Feb 26, 2008

Softball derailed by errors at Cougar Classic

by Miranda Fielder

The Lady Flames softball team traveled to the complex of Patriots Point in Charleston, S.C. on Feb. 22-24 and returned home with a 1-2-1 record.
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On Friday, the Lady Flames opened against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles. Freshman Cassie Hendrix had the first hit of the game with a triple to right center field then scored on a throwing error. Freshman Amber DePasquale scored the only other run in the sixth inning for the Lady Flames with a solo home run to left field. The match between the two teams was quickly halted due to a rain delay, prompting the umpires to call the game. At first, the umpires ruled the game 2-1, Gold Eagles, due to the incompletion of the inning. The ruling then changed to a 2-2 tie between the teams, making this the second tie in the history of the Lady Flames.
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On Saturday, the Lady Flames met the Towson Tigers for their second game of the tournament. Freshman Tiffani Smith was the starting pitcher, but only pitched 1 1/3 innings before being relieved by junior Sarah Ellis. Smith had two strikeouts and allowed five walks. Ellis pitched for the next four innings, striking out four Lady Tigers and walking three.
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For the first five innings, the Lady Flames could not score a run. Towson, on the other hand, took advantage of Smith’s five walks and jumped out to a 5-0 lead. The Lady Flames also committed three errors in the loss.
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During the sixth inning, sophomore third baseman J’Nae Jefferson singled up the middle to score senior Ashley Williams for the lone Lady Flame run. Junior Beth Bennett and freshman Leah Cossentino each went 2-for-3 at the plate in the 11-1 loss.
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Later that night, the Lady Flames returned to face the Kennesaw State (KSU) Owls. Sophomore pitcher Dana Wheeler made her first appearance of the season for the Lady Flames. Throughout seven innings, she faced 23 batters, striking out 12. She did not allow a walk and only gave up one hit, picking up the win.
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During this game, the bats came alive for the Lady Flames. Bennett and DePasquale each had two hits, highlighted by a Bennett home run to left field and four RBIs. Freshman Keely McMillion had two RBIs and Williams had one. The Lady Flames and Wheeler posted their first win over KSU, 7-0.
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On Sunday, the Lady Flames played their final game of the tournament against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Runs were hard to come by for the Lady Flames, and freshman Elena Lampman plated the lone Liberty run off a Jefferson double.
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Hendrix went 2-for-3 at the plate while senior Shanna McKain and Jefferson had one hit apiece. Ellis pitched seven strong innings, striking out seven and walking five. The Wolfpack capitalized on four Liberty errors to squeak out a 2-1 win.
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Head Coach Paul Wetmore seemed to be very pleased with his team’s performance throughout the tournament.
“It was a learning experience,” Wetmore said. “We don’t want to repeat errors in the future. Overall, though, I think we were very successful. A number of people contributed.”
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The Lady Flames will now be traveling to Knoxville, Tenn. on Feb. 27 to face the Tennessee Lady Vols, who are ranked No. 5 in the nation. Then, they will travel to Greenville, N.C. to play in the Pirate Clash tournament.

Contact Miranda Fielder at mbfielder@liberty.edu.


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