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Solo Homer In Second Gives No. 25 California 1-0 Victory Over Liberty
With the split on the day after the Lady Flames' 4-2 win over Nevada, Liberty raises its season record to 13-9. The Lady Flames will close out their stay at the Bank of Hawaii Invitational tomorrow when they face No. 14 Baylor, marking Liberty's third-straight day they will face a nationally-ranked opponent. Liberty will not participate in the bracket play at the tournament due to prearranged travel requirements.
The Golden Bears took the game's first lead in the top of the second inning as Bernice Masaniai connected on her fifth home run of the year. The opposite field solo round tripper over the fence in right field gave California an early 1-0 lead.
And the lead would stand the rest of the contest as Liberty mustered a few challenges later in the contest, but could never get a runner to cross the plate.
The Lady Flames ended up leaving eight runners on base during the game, including two in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings.
The closest Liberty came to scoring was in the sixth as the Lady Flames had runners at the corners with two outs, but Lauren Frankiewicz got Sarah Swor to fly out to right to end the threat.
Liberty challenged again in the bottom of the seventh as Courtney Johnson was struck by a pitch, followed by Beth Hensley drawing a walk. However, Frankiewicz clamped down again, getting Dawn Jeffs looking and J'nae Jefferson to ground into a fielder's choice to end the game.
The contest marked just the third time this year that Liberty has been shutout and the Lady Flames four hits ranks second fewest to Liberty's three hits in a 5-0 loss to Hawaii last week.
The Lady Flames out hit the 2002 NCAA softball national champions, 4-2, with Jeffs, Moore and Johnson finishing the game 1-for-3 and Hensley going 1-for-2 to account for Liberty's hits.
Ellis pitched a gem against the nationally-ranked Golden Bears, allowing just two hits, the solo home run on a low and away 0-1 pitch to Masania in the second, and a single down the line by Taylor Kelly in the fifth inning. Ellis walked six and struck out two in her team-leading fifth complete game of the year with her record falling to 5-4 with the tough-luck loss.
Frankiewicz was the victor in the contest as the sophomore scattered Liberty's four hits over seven innings of work, striking out nine and walking three to up her record to 9-4 on the year.