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ETSU Outlasts Liberty, 13-7
The visiting ETSU Buccaneers hit four home runs en route to a 13-7 victory over Liberty on Thursday in the last game played at Liberty Softball Field.
During 21 years at their home facility, the Lady Flames posted a 206-178 home record. After recording five home runs on the day, Liberty totaled 24 homers in 19 home games this season.
ETSU is now 19-27 after the two teams split Thursday's doubleheader, with Liberty winning game one, 13-4. The Lady Flames fall to 8-43 entering their final weekend of regular-season games.
The Buccaneers' Taylor Carter (12-8) earned the complete-game win, allowing seven runs (four earned) on eight hits while striking out three and walking one. She helped her own cause, batting 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs at the plate.
Alyssa DiMartino (4-19) sustained the loss after giving up nine runs on eight hits, walking four in 3 1/3 innings pitched. Grace Nordan pitched the final 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits.
Katie Wolff led ETSU with three hits, with four additional Buccaneers recording two hits apiece. Madison Boyd and Kelsey Chernak both homered, while Jackie Baird hit her team-best 18th home run of the season.
Megan Robinson batted 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs. She now leads the Lady Flames with eight doubles and eight homers on the season. Hanna Nichols homered as well, her third of the year, while Katie Han hit a two-run double. Katie Zavodny recorded her 206th career hit, moving into fourth place all-time at Liberty.
The Buccaneers took a quick, 1-0 lead during the top of the first, when Nicole Fox scored on a wild pitch with two outs and the bases loaded. Carter then grounded out, leaving two on base.
Liberty tied the game at 1-1 when Robinson blasted a one-out solo home run to left during the hosts' first time at the plate.
After DiMartino pitched a 1-2-3 second, the Lady Flames went ahead with a second-inning tally. Seiz walked with two outs, and Crisp then singled. Nordan then sent an RBI single to left, plating Seiz for a 2-1 lead. Zavodny flied out to end the inning.
ETSU regained its lead by posting a five-spot on the board in the third. With two outs and two on base, Carter hit a three-run blast to center. Mykeah Johnson drew a walk, and Boyd made it 6-2 with a two-run blast over the wall in center. DiMartino got Samantha Carpenter to ground out for the third out.
The hosts scored one run for the third inning in a row, when Nichols lifted a solo home run to left center to trim the deficit to 6-3.
The Buccaneers continued to add to their lead, as Chernak and Baird both recorded homers during a three-run ETSU fourth, making the score 9-3. Nordan entered the circle in relief of DiMartino during the fourth.
The visitors scored three more times during the fifth, boosting their advantage to 12-3.
Facing the possibility of falling via run-rule, the Lady Flames fought back with a four-run fifth inning outburst. Zavodny led off with a single, and scored on a double by Robinson. With runners on the corners and two outs, Han hit a two-run double to draw Liberty to within 12-6. Holly Seiz plated Han with a single, but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.
ETSU scored its final run of the game on a throwing error in the top of the sixth.
The Lady Flames went in order during their sixth time at bat, and ETSU went 1-2-3 in the seventh.
Liberty received a two-out baserunner during the bottom of the seventh when Nichols reached on an error, but Lawrence fouled out for the final out.
Liberty closes out its regular-season schedule with a Big South weekend series at Presbyterian College, Saturday and Sunday in Clinton, S.C. Saturday's doubleheader begins at 2 p.m., while the two teams will meet on Sunday at 1 p.m. to finish the series.