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Zavodny Ties Program Hit Streak Record, Lady Flames Fall to Radford
The Radford softball team hit five home runs during a 12-4 win over Liberty in game two of a conference twin bill, Wednesday at Liberty Softball Field. Meanwhile, Liberty junior Katie Zavodny recorded a hit for the 23rd game in a row, tying the program record, set by Alycia Stevens in 1995.
With the win, Radford (12-19, 5-2 Big South) claims the season series against Liberty, 2-1. The Lady Flames (15-16, 4-5) won game one on Wednesday, 7-0, as Chandler Ball pitched a five-hitter.
Lady Flame Hanna Nichols went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while Amber Donovan batted 2-for-4 as well. Kelby Allen hit a three-run homer, extending her hitting streak to a career-high 10 games. Zavodny singled and scored in the seventh inning, keeping a hitting streak alive that began on Feb. 24 at East Carolina.
The Highlanders recorded 14 hits, including one double and five home runs. Whitney Davis went 3-for-4 with two homers and four RBIs. Jessie Hutchens (2-for-4) doubled and drove in three runs. Becky Mantel, Emily Naegele and Ryndee Ruch all homered.
Rachel Walters (8-6) earned the victory, allowing three runs, two earned on seven hits in six innings pitched. Stephanie Dameron allowed one run on two hits during the seventh frame.
Alyssa DiMartino (0-4) drew the loss, yielding four runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings. After Kenzie Friesen walked two and gave up a hit in 1/3 inning pitched, Annah Jo Brittingham pitched the final 5 1/3 innings of the game for the Lady Flames.
Leadoff batter Mantel greeted DiMartino with a solo shot over the center field wall, making it 1-0 before an out was recorded in the game.
Radford added three more runs in the top of the second inning. Casey Burns and Whitney Davis singled, and then Ruch sent a home run to right, good for a 4-0 edge. Friesen then came on in relief of DiMartino, but after two walks and a single, Brittingham entered the circle for Liberty. Brittingham fanned Jessica Agee, getting out of the jam.
With two on and nobody out in the top of the third, Davis hit a three-run homer to left center, building the Highlanders' advantage to seven.
Jill Stephens doubled to left field with Zavodny on first and two outs in the bottom of the third, but Zavodny was erased at home on a throw from Ruch.
Naegele gave Radford an 8-0 lead with a fourth-inning solo home run.
The Lady Flames struck for three runs during their fourth time at bat. An error, followed by a Nichols double, put runners on second and third, before Allen went deep with her team-leading fifth homer of the season, slicing the deficit to five.
Hutchens drove in Radford's ninth run on a squeeze bunt in the top of the fifth inning.
Back-to-back two-out singles by Donovan and Kassidy McCoy gave Liberty some life in the sixth, but a strikeout defused the rally.
Radford added three runs in the seventh, on a Davis homer and a two-run double by Hutchens.
Dameron came on in relief of Walters for the Highlanders to start the seventh stanza. With one out, Zavodny singled. A pair of errors by Dameron loaded the bases. Nichols then plated Zavodny with a single. The Radford right-hander retired the next two batters on a strikeout and a lineout, and the Highlanders celebrated a 12-4 win at Liberty.
Liberty next embarks on a four-game, three-day road swing, which begins with a conference series at Charleston Southern on Saturday and Sunday. Game one of Saturday's doubleheader begins at 2 p.m., while Sunday's contest starts at 1 p.m. The Lady Flames will then play at Longwood on Monday, taking on the Lancers at 6:30 p.m.