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Winthrop Holds Off Liberty, 4-3; Game 2 Postponed Until Saturday at 11 a.m.
Liberty outhit Winthrop, 11-5, but the host Eagles registered a pair of two-run extra-base hits on the way to a 4-3 victory over the Lady Flames on Friday at Terry Field.
Game two between the Lady Flames and Eagles has been postponed, and the final two contests of the series will be played as a doubleheader tomorrow. Game one of tomorrow's twin bill will begin at 11 a.m. Friday's start time was moved up to 12:30 p.m. to stay ahead of severe weather in the forecast.
With the win, Winthrop improves its record to 22-23, including 10-9 in Big South contests. The Lady Flames are now 19-26 with an 8-11 conference mark, after dropping five straight games.
Liberty left nine runners on base, but fantastic defense by the Lady Flames kept the visitors' comeback attempt alive.
Chelsea Schoenfeldt (4-6) went the distance, scattering 11 hits while allowing three runs. She hit what proved to be the game winner, a two-run homer in the third inning. Kathryn Eberlin batted 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs.
Katie Zavodny batted 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and also stole two bases, bringing her season total to 36. Kassidy McCoy and Kelby Allen both went 2-for-4, with one RBI apiece, while Amber Donovan added two hits.
Annah Jo Brittingham (8-8) pitched the first four innings of the game for Liberty, giving up four runs on five hits. Chandler Ball tossed two innings of no-hit softball in relief.
Zavodny singled and stole second to lead off the game. McCoy sent her home with a single. Allen and Hanna Nichols then hit back-to-back singles, loading the bases with two outs. Schoenfeldt fanned Donovan for the third out.
The Eagles rallied for a pair of runs during the bottom of the first. With two runners on and two outs, Eberlin drove a two-run double to left center, plating McKenzi Corn and Noble for a 2-1 Winthrop lead.
Winthrop tacked on two runs in the third stanza. Kristy Noble singled, and then Corn was hit by a pitch. Schoenfeldt then blasted an opposite-field home run, but she passed Corn rounding the bases, resulting in only two runs scoring on the play.
The Lady Flames chipped away at the deficit during the top of the fourth. Donovan hit a leadoff single, and went to third after a sacrifice bunt and a groundout. Zavodny plated Donovan with an infield single, making the score 4-2, Winthrop.
After a three-batter Winthrop fourth, Liberty cashed in for one run in the fifth. Sammi Shivock singled with one out, and advanced to second on a groundout. Allen then chopped a single through the middle, scoring Shivock with Liberty's third run.
Ball entered the circle in the bottom of the fifth, and benefitted from a fantastic running catch by Jill Stephens that saved extra bases during a 1-2-3 frame.
Liberty loaded the bases during its sixth time at the plate. Donovan hit a single as the first batter, and a Megan Robinson sacrifice bunt sent her to second. Zavodny singled with two outs, and Stephens then walked, filling the bases. Schoenfeldt and the Eagles maintained their lead when Shivock popped out.
Despite Winthrop placing a runner on third after two outs were recorded in the bottom of the sixth, Liberty escaped unscathed when McCoy snared a sharp liner off the bat of Sara Allen that was ticketed for left field.
Schoenfeldt pitched to three batters during the seventh inning, getting two groundouts and a flyout to hold off the comeback-minded Lady Flames.