It came down to the wire, but six losses in a row was not meant to be for the Lady Flames softball team. Sophomore catcher Keely McMillon can be thanked for that. It was McMillon’s two-out single in the top of the seventh that broke a tie with the Longwood Lancers on Saturday, halting Liberty’s skid and giving the Lady Flames something positive to take away from a disappointing week.
McMillon’s timely single came in a pitchers duel between Lady Flames’ senior starter Sarah Ellis and Longwood pitchers Brittany Spencer and Briana Wells. Ellis gave up only one run over seven innings, moving her record to 9-18. Liberty notched its first run in the second inning, when McMillon scored on a single by sophomore second baseman Cassie Hendrix. The Lancers countered in their half of the third, on an RBI single by freshman first baseman Courtney Long. McMillon’s single in the seventh decided the game and put an end to the Lady Flames’ losing streak. Liberty had lost five in a row entering the game Saturday, including two to Virginia Tech, as well as the opening game of the Longwood doubleheader.
Thursday saw the Hokies visit Liberty Mountain, and promptly snatch both sides of a doubleheader with the Lady Flames. Game one was all Tech, as a six-run sixth inning propelled the visiting Hokies to a 10-3 route. Highlighting the game for the Hokies were two home runs from freshman second baseman Kristen Froehlich.
The Lady Flames had their chances to put runs on the board, as they put two runners on with no outs in the fourth, but they were unable to capitalize.
“It was disappointing,” Head Coach Paul Wetmore said.
The bright spot for the Lady Flames came in the top of the seventh. With the game already out of hand, freshman pinch-hitter Jenny Law stroked a two-run single.
Liberty’s second game against Tech would fare a little better for Wetmore’s crew, and once again it came down to seventh inning heroics. Law provided another spark, as she delivered another pinch-hit RBI single, pulling the Lady Flames to within one run. The Hokies held on to claim a 4-3 victory, sweeping Liberty on the two-year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings “It felt good,” Law said, “to be able to step up and have quality at bats, especially in those situations. It just felt good.”
Liberty then traveled to Longwood to take on the Lancers in their afternoon doubleheader. The game did not quite go as planned, as the Lady Flames out-hit the Lancers six to five. One of those hits, however, was a three-run shot off the bat of sophomore second baseman Maggie Margadonna. Those three runs were the only ones to cross the plate on either side, as Longwood went on to claim a 3-0 shut out in the opening game of the doubleheader. Liberty was led over the weekend by senior first baseman Beth Bennett, sophomore center fielder Amber DePasquale and freshman shortstop Kelly Strickland, who all had multiple two hit games for the Lady Flames. Law also had two clutch pinch hits plus three RBI’s for Liberty. Junior third baseman J’nae Jefferson, McMillon and Hendrix also notched multi-hit games over the weekend. “It feels good to start getting in a rhythm,” Strickland said. “Now I can just start concentrating on keeping the hits coming.”
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