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CSU Pulls Away from Liberty, 9-3
Liberty trimmed a 5-0 deficit to 5-3 with a pair of homers in the fourth inning, but the visiting Charleston Southern Buccaneers pulled away for a 9-3 win over the Lady Flames, Sunday at Liberty Softball Field.
The Buccaneers (18-20-1, 4-5 Big South) snapped a four-game winless streak, while the Lady Flames fall to 4-26, 0-7 in conference play. These two teams will meet twice tomorrow to conclude the series, which has experienced several postponements due to weather.
Ari Tedesco batted 3-for-4 with a double, home run and four RBIs for CSU, while Georgi DeLio hit 3-for-4 with one RBI. Jessica Brock and Stephanie Bergmann both recorded two-hit games, with Brock driving in two runs.
For the Lady Flames, Sammi Shivock hit 2-for-3 with a home run, pushing her into sole possession of fifth all-time at Liberty with 26 career homers. Megan Robinson hit a two-run homer, her team-leading fifth round tripper of the season, while Marybeth Sciolino batted 1-for-2.
Jennifer Giles went the distance for the Buccaneers, allowing three runs on four hits, striking out six and walking three to improve to 9-6 on the season.
Annah Jo Brittingham (2-16) drew the loss after giving up five runs, three earned, on eight hits in four innings pitched. Grace Nordan pitched the final three innings, allowing four runs on five hits.
The Buccaneers struck quickly, as Amanda Matsumoto and Brock hit back-to-back singles to begin the game. Following a sacrifice bunt, DeLio plated Matsumoto with a single, making it 1-0, CSU. Liberty got out of the inning, as Morgan Dowdy struck out and Brock was thrown out at home.
CSU added three tallies in the second, loading the bases with two outs. Brock then sent a single to right, scoring Tedesco and Bergmann, and Matsumoto scored on a throwing error by Brittingham. DeLio flied out to right, bringing the top of the second to a close.
Following a scoreless third frame, the visitors tacked on one run in the top of the fourth, as Tedesco hit a leadoff homer, her second home run of the season, to boost CSU's lead to 5-0.
The Lady Flames responded during the bottom of the fourth. Giles hit Katie Zavodny with a pitch, and then Robinson broke up the no-hit bid with a two-run shot to right center, making it 5-2. With two outs, Shivock connected for a solo shot, narrowing the gap to 5-3.
CSU answered Liberty's fourth-inning scoring output with three runs of its own in the top of the fifth off of reliever Nordan. The Buccaneers loaded the bases with two outs, before Tedesco lined a bases-clearing double to left.
Liberty received a pair of baserunners in the fifth, as Katie Han and Zavodny both walked, but a Robinson groundout ended the threat.
Charleston Southern loaded the bases with one out in the top of the sixth, before Lexie Vanada hit an RBI single to make it 9-3. Nordan escaped further damage, on a lineout and a fielder's choice.
The Lady Flames left three on base at the end of the sixth inning. Kelby Allen reached on an error to lead off, and Shivock and Sciolino singled. A diving catch by Bergmann took an RBI single away from Han, and Crisp flied to right for the third out.
Nordan worked around a Brandy Galaviz double in a scoreless seventh, while Giles retired all three Liberty batters she faced to close out the 9-3 win for the guests.
The Lady Flames and Buccaneers will conclude the series with a doubleheader tomorrow, as game one is set to begin at 1 p.m. at the Liberty Softball Field.