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Two-Out Homer Gives No. 14 Oregon State Comeback Victory Over Lady Flames
Earlier in the day, the Lady Flames avenged a 7-3 loss on Thursday to Pacific by downing the Tigers, 7-4, to advance to face the 14th-ranked Beavers. With the split on the day, Liberty moves to 10-8 on the year and will face the winner of Pacific and Boston College in the third-place game of the tournament at Noon (local time) tomorrow afternoon.
Liberty looked like it was going to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning as Sarah Swor singled to left field, but with Jessica Moore rounding third base, Alana Ford was able to gun down Moore at the plate to keep the game tied at zero.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the sixth inning when Moore hit her team-leading six home run of the year, connecting on a solo home run off the scoreboard in right field to give Liberty a 1-0 lead.
Oregon State got back-to-back hits in the top of the seventh on a bunt single by Paige Lowe followed by a base hit through the left side of the infield by Ford to begin its rally.
DeAnn Young grounded into a fielder's choice as the Lady Flames kept the ball in the infield and got the lead runner in Lowe out at third base for the second out of the frame.
However, Tarah Black, batting ninth in the order, saved Oregon State from suffering the upset loss as she hit a two-out, three-run home run to center field, putting the Beavers up 3-1. The round tripper marked Black's third career hit, each of which have been home runs for the freshman.
Liberty got one runner on in the bottom of the seventh by virtue of a walk, but Ta'Tyana McElroy was able to hold off another Liberty seventh-inning rally, securing the victory to push her personal record to 7-4 on the season. The senior finished the game by allowing five hits and one run in 7.0 innings of work.
Sarah Ellis was the tough-luck loser as the sophomore had one of her better career outings by allowing three runs, all on the two-out seventh inning homer, on six hits in the complete-game loss to fall to 4-3 on the year.
Moore was 2-for-3 from the plate with the solo home run and Swor was also 2-for-3, including a double in the second inning. Dawn Jeffs finished the game 0-for-3, ending the senior's 14-game hitting streak.