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Lady Flames Fall to Tennessee Tech in 8 Innings

February 16, 2013
|  Woodstock, Ga.
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Amber Donovan went 2-for-3 and drove in one run on Saturday against Tennessee Tech.

Liberty opened its 2013 softball campaign with an eight-inning game against Tennessee Tech, Saturday at the KSU Classic in Woodstock, Ga. The Golden Eagles scored seven runs in the eighth inning to gain the 10-3 victory over the Lady Flames at Twin Creeks Park.

Liberty (0-1) is now 12-15-1 all-time in season openers, including 10-9-1 in 20 seasons of NCAA Division I softball. Tennessee Tech advances to 3-2 on the season with the win.

A pair of Lady Flames, sophomore Amber Donovan and freshman Blair Lawrence, recorded two hits apiece. Donovan registered an RBI double, while Lawrence scored two runs. Katie Zavodny, Megan Robinson and Hanna Nichols all added base hits for Liberty.

Freshman Anna Jo Brittingham (0-1) gave up six earned runs on 11 hits in seven-plus innings before Kenzie Friesen came in relief midway through the extra frame. Friesen recorded all three outs during the eight, while yielding three runs on two hits.

For Tennessee Tech, Melody Christian went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Kendall Hooper and Chelsea Burgess both drove in two runs, while three Golden Eagles had two hits apiece.

Claudia Harke (1-1) pitched the final 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits in relief of Erica Tuck.

Liberty got on the scoreboard first, thanks to a quick, two-out rally in the bottom of the first inning. Nordan drew a walk, and then Donovan drove her in with an opposite-field double, good for a 1-0 lead.

The Golden Eagles stormed into the lead with a three-run third inning. After loading the bases with one out, a Hooper walk, a Burgess sacrifice fly and a single by Taylor produced a 3-1 lead for Tennessee Tech.

The Lady Flames trimmed the deficit in half in the bottom of the third. Lawrence singled with one out, stole second and then reached third on a ground out. With two outs, Nordan reached on a throwing error with allowed Lawrence to score.

Liberty tied the game at 3-all in the bottom of the fifth. Lawrence and Zavodny posted back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt, Lawrence scored on a groundout by Kelby Allen.

Both teams threatened in the sixth, putting runners on second and third, but the game remained tied. A scoreless seventh inning led to an extra inning.

With the International tiebreaker in effect, Burgess was placed on second to start the eighth inning. The Golden Eagles scored three runs before the first out was recorded. Friesen then entered the circle for Liberty, yielding three additional runs before getting out of the inning.

The Lady Flames went down in order in the bottom of the eighth, falling by a final score of 10-3.

The Lady Flames will play against Eastern Kentucky at 1:30 p.m. today, continuing their participation at the KSU Classic.