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Lady Flames Win Second Extra Inning Game With 4-3 Victory Over Delaware State
With the victory, the Lady Flames open the season with a 2-0 record, marking the second-straight year that Liberty has started the year 2-0. Last year, Liberty won its first four games en route to championship game appearance at the Seahawk Classic.
The Lady Flames took advantage of some early control problems by starting pitcher Charisie Searle as Liberty jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning against Delaware State. Jessica Moore and Dawn Jeffs drew walks to start off the game, while both runners advanced a base on a double steal play.
Beth Bennett followed with an RBI single to the gap in right centerfield to drive in Moore, while Ashley Williams sent a long flyout to left field, allowing Jeffs to score on the sacrifice fly and give the Lady Flames to two-run cushion.
Another free pass allowed Liberty to pad its lead as Moore led off the third inning with a four-pitch walk. After advancing to second base on her second steal of the contest, Jeffs dropped one in the gap in right centerfield to drive in Moore and give Liberty a 3-0 lead.
The Hornets finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the third inning as Courtney Sams led off the frame by drawing a walk. After two infield groundouts moved the second baseman to third base, Ashley Gray drove her in with an RBI single off the top of the fence in right field to trim the lead to 3-1.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the seventh inning as Ashley Fisher got a base hit down the left field line, while she later scored on an RBI single to centerfield by Diana Gomez. Ashley Gray followed with a base hit to right field that got passed Erika Rasmussen, allowing pinch runner Megan Lambertz to score and tie the game at 3-3.
Moore was placed at second base to start the top of the eighth inning due to the international tiebreaker run and after advancing to third on a wild pitch, she was able to score the decisive run on a sacrifice fly by Beth Bennett
Delaware State threatened in the bottom of the eighth as Sam Snow connected with a base hit to right field, but Rasmussen was able to gun Cartina Ansbach out at the plate that would have tied the game.
Sarah Swor picked up her second victory of the day as she allowed nine hits and two earned runs, while fanning seven batters in eight innings of work. Charisie Searle suffered the loss as she allowed three runs on two hits in just two innings of work before Candice Shockley effectively finished off the last six innings of work by allowing just one run on one hit.
Liberty's bats were held in check as Liberty finished the game with just three hits as Jeffs and Bennett both had singles to the outfield, while Beth Hensley beat out a infield bunt for the final hit.
The Lady Flames will continue pool play tomorrow with a pair of games as they will open day two of the event against Hampton at 10 a.m., while wrapping up pool play action against UMBC at 2 p.m.