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Liberty Rallies Late, Falls to WCU, 4-2
The Liberty softball team rallied during the seventh inning on Sunday, before Western Carolina held on to defeat the Lady Flames, 4-2, at USC Upstate's Cyrill Stadium.
The Catamounts, who escaped with an 8-7 win over Liberty yesterday, are now 2-6 on the season. Liberty (2-10) went winless in four games at the Spartan Classic this weekend.
For her efforts in Spartanburg, Liberty senior outfielder Katie Zavodny was named to the Spartan Classic All-Tournament team.
Mallory Broome (1-3) went the distance for Western Carolina, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out six.
Annah Jo Brittingham (1-5) sustained the complete-game setback after giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits, with three walks and three strikeouts.
WCU's Courtney Price went 2-for-2 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored, while Taylor Sigmon homered.
Kassidy McCoy batted 2-for-3 and doubled for the Lady Flames, while Kelby Allen batted 1-for-3, driving in a run with her team-leading fourth double of the year.
Pitchers Brittingham and Broome both dominated in the early going. Brittingham allowed just one hit through the first four innings and Broome had a one-hitter going into the fourth.
The Lady Flames struck first with a quick one-out rally in the bottom of the fourth. Shivock singled to center, and then Allen hit a double to right center, scoring Shivock for a 1-0 Lady Flames advantage. Broome then retired the next two batters, bringing the fourth frame to a close.
WCU quickly responded, taking the lead during the top of the fifth. Sigmon hit a leadoff homer, tying the game at 1-1. After a groundout, the Catamounts loaded the bases, before Amelia Griffin came through with a go-ahead RBI single. Karley Harkey hit a two-out single, plating Courtney Price with WCU's third run, before a bases-loaded groundout ended the inning.
Broome worked around a one-out single by Robinson in the fifth, keeping the score 3-1. Both pitchers then pitched 1-2-3 sixth innings, setting up a dramatic seventh.
A walk and a hit batter led off the Catamounts' seventh time at bat, but a double play gave Liberty two outs. After a passed ball moved Price to third, Whitney Haywood hit an RBI infield single, increasing the lead to 4-1.
Liberty loaded the bases with nobody out during its last time up, on a hit batter, a double by McCoy and a fielder's choice. Hanna Nichols, in a pinch-hitting role, drove in Holly Seiz on a fielder's choice. With one out and runners on first and second, Broome closed the door, getting the final two batters to foul out and ground out.
Liberty's next games will take place in Charlotte, N.C., as the Lady Flames compete in the 49er Invitational, hosted by Charlotte, next Friday through Sunday. While at the tournament, Liberty will face Georgetown, Charlotte and Stony Brook. The Lady Flames and Hoyas met in Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb. 7, with Georgetown edging Liberty, 4-3.