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Lady Flames Earn 1st Win of Season, 5-2 Over IUPUI

February 17, 2013
|  Woodstock, Ga.
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Hanna Nichols had two hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs on Sunday against IUPUI.

The Liberty softball team slugged three homers, earning a split on Sunday with a 5-2 victory over IUPUI to close out the KSU Classic at Twin Creeks Park in Woodstock, Ga.

The Lady Flames now hold a 1-3 overall record after their first weekend of the 2013 season, while IUPUI is now 3-6 on the campaign.

Liberty pounded out a season-high 13 hits, its most since recording 17 hits in a 13-5 win over North Carolina A&T on April 10, 2012.

Katie Zavodny went 3-for-4 with a career-high three stolen bases on the afternoon. Blair Lawrence, Grace Nordan, Kelby Allen and Hanna Nichols all had two hits apiece. Nichols homered and drove in a career-high three runs, while Nordan and Sammi Shivock both hit home runs.

Annah Jo Brittingham (1-1) recorded her first collegiate win, going the distance while yielding two runs on five hits.

Lindsey Richards went 2-for-3 for IUPUI, while Kelsey Rupert and Ali Mosier both had one RBI. Emili Escamilla (1-2) drew the loss, giving up three runs on 10 hits in six innings of relief pitching. Jocelyn Oppenhuis allowed two runs in one inning pitched as the starter.

Shivock got Liberty on the scoreboard with a two-out homer in the top of the first inning.

Nordan boosted the Lady Flames' lead to 2-0 when she belted a solo shot during the top of the second.

After Escamilla quelled a Liberty rally in the third frame, the Jaguars came back to tie the score in the bottom half of the inning. IUPUI recorded three straight singles to open the inning, with a Rupert single plating Alyssa Neff. A Mosier sacrifice fly evened the score at 2-2.

Liberty regained the lead in the top of the fourth on an RBI single by Nichols. Nordan and Allen reached base as the first two batters of the inning before Nichols' single made it 3-2.

The Lady Flames added two insurance runs during the sixth stanza. Allen singled as the leadoff batter, and Nichols slugged a two-run homer, good for a 5-2 Liberty advantage.

The 5-2 edge stood throughout the rest of the game, but IUPUI threatened with a rally in the bottom of the seventh. Leadoff batter Jessica Lam reached base on an error, and stole second. Lam later was erased at the plate following a wild pitch. With runners on the corners, Nikki Thomas grounded out to short to end the contest.

Liberty will next compete in the Pirate Invitational, hosted by East Carolina next Friday through Sunday, Feb. 22-24, in Greenville, N.C. The Lady Flames will meet 2012 NCAA Tournament participants Lehigh and Notre Dame, along with Fairfield and the host East Carolina Pirates.