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No. 25 California Scores 12 Straight In Offensive Slugfest Over Lady Flames
With the pair of losses on the day, Liberty's record drops to 14-11 on the year. Liberty returns to action tomorrow with just a single game as the Lady Flames face No. 6/9 Michigan at 3 p.m., the final game at the second day's action at the three-day event.
Liberty's second contest against No. 25 California in the last eight days was completely different than the first. A solo home run in the March 15th game provided the lone run in the Bears' 1-0 victory over Liberty at the Bank of Hawaii Invitational.
Tonight's game turned into a slugfest as the two teams combined for 22 runs on 23 hits with the Bears scoring the final 12 runs to pull out the 18-6 victory.
Liberty took the game's first lead in the bottom of the first as Dawn Jeffs reached on a fielding error and later scored on a RBI base hit by Ashley Williams to the gap in left center, giving Liberty the early 1-0.
The score remained the same until the top of the third inning where California exploded with six runs on five hits. Highlighting the offensive outburst for the Bears was a RBI single by Bernice Masanaia, a RBI double by Gina Leomiti and a three-run home run to left center by Vernae Sevilla.
But the Lady Flames quickly answered back with their own offensive barrage, scoring five runs on four hits, all of which were doubles, to knot the game at 6-6 in the bottom half of the frame.
Shannon McKain doubled to lead off the inning, followed by a walk issued to Jessica Moore. Williams came through with a two-run double to left center, followed by Beth Bennett trading places with the catcher as Bennett drove in Williams with a double to right center.
After Courtney Johnson drew a walk, J'nae Jefferson doubled off the base of the fence in left field, driving in Bennett and Johnson to tie the ball game.
However, the Bears were able to keep their offense rolling, scoring 12 runs over the next three innings, while holding the Lady Flames scoreless on just three hits to secure the victory.
California scored five runs in the fourth inning on two hits and two Lady Flames' errors, highlighted by a two-RBI single by Katie Vickers and another error in the fifth allowed the Bears to tack on an insurance run.
The Bears put the game out of reach in the sixth inning as California plated six more runs on six hits in the sixth, including RBI singles by Erika Racklin and Vickers and a two-run double by Brittany LaRosa to seal California's 23rd victory of the year.
Liberty used all four pitchers in its arsenal during the game as Sarah Ellis started the game by allowing six runs on six hits over the first 2 1/3 innings of the contest. Sarah Swor, who suffered the loss and drops to 3-3 on the year, allowed five runs on two hits in one-plus inning of work.
Terra Lowe, who pitched 7 1/3 innings against Louisville earlier in the day, allowed seven runs on six hits in two-plus innings of action, before Dana Wheeler got the final two outs of the game in the sixth inning.
Williams led the Lady Flames from the plate as the catcher was a perfect 4-for-4 against the nationally-ranked opponent, driving in three and scoring once. McKain followed as the junior was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Jessica Moore finished the contest 0-for-3, ending the senior's five-game hitting streak.