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Western Carolina Escapes With 8-7 Win Over Liberty
Liberty staged a furious seventh-inning rally on Saturday, but Western Carolina held on for an 8-7 victory over the Lady Flames at Cyrill Stadium.
The Catamounts earned their first win of the season, improving to 1-6 on the campaign, while the Lady Flames fall to 2-8 with their third consecutive setback.
Western Carolina scored eight runs on 12 hits, with four errors, while Liberty tallied seven runs on nine hits, committing three errors.
Liberty's Blair Lawrence, Katie Zavodny and Sammi Shivock all recorded two hits, with Shivock and Zavodny both doubling and Zavodny recording her eighth stolen base of the year. Shivock drove in two runs, while Hanna Nichols scored two runs.
Karley Harkey went 4-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and two RBIs for WCU. Heather Chastain batted 2-for-3, while Brooke Coggins and Taylor Sigmon both plated two runs.
Jordan Garrett (1-3) earned the win, yielding one run on five hits in four innings of work. Taylor Sigmon (two runs, two hits) and Courtney Buchanan (four unearned runs, two hits) both pitched 1 1/3 innings and Mallory Broome came on for the save.
Alyssa DiMartino (1-3) drew the loss after allowing three runs, one earned, on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. Annah Jo Brittingham yielded five runs, three earned, on five hits in 3 2/3 innings pitched.
WCU loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first, on three straight singles. Sigmon plated Harkey on a fielder's choice grounder, making it 1-0 before a lineout double-play ended the inning.
The Lady Flames filled the bases in the top of the second, with walks to Nordan and Lawrence and a Seiz single. Liberty left all three on base, as Zavodny grounded out.
An error put Price on second with one out in WCU's second time at bat. A sacrifice sent her to third. Following a walk to Amelia Griffin, Courtney Price scored on a double-steal play. Harkey tripled to drive in Griffin for a 3-0 Catamounts advantage.
Liberty began its comeback in the top of the third. Allen singled, and later scored on a double by Shivock, before Shivock got thrown out at third with the Lady Flames trailing, 3-1.
A one-out double by Buchanan put WCU runners on second and third during the third inning. Brittingham then came on in relief of DiMartino, getting the final two outs.
The Lady Flames threatened in the fourth stanza, as Nichols walked and Lawrence then bunted for a base hit. Zavodny hit a two-out single, but pinch runner Megan Robinson was erased at the plate, keeping the score 3-1.
The Catamounts left two runners on base during the bottom of the fourth, as both teams continued to put pressure on the defense.
Liberty trimmed the deficit to one with a fifth-inning tally off reliever Sigmon. Marybeth Sciolino singled to lead off, and Kelby Allen walked. Following a sacrifice bunt by Katie Han, Shivock hit an RBI groundout, making it 3-2.
The Lady Flames then tied the score at 3-3 on a bases-loaded walk to Sciolino in the top of the sixth. Relief pitcher Buchanan came on to strike out Allen to escape the inning.
WCU stormed back into the lead with a five-run sixth, aided by two Liberty errors. Harkey hit a one-out RBI single, while Coggins later hit a two-run single, good for a 7-3 lead. Sigmon hit into a fielder's choice, plating WCU's eighth run. Coggins then scored on a throwing error, pushing the Catamounts' lead to 8-3.
Liberty rallied in a big way in the seventh, starting with a leadoff single by Shivock. A pair of errors ensued, with Shivock scoring on the second miscue. Zavodny then hit a two-out RBI double, making it 8-5. With runners on second and third, Sciolino reached on an error, pushing both runs across for an 8-7 score. Broome then entered the circle, and got Allen to line out, securing the save.
Liberty will next face tournament host USC Upstate, in a contest scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. this afternoon.