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Thundering Herd Advances To Championship Game With Victory Over Liberty
With the split on the day, the Lady Flames raise their season-to-date record to 7-4, with the lost to Marshall snapping Liberty's three-game winning streak. The Lady Flames finish pool play with a 2-1 record and will square off against a yet-to-be determined opponent in the third-place game tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 p.m.
In the second game, the Thundering Herd took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second as Marshall capitalized on a Liberty error. Gina Guzzo singled through the left side of the infield and three batters later, Rachel Schmidt singled to right. But the ball was mishandled by Jessica Leary, allowing Guzzo to round third and score the game's first run.
Another error led to Marshall's second run in the top of the third inning as Joscelyn Bitner led off the frame by reaching on a fielding error by Michelle Fridey at third base. After stealing second and moving to third on a sacrifice bunt, Bitner scored on Rachel Folden's RBI base hit through the middle, to give Marshall a 2-0 lead.
The score remained the same until the top of the fifth inning when Guzzo singled back up the middle, driving in Folden and Samantha Rodriguez. After Rachael Sofie put runners at the corners with an infield single, a groundout by Caitlyn Jackson allowed Guzzo to score, giving the Thundering Herd all the runs they would need.
Abigail Harter held the Lady Flames' offense, which averaged over 10 runs its first three games at Chapel Hill, in check as she scattered eight hits over seven innings of work, while fanning three batters to up her record to 6-3 on the year.
Sarah Swor suffered the loss as the senior was roughed up for five runs, three of which were earned, on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings of work, before Sarah Ellis finished off the final 2 2/3 innings by allowing just one hit and striking out two.
J'nae Jefferson led the Lady Flames from the plate as the freshman was a perfect 3-for-3, followed by Ashley Williams who was 2-for-3. Dawn Jeffs (1-for-4) and Jessica Moore (1-for-3) both collected hits during the contest, pushing both their hitting streaks to eight-straight games.