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Lady Flames Drop Hard-Fought Decision to UVA, 7-6

April 24, 2013
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Kassidy McCoy went 3-for-3 and hit her second career homer on Wednesday against Virginia.

Liberty pulled to within one run of Virginia on three occasions, but the Cavaliers survived a fierce comeback attempt from the Lady Flames, 7-6, during the nightcap of Wednesday's doubleheader.

Virginia (20-25) posted a pair of wins over the Lady Flames on Wednesday. The Cavaliers also took game one, 7-3. Liberty (19-30) outhit the Cavaliers, 10-7, during game two, but extended its winless streak to nine.

Kassidy McCoy went 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs, while Jill Stephens was 2-for-4 in the contest. Kelby Allen added a home run, her team-leading eighth.

Marcy Bowdren and Lauren Didlake both went 2-for-3 with a homer and two runs scored for the Cavaliers.

Melanie Mitchell (15-15) came out of the bullpen to post her second win of the day, yielding one run on two hits and striking out six over the final four innings of the contest. Starter Aimee Chapdelaine lasted three innings, giving up five runs on eight hits.

Liberty's Annah Jo Brittingham (8-10) gave up six runs on five hits over the first 3 1/3 innings of the game, drawing the decision. Chandler Ball pitched 3 2/3 innings of relief, allowing just one run on two hits.

Virginia jumped out to 1-0 lead with a one-out solo home run from Bowdren during the top of the first. Brittingham then fanned two out of the next three Cavaliers to bat to end the first frame.

Second-inning singles by Amber Donovan and Hanna Nichols put Lady Flames on the corners with one out. McCoy followed with a single to plate Donovan to tie the game at 1-1. Chapdelaine got the final two outs on a groundout and a strikeout.

The visitors quickly regained the advantage in the third. Taylor Williams walked with one out, and later scored from third on a sacrifice fly by Karli Johnson. Virginia loaded the bases in front of a bases-clearing double from Alex Skinkis. Skinkis was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple, but not before the Cavaliers extended their lead to 5-1.

Liberty battled back with a three-run barrage in the third. Sammi Shivock and Stephens both singled, and scored on Kelby Allen's two-out, three-run blast to right-center, bringing the Lady Flames to within one at 5-4.

Virginia extended its edge with a single run during the next inning. Didlake slugged a solo home run over the center field fence, upping the visitors' edge to 6-4. Ball then entered the circle for Liberty to record the final two outs of the inning.

McCoy singled to lead off the Liberty half of the fourth frame, and Mitchell then came on in relief of Chapdelaine. Following a sacrifice bunt that moved McCoy to second, Lawrence sent a single to left, making it 6-5. Katie Zavodny then lined out and Stephens struck out.

Johnson reached second on a throwing error as the first batter in the fifth, but a pair of foulouts and a strikeout got the Lady Flames out of the inning unscathed.

Didlake hit a leadoff single in the top of the sixth, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. She then took third on a wild pitch. Williams followed with an opposite-field single to plate Didlake and give UVA an important insurance run.

McCoy pull Liberty back to within one, by blasting a round tripper as the first batter in the home half of the sixth. But, Mitchell retired the next three Lady Flames in order.

The Cavaliers threatened to score during the seventh, as Johnson drew a leadoff walk, and went to third on a pair of wild pitches. After a walk to Kristen Hawkins, the next two Cavaliers went in order, bringing Liberty up for the final time.

A dropped throw by UVA's first baseman gave Liberty a one-out baserunner during its final at bat. Shivock then moved to second on a passed ball. With the tying run in scoring position, Mitchell fanned Donovan and Allen to clinch a tight, 7-6 victory.

The Lady Flames remain at home and host Coastal Carolina in a weekend Big South series, Friday and Saturday. Game one of Friday's doubleheader, between the last two Big South softball champions, is set to begin at 2 p.m. Saturday's action will start at 1 p.m., following a Senior Day presentation.