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Three-Run Sixth Lifts Lady Flames To 4-3 Victory Over No. 23/25 Hawaii
With the victory, the Lady Flames raise their record to 12-8 on the year. The victory marks the fourth time in the history of the program that Liberty has defeated a nationally-ranked opponent. Liberty defeated No. 25 Texas A&M Corpus Christi in 2005 and swept a doubleheader from No. 24 Virginia Tech last year in Blacksburg, Va.
The homestanding Rainbow Wahine wasted little time taking the lead in the game as Hawaii scored three in the top of the first on four hits to open a three-run lead, 3-0.
Leadoff hitter Tanisha Milca connected on a solo home run to straightaway center field, her seventh of the year and tying Hawaii's single season team school record as the round tripper was the 42nd on the season for the Rainbow Wahine.
Claire Warwick kept things going with a double to the gap in right-center field, followed by Kaulana Gould's RBI single back up the middle. After a groundout by Tyleen Tausaga moved Gould to second, the center fielder was able to cross the plate for the team's third run off a base knock up the middle by Kate Robinson.
The Lady Flames were able to get on the scoreboard as a fielding error extended the frame and allowed Liberty to score a run. Jessica Moore led off the inning with a single to right center.
After Moore moved to second base on her fourth stolen bases of the year, the senior advanced to third on a two-out grounded ball off the bat of Sarah Swor which second baseman Alana Power was not able to handle to extend the frame.
And the Lady Flames took advantage of the extra at bat as Shannon McKain singled through the left side of the infield, plating Moore and trimming Hawaii's lead to two runs, 3-1.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the sixth inning as Liberty plated three runs on two hits and two walks to claim the lead, 4-3.
Moore led off the frame by drawing a walk, but was erased as second on a fielder's choice by Ashley Williams. Beth Bennett followed with a single through the left side of the infield. Swor was issued a walk to load the bases, followed by Liberty's first run of the inning as McKain singled to right to drive in Williams.
Courtney Johnson kept things going for Liberty as the sophomore was issued the second walk of the inning, forcing in Bennett from third. Beth Hensley capped off the inning as the senior lofted a fly ball to right field, scoring Swor on the sacrifice fly and plating the deciding run.
Terra Lowe, who relieved starting pitcher Sarah Ellis in the sixth inning, was able to defuse Hawaii's seventh-inning rally attempt as the Rainbow Wahine got two runners on in the frame, but Lowe got a pop-up to first and a swinging strikeout to secure the victory.
Lowe upped her record to 4-2 on the year as the senior allowed one hit over 2.0 innings of work, walking one and striking out two. Ellis allowed three runs, all in the first inning, on nine hits in 5.0-plus innings of work.
McKain led the Lady Flames from the plate as the outfielder was 2-for-3 with two RBI, followed by Hensley who was 1-for-2 with a RBI and Moore who was 1-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base.
The Lady Flames continue action at the Bank of Hawaii Invitational, hosted by Hawaii, tomorrow when they face Nevada at Noon (local time), followed by a contest against No. 25 California at 2 p.m. (local time).