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Nolan's Three-Run Blast Lifts Owls Past Lady Flames In Extra Innings
the contest was a true pitcher's duel as the game remained scoreless until the bottom of the ninth inning.
Sarah Hesterman started the inning by being placed at second base as part of the international tiebreaker rule. The Lady Flames intentionally walked Keri McKee to set up a force play at any base, but that didn't matter as Jennifer Nolan connected on the second pitch she saw in her at bat, sending the 1-0 pitch well over the fence in left-center field to give the homestanding Owls the 3-0 victory.
Both clubs had multiple chances during the game as the two teams combined to leave 22 runners on base. Liberty scattered its five hits during the game over five separate innings, leaving eight runners on base. The Lady Flames best scoring opportunity came in the top of the ninth as Liberty loaded the bases with two outs; however, Michelle Fridey struck out looking to end the potential threat.
Kennesaw State tallied 14 LOB during the contest, including the third, fourth and eighth innings when they left the bases loaded without scoring.
Jessica Moore led the Lady Flames from the plate as the center fielder was 2-for-4. Jeffs was 1-for-4, pushing her hitting streak to four-straight games. Fridey (1-for-4) and Beth Hensley (1-for-3) tallied Liberty's final two hits.
Sarah Ellis was the tough-luck loser, falling to 2-1 on the year. The sophomore scattered five hits over her first 4 2/3 innings of work, striking out six batters, before surrendering the three-run blast. Sarah Swor started the game and allowed four hits over 3 1/3 innings of action where she was relieved in the fourth with runners at second and third.
Brittany Matthews upped her record to 4-2 on the year, allowing five hits in the complete-game effort. Matthews fanned 12 batters on the day, marking a season high for Liberty and the third time in seven games Liberty has struck out 10 or more times in a game.
With the pair of losses, the Lady Flames fall to 4-3 on the season. The Lady Flames return to the softball diamond on Friday when they begin competition at the Tar Heel Classic, hosted by North Carolina.
Liberty faces Princeton (10 a.m.) and Marshall (12:15 p.m.) on Friday, followed by a contest against Rhode Island (10 a.m.) on Saturday to round out pool-play. Tournament-play starts late on Saturday and continues on Sunday with the championship game scheduled for 2:30 p.m.