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Winthrop Scores Sweep With 3-2, Walk-Off Win Over Liberty
Liberty and Winthrop played a hard-fought, nine-inning game, with the host Eagles scoring a walk-off, 3-2 win to secure the series sweep on Saturday at Terry Field.
Winthrop (24-23, 12-9 Big South) won all three games this weekend, but the contests were decided by a total of four runs. Liberty is now 19-28 on the campaign (8-13 Big South), and the Lady Flames are currently on a seven-game winless streak.
The guests left 13 runners on base, while Winthrop stranded eight on the afternoon.
Katie Zavodny batted 2-for-4 with two stolen bases and two runs scored. She has now tied the program single-season record for stolen bases, set by Stacy Radulovich in 1996. Sammi Shivock and Kassidy McCoy both recorded RBIs.
Sutton Watson (14-12) picked up her second win of the day, tossing five innings of relief while yielding one run on four hits. Chelsea Schoenfeldt pitched the first four innings of the game, allowing one run on five hits.
Liberty's Annah Jo Brittingham (8-9) went the distance, setting a new career high with seven strikeouts. She allowed three runs on eight hits while walking five.
Kathryn Eberlin batted 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs for Winthrop, while Schoenfeldt batted 2-for-4.
A single and two errors sent Hanna Nichols to third and Amber Donovan to second with one out in the top of the second. Schoenfeldt got out of the inning unscathed, as Megan Robinson and Blair Lawrence grounded out, leaving two runners on base.
The Lady Flames jumped ahead in the third frame. Zavodny hit a leadoff single and stole second. McCoy came through with a two-out RBI single, driving in Zavodny with Liberty's first tally.
A one-out walk to Corn in the fourth ended a stretch of six straight batters retired by Brittingham. Following a fielder's choice, Eberlin went deep, putting Winthrop into the lead, 2-1.
Watson entered the circle to start the fifth frame, and Zavodny greeted her with an infield single. Zavodny then stole second base, before going to third on a sacrifice bunt and scoring the tying run on a squeeze bunt by Shivock. A strikeout and a flyout brought Liberty's at bat to a close.
Andrea recorded a double with one out in the bottom of the fifth, before Brittingham got the final two batters to ground out, keeping the game tied at 2-2.
A hit batsman put Megan Robinson on first with one out in the top of the sixth. Robinson went to second via sacrifice bunt, and then Winthrop intentionally walked Zavodny. Jill Stephens grounded to second for the third out.
Schoenfeldt singled during the sixth, and went to third when Eberlin hit a single to left center. Brittingham got the final two outs on a lineout and a strikeout.
The Lady Flames went in order in the seventh, bringing Winthrop to bat. A 6-3 double play short-circuited the Eagles' rally, sending the game to extra innings.
Donovan was hit by a pitch during the top of the eighth, and a two-out single by Blair Lawrence placed runners on first and second. Watson then struck out Zavodny to quell the threat.
Winthrop rallied after two outs in the eighth, as Schoenfeldt singled and went to third when Eberlin laced a single off the wall. Alex White then grounded out, ending the inning.
Stephens led off the ninth with a single to right center. After a pair of foulouts, Kelby Allen singled to left. A groundout by Nichols kept the game tied going into the bottom of the frame.
Christine DeWitt walked as the first Winthrop batter in the ninth frame, and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. Following a strikeout, Teja Durante roped a single through the right side, scoring pinch runner Zharne Glover with the winning run.
The Lady Flames return home for the remainder of the regular season. Liberty will host Virginia on Wednesday, with game one of the doubleheader set to begin at 2 p.m. at Liberty Softball Field.