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Lady Flames Post Late Rally, Fall at Winthrop, 6-4
The Lady Flames plated three seventh-inning tallies, pulling to within two, but the Winthrop Eagles escaped with a 6-4 victory on Saturday at Terry Field.
Winthrop evens its season record at 23-23, including an 11-9 mark in conference play. Liberty falls to 19-27, 8-12 in Big South games, with its sixth setback in a row.
Katie Zavodny went 3-for-4 for the second game in a row and stole her 37th base of the campaign. Sammi Shivock hit her team-leading 12th double of the season, while Amber Donovan's seventh-inning homer tied her for the team lead, with seven on the year.
Winthrop's Kathryn Eberlin batted 1-for-1 with four RBIs, including a key, three-run homer. Melanie Andrea hit 2-for-3 with a solo homer.
Sutton Watson (13-12) pitched a complete game, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out six Lady Flames.
Chandler Ball tied her career high with eight strikeouts, set last April at Presbyterian College. She allowed six runs on eight hits, walking four while falling to 8-12 on the season.
Shivock doubled with two outs in the top of the first, but was left on base when Watson recorded her second strikeout of the inning.
The Eagles loaded the bases with one out during the first inning. Ball walked Eberlin, plating Teja Durante. The Lady Flames' right-hander then struck out the final two batters, getting out of the jam while allowing just one run.
Liberty earned a scoring chance during the top of the third inning, when Holly Seiz and Zavodny hit consecutive singles with one out. A flyout sent Seiz to third, but Seiz was later erased at the plate trying to score after an errant throw back to the pitcher.
With one out in the third, McKenzi Corn drew a walk, followed by a single from Chelsea Schoenfeldt. Eberlin then hit a three-run drive to right center, good for a 4-0 Eagles' advantage. Ball got out of the inning when she fanned Christine DeWitt with her sixth strikeout of the game.
Liberty derailed Winthrop's rally in the fourth, turning a double play on a bunt and run, while Ball struck out Kristy Noble for the third out.
Zavodny hit a single to lead off the sixth frame, and advanced to second on a dropped third strike. Shivock then reached on a fielder's choice, and Kassidy McCoy was hit by a pitch. Kelby Allen drove Shivock in with a single, and advanced to second on the throw. Nichols sent a flare into left, but shortstop Jenna Harbin saved two runs with a running catch.
Winthrop added two insurance tallies in the sixth, on an RBI groundout from Kelsey Ritter and a solo homer by Andrea, making it 6-1. Ball fanned Durante, bringing Liberty to the plate for the final time.
Donovan hit a leadoff home run during the top of the seventh. Watson then hit Megan Robinson, and Zavodny recorded a one-out single. Another hit batsman loaded the bases for Shivock, who walked to plate Liberty's third run. McCoy then flied out to left, sending Zavodny home for a 6-4 score. Allen hit into a fielder's choice, as third baseman Alex White stepped on third and Winthrop held on for the win.