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Lady Flames Down Norfolk State, 5-1, for 1st Win of Richardson Era
Senior outfielder Katie Zavodny tied a program record with four runs scored, as the Liberty softball team earned its first win under head coach Dot Richardson, downing Norfolk State, 5-1, on Saturday at UNCW's Boseman Field.
Liberty improves its record to 1-5 on the campaign, while the Spartans fall to 0-2. The Lady Flames outhit NSU, 9-4, and capitalized on five Spartan errors by scoring four unearned runs.
Zavodny went 3-for-3 with her first career home run, two stolen bases and a program record-tying four runs. Kelby Allen batted 2-for-3 with a double, while Liberty also got hits from Blair Lawrence, Kassidy McCoy, Megan Robinson and Sammi Shivock.
For the Spartans, Whitney Williams went 1-for-3 with an RBI, while Heather Dunning walked and scored NSU's lone run. Morgan Boyd and Alina Moriarty both singled.
Annah Jo Brittingham (1-3) went the distance for Liberty, yielding one run on four hits while striking out four and walking three.
Norfolk State's Liz Riley allowed five runs, one earned, on nine hits with three strikeouts and four walks in six innings pitched.
The Spartans struck first, pushing across one run in the top of the first. Dunning walked to lead off, and Boyd followed with a single. Williams later drove a one-out RBI single up the middle, plating Dunning for a 1-0 NSU advantage.
Liberty quickly tied the game at 1-1 during its first time at bat, and threatened for more. Zavodny drew a leadoff walk and stole second. After a walk to Allen, Zavodny scored on a throwing error. A Shivock single to right loaded the bases with one out, but Riley escaped the inning by getting grounders from McCoy and Robinson.
The Lady Flames rallied with two outs in the second, as back-to-back hits by Zavodny put runners on first and third. Zavodny then scored on an error during a double-steal play, making it 2-1, Liberty. Allen then grounded out to second for the third out.
Liberty added a third-inning tally, capitalizing on a Spartan error. Seiz led off with a walk, and Shivock reached on an error. After a sacrifice and a pickoff, Robinson drove in Shivock with a single to center, good for a 3-1 edge.
Zavodny generated another run with her speed in the fourth stanza, singling and stealing second. She then crossed the plate with Liberty's fourth tally when Spartan catcher Sommer Di Fulgo threw wildly to second on a pickoff attempt.
After yielding a first-inning run, Brittingham settled in, allowing no runs on just two hits over the final six frames.
Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Zavodny drilled a liner to center that got past the center fielder. Zavodny sped around the bases for an inside-the-park home run to boost Liberty's lead to 5-1.
The Spartans mounted a brief rally in the top of the seventh, putting a pair of runners on base, but left them stranded as the Lady Flames put the finishing touches on the 5-1 win.
The Lady Flames are currently playing against UMBC, to complete the first day of the Seahawk Invitational.