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Lady Flames' Rally Falls Short As Liberty Drops Second Game, 9-5, To Gardner-Webb
With the opening 5-3 victory over Appalachian State to start the opening and the split doubleheader with Gardner-Webb, Liberty opens the 2007 season with a 2-1 record.
Gardner-Webb took the lead early in the contest as Emily Sherrill got a two-out solo home run to center field with the ball hitting off the top of the fence and falling over to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
Gardner-Webb took advantage of two Liberty fielding errors to added three runs to its lead. Back-to-back infield errors allowed Jessi Polk and Lindsay Cox to reach base. Both runners advantaged on a stolen base and Polk scored on a sacrifice fly by Abbie Looper, while two batters later Emily Sherrill drove in two more with a single to right center field, pushing Gardner-Webb's lead to four runs, 4-0.
Gardner-Webb continued to added to its lead and once again a miscue was costly for Liberty as a fielding error prolonged the fourth inning, allowing Sherrill to strike again with a two-RBI double to right field, plating Cox and Linsley to push the Bulldogs lead to 6-0.
Liberty, who didn't get its first hit of the game until the top of the fifth inning, finally started to get things going in the sixth as J'nae Jefferson led off the frame with a single down the left field line. Two batters later, Ashley Williams drove in Jefferson with a base hit up the middle, followed by a two-run homer to left field by Beth Bennett, trimming the Bulldogs' lead to 6-3.
However, Gardner-Webb plated four insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the game away. The four-run outburst was highlighted by a RBI single by Linsley to drive in Cox, followed by a two-run single to the gap in right field by Mandy Ward to plate Linsley and Sherrill.
Liberty tried to keep things going in the top of the seventh inning as Jessica Leary led off the frame with a double to left center field, followed by a two-run homer over the fence in right center off the bat of Beth Hensley. But, the attempted rally was halted by relief pitcher Alison Coffey to give the home team a split on the day.
Bennett led the Lady Flames in the contest as she was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, while Hensley was 1-for-3 with two RBI off the seventh-inning homer.
Taryn Beck picked up the victory for the Bulldogs as she allowed three runs on four hits during 5 2/3 innings of work. Terra Lowe suffered the loss as she allowed four runs, with only one being earned, on three hits in 1 2/3 innings of work. Sarah Ellis finished off the game by allowing five runs, with only two earned, on six hits over 4 1/3 innings of work.
The Lady Flames will next take to the softball diamond when they travel to Kennesaw, Ga., to participate in the KSU Classic, hosted by Kennesaw State. The two-day event, starting on Saturday, includes host Kennesaw State, Liberty and the College of Charleston.