lead the Chanticleers to victory.

Lady Flames starting pitcher Annah Jo Brittingham took the loss, dropping her record to 8-11 on the season. Brittingham gave up four runs through 4 1/3 innings. Relief pitcher Kenzie Friesen was called to take over the remainder of the fifth inning, surrendering three hits and four runs in her appearance.

In the final inning, relief pitcher Alyssa DiMartino for the Lady Flames gave up one
hit.

The Lady Flames only managed two hits from Jill Stephens and Robinson during the game.

Coastal Carolina 9, LU 5

Despite a five-run rally on Senior Day, the Lady Flames fell to the Chanticleers 9-5, Saturday, April 27.

With family and friends in attendance, Liberty seniors Stephens and manager Abbie Seale were honored before the game.

Ball was in the circle again for Liberty. However, she ran into a disastrous first inning, as the Chanticleers knocked in five runs off of three hits, including a grand slam by Coastal Carolina freshman Morgan Nord.

Liberty answered back in the second inning, scoring five runs of its own to tie the game 5-5.

Allen began the frame with a solo home run to center field. With the bases loaded, Stephens was walked by Bagwell, which brought a runner home. Sammi Shivock eventually cleared the bases with a three-RBI double to left field.

Brittingham replaced Ball in the second inning. After allowing three runs in the third, she settled down and went on to pitch six innings, throwing three strikeouts and allowing three earned runs.

The weekend series with Costal Carolina concluded Liberty’s Big South competition. The only series left before the Big South Tournament is a doubleheader series when the Lady Flames host the Virginia Tech Hokies Tuesday, April 30.

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