Feb 23, 2010

Softball overpowers opponents

by Ryan Carr

The Liberty softball team continued its season last weekend at the USC Upstate Campus Suites Spartan Classic in Spartanburg, S.C., competing against Eastern Kentucky, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) and the University of South Carolina-Upstate.

The Lady Flames won three of their four games to improve to a 3-2 record on the season. The Lady Flames first victory of the tournament came on Friday with a come-from-behind win in extra innings against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels.

The Lady Flames took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo home run by senior J’nae Jefferson and a two-run home run by Kaylee West. Eastern Kentucky responded in the top of the fifth by scoring three runs to tie. The Lady Colonels then exploded with five runs in the top of the sixth inning to take the lead 8-3.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth inning the Lady Flames rallied to tie the score. Junior Ashley Bensinger drove in two runs with the bases loaded with a double to left field.

The Lady Flames’ scoring continued when junior Cassie Hendrix and sophomore Jenny Law both had RBI singles to tie the game.
The Colonels again took the lead in the top of the eighth inning with a three-run double by Jena Handley. The Lady Flames responded in the bottom of the eighth with a sacrifice fly by West scored Law then sophomore Danielle Howard walked to reload the bases.

Sophomore Meredith Baisden then followed with another walk to bring the Lady Flames within a run. Bensinger drove in the winning runs with a single that scored Jefferson and sophomore Kelly Strickland to give the Lady Flames a 12-11 win.

The Spartan Classic continued on Saturday for the Lady Flames with a 5-0 loss to the UMBC Retrievers. The Retrievers scored a run in the first inning to take the lead and never looked back. UMBC held the Lady Flames hitless until the bottom of the fourth and allowed four hits all game.

The Retrievers extended their lead in the third inning with another run after Jessica Vetok scored from third base on a ground out to the shortstop. The scoring continued in the fifth with doubles from Lauren Brummell and Malorie Weller. Weller scored Brummell from second and was then brought in on a sacrifice fly from Amanda Fefel. The Retrievers scored their final run in the seventh on a passed ball that scored Weller.

The Lady Flames responded later that evening with an overwhelming victory over USC Upstate, 12-2. The Lady Flames began with a solo home run from Howard to take the early lead 1-0. The scoring continued in the second inning for the lady Flames as Howard delivered again, this time with a grand slam.
The third inning was no different, as junior Amber Depasquale hit a three-run home run for the Lady Flames to extend the lead to 9-0. The Lady Flames continued their dominance in the top of the fifth by scoring three more runs and pushing their lead to 12-2. The Spartans were unable to put any runs on the board in the fifth and the game ended after five completed innings of play.

“Our expectations were to come and play well here and get better, which we did and I’m very pleased. Upstate is a great team and we pounded them,” said head coach Paul Wetmore.

Liberty defeated Eastern Kentucky for the second time in the weekend with a score of 3-2. The Colonels took an early 1-0 lead before Liberty responded with two runs to take the lead 2-1. Eastern Kentucky tied the game up 2-2, in the top of the fourth inning.

However, with two outs and DePasquale on second base, Howard drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure the victory for the Lady Flames.

Contact Ryan Carr
at rmcarr2@liberty.edu.

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