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Lady Flames Shut Out on the Road at Longwood
The Lancers scored all three of their runs in the fourth and fifth innings, giving Longwood a Big South series sweep of the visiting Lady Flames with a 3-0 victory Thursday afternoon at Lancer Field.
With the win, Longwood improves to 18-6 overall and 7-1 in the Big South, while Liberty drops to 4-25 and 0-6 in conference games. The Lady Flames left four runners on base, while the Lancers stranded 10.
Libby Morris tossed a complete-game shutout for Longwood, surrendering four hits and striking out four. Annah Jo Brittingham also went the distance for the Lady Flames, giving up three runs on nine hits, while fanning one and walking four.
Katie Shinrock, Jamie Barbour and Justina Augustine each notched two hits for Longwood. Megan Baltzell went 1-2 with a home run and two RBIs.
The Lady Flames threatened in the top of the first inning. Katie Zavodny reached on an infield single and then advanced to second when Megan Robinson reached on a throwing error by the Lancers' third baseman. Morris escaped the jam after Hanna Nichols lined into a double-play and Shivock grounded out to shortstop to end the frame.
Brittingham worked around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first. The Lady Flames' hurler retired the next three batters in order to keep the Lancers off the scoreboard.
Longwood notched its first two hits of the game to open the bottom of the third inning. Back-to-back singles by Augustine and Casey Lifsey put runners on first and second with no one out.
Brittingham got the next two batters to pop out to Robinson at second base. Brittingham then walked Megan Baltzell to load the bases, but was able to induce Chelsea Sciacca into a groundout to end the stanza.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Lancers once again registered back-to-back singles to open the inning. Shinrock and Barbour both laced singles to centerfield and each moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Amy Putnam.
Augustine followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Shinrock for the game's first run. Brittingham quelled the damage by retiring the next batter via a groundout.
Longwood extended its lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Emily Murphy lined a double down the left field line to lead off the inning. Two batters later, Baltzell launched a two-run home run over the left centerfield wall, giving the home team a 3-0 advantage.
Liberty's offense came right back with a pair of singles to open the top of the sixth. Brittingham laid down a bunt single to lead off the frame, ending the streak of 12 consecutive batters retired by Morris.
The next batter, Lawrence, beat out a slow roller to the pitcher, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Both runners moved up a base after Zavodny grounded out to shortstop. Morris got out of the jam by striking out Robinson and getting Nichols to bounce out to shortstop.
The Lady Flames final scoring chance came in the top of the seventh frame, when Shivock ripped a single to right centerfield to lead off the inning. Liberty was not able to push a run across as the next three batters were retired to end the game.
Liberty returns to the diamond tomorrow at home against Charleston Southern. The Lady Flames and the Buccaneers will open a Big South Conference series with a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. at Liberty Softball Field.