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Liberty Blanks Manhattan, 7-0
The Liberty softball team built a quick 2-0 lead on Saturday against Manhattan, and a two-hit shutout by Annah Jo Brittingham helped the Lady Flames seal a 7-0 win at the Liberty Softball Field.
Liberty improves its record to 5-7 on the season with its second win in a row, while Manhattan opens its 2013 campaign with a setback.
Briitingham allowed just two hits and tied her career high with five strikeouts. Her shutout was the first by the Lady Flames since Chandler Ball and Alyssa DiMartino combined to blank Gardner-Webb on March 24, 2012.
Sammi Shivock batted 2-for-3 for the Lady Flames, who scored seven runs on six hits. Megan Robinson hit 1-of-2 with her first career homer, three RBIs and two runs scored. Katie Zavodny scored two runs and tied her career high with three stolen bases. Freshman Katie Han recorded a pinch-hit RBI single.
For Manhattan, Kate Bowen and Jen Keller both batted 1-for-3, while Amanda Babcock drew two walks.
Bowen (0-1) started at pitcher for the Jaspers, allowing five earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings of work. Erin Hamm pitched the final 1 1/13 innings of one-hit softball.
Brittingham tossed a 1-2-3 top of the first inning, striking out first the first two batters she faced.
The Lady Flames jumped ahead during their first time at bat. Zavodny reached on an error, and Blair Lawrence recorded an infield single to put runners on the corners. Zavodny then scored on a double-steal play. Shivock plated Lawrence with a squeeze bunt, making it 2-0. A walk and a hit batsman loaded the bases, but Bowen struck out Robinson to end the inning.
Bowen broke up Brittingham's no-hit attempt with a one-out single in the top of the fourth inning. Brittingham then retired the next two batters on a popout and a strikeout.
Liberty loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning on a pair of walks and a Zavodny single. Han then sliced a pinch-hit RBI single to right, scoring Robinson for a 3-0 Lady Flames edge.
Brittingham worked through a bases-loaded jam during the fifth inning. Two walks and a Jen Keller single put three runners on base with two outs. Brittingham then struck out Whitmore to stop the threat.
Liberty tacked on three runs when Robinson homered in the bottom of the fifth. After Shivock was hit by a pitch and Nichols walked, Robinson hit a three-run homer to make it 6-0.
Zavodny led off the sixth inning by reaching on a two-base error. After stealing third, Zavodny scored on a sacrifice fly by Lawrence, making the score, 7-0, Liberty.
Brittingham worked around a seventh-inning error, retiring the final two batters to seal the shutout.
Liberty will next travel to Johnson City, Tenn., as the Lady Flames will play a doubleheader at East Tennessee State on Tuesday, beginning at 2 p.m. That doubleheader begins a stretch of 13 straight games away from Lynchburg for the Lady Flames.