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Lady Flames Rally Over Pacific To Claim Third Place At Hawaii Spring Fling
With the victory, the Lady Flames raise their record to 11-8 on the year. Liberty finished the weekend with a 3-4 record at the Hawaii Spring Fling, including taking two out of three games against Pacific who entered the event with an 11-3 record.
The Lady Flames wasted little time taking a lead in the contest as Dawn Jeffs sent the third pitch of the game over the fence in left-center field for a home run, her fifth on the year, with the opposite-field shot giving Liberty a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers quickly answered back in similar fashion as lead-off hitter Gina Carbonatto hit the fifth pitch offered from starter Dana Wheeler over the fence in right center field, knotting the game at 1-1.
Pacific took the lead in the bottom of the third inning as five-consecutive hits led to two runs. Lizzie Hagen started the Tigers' scoring with a single through the left side of the infield, followed by Jennifer Curtier's base hit back up the middle.
Briana Santo followed Curtier's lead with her own base hit up the middle, driving in Hagen. Alyce Jorgensen also singled back up the middle, but Jessica Moore was able to field the base hit and gun down Curtier at the plate for the second out of the inning.
Lauren Weyman got the Tigers' fifth-straight hit with a base knock to center field, driving in Santos to give Pacific a 3-1 lead.
Liberty cut into the Tigers' advantage during its next at bat as Ashley Williams hit her third home run of the season and her second in as many days against Pacific as the junior hit a solo home run to center field to start the fourth and to trim the Tigers' lead to one run, 3-2.
The Lady Flames put together their own hit string as four-straight hits led to two Liberty runs in the sixth, allowing Liberty to take a 4-3 lead. Sarah Swor started things for the Lady Flames by drawing a walk, followed by Shannon McKain's base hit back up the middle.
Courtney Johnson tried to sacrifice both runners into scoring position with a bunt, but the third baseman was able to reach with a bunt base hit just in front of the circle to load the bases.
Pinch hitter Taylor McCarty dropped in a RBI base hit to right field, marking her second hit in her second career at bat, to drive in pinch runner Kristina Jerry from third and tie the game. Jeffs capped off the two-run frame for Liberty as the senior slapped one into the gap in left-center field, plating McKain to allow Liberty to regain the lead, 4-3.
The Lady Flames plated an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning as Williams started off the frame with a base hit back up the middle. Two batters later, Swor doubled to the gap in left-center field, followed by McKain's single through the right side of the infield, driving in Williams and pushing Liberty's lead to 5-3.
But as in the past two meetings during the tournament for the two teams, the Tigers mounted a rally in their final at bat. Swor, who relieved Sarah Ellis in the sixth inning, got the first two outs of the frame.
However, Lauren Weyman singled to right and pinch hitter Mandy Hickman was issued a four-pitch walk, placing the tying run at first base. But Swor caught Casey Goldstand looking on a pitch on the outer part of the plate to end the potential threat and secure the victory for Liberty.
Swor allowed one hit in 1 2/3 innings of work to add to her all-time school career saves record with her second save of the year and the ninth of her career.
Ellis picked up the win in relief of Wheeler as Ellis allowed one run on six hits in 3.0 innings of work to up her record to 5-3. Wheeler started the game and allowed two runs on five hits during the first 2 1/3 innings of the contest.
For the eighth time in 18 contests, the Lady Flames pounded out double-digits hits as Liberty racked up 11 in the victory over the Tigers. Five different players finished the game with two hits including Jeffs (2-for-2 with two RBI), Williams (2-for-4 with two runs scored), Swor (2-for-3), McKain (2-for-3 with a run scored) and Johnson (2-for-3).
The Lady Flames will return to action on Tuesday when they travel across the island for a doubleheader with Hawaii Pacific. First pitch of the day is set for 2 p.m. (local time).