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Winthrop Scores 9-4, Comes-From-Behind Win Over Liberty
Winthrop turned a 4-2 deficit into a 9-4 victory over Liberty on Saturday, scoring seven runs in the last two innings on the way to a series win.
The Eagles improve to 24-21, 12-9 in Big South play with the victory, as Winthrop claimed the series, 2-1 after splitting Friday's doubleheader. Liberty is now 7-40 with a 2-19 conference ledger.
Winthrop left 11 runners on base, while Liberty stranded six. The Eagles benefitted from five Lady Flames errors.
Megan Winningham batted 3-for-5 for the Eagles, while Maddie Antone went 2-for-4 with a double and Sara Allen went 2-for-3. Mel Andrea hit a grand slam, her ninth home run of the campaign for Winthrop.
Katie Zavodny led the Lady Flames with two hits and also tied her career high with three stolen bases, and became just the fifth player all-time at Liberty with 200 or more career hits. Kelby Allen doubled, drove in one run and scored twice, while Holly Seiz doubled. Megan Robinson stole two bases, and Blair Lawrence entered 10th place in program history with her 26th career steal, and 16th this season.
Sara Allen (11-9) picked up her second win on the weekend, allowing four runs on eight hits, striking out four and walking two.
Annah Jo Brittingham (3-19) yielded nine runs (six earned) on 12 hits while fanning four and walking two in 6 2/3 innings of work. Alyssa DiMartino pitched the final 1/3 inning of the game.
Brittingham and Winthrop's Allen worked efficiently during the first two innings, with the Liberty right-hander allowing one hit and Allen yielding two hits over that span.
Winthrop loaded the bases with one out in the top of the third, as Sara Allen and Winningham both singled and McKenzi Corn walked. Brittingham got out of the jam, as Andrea fouled out and Alex White struck out, keeping the game scoreless.
Seiz led off the bottom of the third with a double to center, and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Marybeth Sciolino. She would get no farther, as a groundout and strikeout ended the threat.
Winthrop took a 1-0 lead in the fourth stanza. Ritter laced a leadoff double to center, and a single by Antone sent Ritter to third. With two outs, Naomi Stevens delivered an RBI single for the game's first run.
Liberty tied the score in the bottom of the frame. Kelby Allen walked to open the frame, and Nichols followed with a single to center. After a sacrifice bunt, Lawrence singled to right, plating Allen and knotting the score, 1-1. Sara Allen got the final two outs via strikeout and groundout.
The Eagles went ahead 2-1, during the top of the third. With runners on the corners and two outs, Ritter stole second, and Corn scored when Kelby Allen's throw went into center field.
The hosts responded quickly, with a three-run fifth. Zavodny singled with one out, and went to third on a single by Robinson. Robinson stole second, and then Zavodny scored when the ball got away from the catcher on a squeeze bunt play. Allen gave Liberty a 3-2 lead with an RBI double, and scored when Han singled to right, making it 4-2. Lawrence struck out to end the inning.
Paige Haley doubled to lead off Winthrop's comeback bid in the sixth. After a walk to Sara Allen, Winningham hit an RBI single. Brittingham hit Corn with a pitch, loading the bases for Andrea, who belted a grand slam to put Winthrop ahead, 7-4.
The visitors added a pair of runs during the seventh, capitalizing on three Liberty errors to make the score 9-4.
Sara Allen worked a quick, 1-2-3 seventh, securing the Eagles' comeback victory.
Liberty wraps up the home portion of its 2014 regular-season schedule on Tuesday, hosting the ETSU Buccaneers. Tuesday's doubleheader will begin at 2 p.m. at Liberty Softball Field.