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Longwood Downs Liberty, 14-6
The visiting Longwood Lancers defeated Liberty, 14-6, behind a 15-hit performance during game one of a doubleheader on Monday at Liberty Softball Field.
Longwood improves to 30-11, including 12-5 in Big South games, with its third win in a row and the Lancers' 11th victory in their last 12 outings. The Lady Flames are now 19-22, with an 8-9 conference mark heading into Monday's second contest.
Liberty's Kelby Allen went 3-for-3, and tied her career high with two home runs, scoring three runs and driving in three. She had previously hit two homers against Longwood on May 5, 2012. Katie Zavodny also added three hits and a stolen base. Amber Donovan hit a three-run homer for the second game in a row.
Megan Baltzell and Brooke Short both hit homers for Longwood, while Chelsea Sciacca had three doubles and Kori Nishitomi recorded two two-baggers. Jordan Cox added two hits for the visitors.
Short (15-5) pitched the final two innings of the game, picking up the win while allowing one hit. Starter Libby Morris and reliever Ashley Cornell both allowed three runs.
Chandler Ball (8-10) gave up six earned runs during the first two innings, before Annah Jo Brittingham (four innings) and Alyssa DiMartino (one inning) yielded three runs apiece.
Longwood struck first, on a solo homer by Baltzell during the first inning, her 19th of the season.
The Lancers added to their lead with three second-inning tallies. Nishitomi hit a two-run double with the bases loaded and one out, making it 3-0. When Baltzell then struck out swinging, Katie Shinrock alertly went home with Longwood's fourth run.
The Lady Flames battled back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the second. Allen singled to lead off the inning, and went to second on a walk to McCoy. Donovan then blasted a homer to left field, bringing Liberty to within one, 4-3.
Following RBI base hits by Sciacca and Cox in the top of the third, Brittingham came on in relief of Ball, with Liberty trailing, 6-3. A double steal ensued, and then Jamie Barbour hit an RBI single and Shinrock drove in a run with a groundout, pushing Longwood's lead to 8-3. Brittingham then got the final two outs on a lineout and a strikeout.
Liberty once again responded with runs in the bottom of the third frame. Relief pitcher Cornell got two quick outs, but Hanna Nichols singled, and Allen slammed her second homer of the game, and seventh on the year, to trim the deficit to three runs.
Short opened the fourth inning with a solo homer, her 13th of 2013, good for a 9-5 Longwood advantage.
After a scoreless fifth, Longwood added a pair of runs in the sixth, via an RBI double from Sciacca and a sacrifice fly by Carly Adams.
Allen slugged a solo shot to right center to begin Liberty's sixth time at bat, making the score 11-6. Kassidy McCoy then singled, and Donovan drew a walk. Short entered the circle for the Lancers at that time. She retired the first two batters she saw, and got out of the inning on an obstruction call on the bases.
Longwood increased its lead by three during the final frame, as Short hit a sacrifice fly and Emily Murphy plated a pair with a single.
Short retired the Lady Flames in order in the bottom of the seventh, bringing the 14-6 Longwood victory to a close.