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Ball Tosses 5-Hitter in 7-0 Win Over Radford
Liberty built a quick 3-0 lead during the first inning, and Chandler Ball pitched a five-hit shutout, as the Lady Flames downed the visiting Radford Highlanders, 7-0, during game one of a doubleheader on Wednesday at Liberty Softball Field.
Liberty scored three runs in the first inning, and then tacked on three more tallies during the sixth frame, sealing the team's first shutout victory since March 2 versus Manhattan.
The Lady Flames level their record at 15-15, 4-4 in conference play, snapping a three-game winless streak. Liberty is now 6-1 at home, and has won its last six games in a row at Liberty Softball Field. Radford's record now stands at 11-19, including 4-2 in Big South games, heading into game two of Wednesday's twin bill.
Ball (6-7) pitched her first career complete-game shutout, scattering five hits while striking out one and walking one.
Hanna Nichols batted 2-for-2 with a triple and one RBI, while Kassidy McCoy hit 2-for-3 with a double. Katie Zavodny hit a two-run double during the sixth inning, extending her hitting streak to 22 games.
Jackie Jenkins drew the loss, falling to 3-13 on the campaign after allowing seven runs (three earned) on five hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Stephanie Dameron came on and pitched the final 2/3 of an inning.
Emily Naegele hit 2-for-3 and doubled, while Morgan Eye also hit a double for the Highlanders.
Ball sat down the Highlanders in order during each of the first two innings, and the Lady Flames got off to a quick start at the plate.
Liberty jumped ahead with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Zavodny walked, and reached third on a sacrifice bunt. Sammi Shivock then hit a grounder to short, and Zavodny scored on a close play at the plate. Nichols followed with a triple, plating Shivock, while Kelby Allen made it 3-0 with an RBI on an infield single. McCoy hit a two-out double, and Allen was thrown out at the plate trying to extend the Lady Flames' lead to 4-0.
Radford rallied with two outs in the top of the third, as Ryndee Ruch and Becky Mantel hit back-to-back singles. Both runners moved up one base on a wild pitch, but were left stranded by a Hillari Hopkins groundout.
The Lady Flames added a tally during the third frame, as Shivock reached on an error with one out. Following a Nichols single and a groundout by Allen, Shivock crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
The Highlanders threatened during the fourth frame, loading the bases with two outs. Ball defused the rally, getting Casey Burns to fly out to end the inning.
Liberty tacked on three insurance runs while batting in the sixth inning. Jenkins hit the first two batters she faced during the inning. McCoy singled with one out, loading the bases. Dameron then entered the circle for Radford. After a strikeout, Katie Han reached on an error, and Marybeth Sciolino scored an unearned run. Zavodny then got her only hit of the game, a two-run double, making it 7-0.
Ball worked around a leadoff double in the Radford half of the seventh, sealing the 7-0 blanking.