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Gardner-Webb Rallies for 4-2 Win at Liberty
Gardner-Webb scored four runs over the span of the final two innings, gaining a 4-2 come-from-behind win over the host Liberty Lady Flames on Friday at Liberty Softball Field.
Gardner-Webb improves to 7-25, including a 4-12 mark in Big South play, while the Lady Flames fall to 17-21, with a 6-8 conference record entering Friday's second game. Prior to Friday, Liberty had beaten Gardner-Webb in 11 straight meetings, dating back to April 11, 2009.
Kassidy McCoy went 3-for-3 with a double, good for her first career three-hit game. Katie Zavodny, Jill Stephens and Sammi Shivock all registered two base hits, while Shivock and Zavodny both hit doubles.
For Gardner-Webb, Savannah Burns batted 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs, and five additional Runnin' Bulldogs had one hit apiece.
Ashley Rhyne (4-10) picked up the complete-game win, scattering 10 hits while giving up two runs and striking out five Lady Flames.
Annah Jo Brittingham (8-6) also went the distance, allowing just one earned run (four total runs) on seven hits.
The game remained scoreless through the first 2 ½ innings, as Brittingham and Rhyne allowed just one hit apiece during that span.
The Lady Flames edged into the lead with a third-inning tally. Megan Robinson walked to lead off, and went to third on a two-out single by Stephens. Shivock then doubled down the left field line, giving the Lady Flames a 1-0 lead when Robinson crossed the plate.
Gardner-Webb mounted a rally with two outs in the top of the fifth frame. Jill Blank, Taylar Pridgen and Samantha Meenaghan hit three straight singles, but Brittingham got out of the inning unscathed when Kellie Beres grounded out.
The Runnin' Bulldogs tied the game during the top of the sixth. Burns singled, and then went to second on a sacrifice bunt. Jordyn Arrowood dropped a single into left field, plating Burns with the tying run.
McCoy and Amber Donovan both recorded singles in the bottom of the sixth, but Rhyne got the final out of the frame via fielder's choice.
A pair of Lady Flames errors gave Gardner-Webb extra chances in the seventh inning. With two on and two outs, Pridgen scored a run on a passed ball. Following a walk to Baker, Burns hit a two-run triple, making it 4-1, Runnin' Bulldogs.
Liberty rallied during its final time at bat. Zavodny singled, followed by consecutive base hits by Stephens and Shivock. Shivock's RBI single brought the Lady Flames to within two, 4-2. Rhyne then got Allen to ground out, sealing the 4-2 victory for the visitors.