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PC Downs Liberty, 8-5, With Late Comeback
Liberty led 5-1 after an inning and a half on Saturday, before Presbyterian College scored seven unanswered runs, taking game one from the Lady Flames, 8-5 at PC Softball Complex.
PC advances to 25-22 on the season, including 10-11 versus Big South opponents, while the Lady Flames are 8-44, 2-20 in Big South play entering Saturday's second game.
Erin Ruff led the Blue Hose, going 3-for-4 with a double and a grand slam. Kersten Legacki went 1-for-2 with two runs scored, a home run and three RBIs.
Jamie Crisp batted 2-for-3 with a double for Liberty, while Megan Robinson (2-for-4) scored two runs, drove in one and hit her team-leading ninth double of the season. Katie Han went 1-for-3, doubling and driving in three runs.
Relief pitchers played a key role, as PC's Kensley Loudermelk (3-6) picked up the win, allowing just one hit in 5 1/3 innings of work. Starter Katie Brown allowed five runs on six hits in just 1 2/3 innings pitched.
Annah Jo Brittingham (3-20) drew the loss, giving up four runs on one hit, fanning two and walking three in the final four innings of the game. Alyssa DiMartino gave up four runs on five hits in the first two innings.
The Lady Flames jumped ahead with a three-run first inning. Katie Zavodny and Robinson hit back-to-back singles. Brown walked Blair Lawrence to load the bases with two outs, before Han roped a bases-clearing double to center for a 3-0 Liberty advantage.
Back-to-back doubles by Ruff and Jill McLean to open the bottom of the first put PC on the board. Hope Rogers then lined into a double play, and Shelby Petik followed by singling to center. Zavodny caught a sinking liner in center for the third out.
Crisp led off the second with a double to left, and scored on a two-out double by Robinson, making it 4-1. Allen then plated Robinson, singling to center off of reliever Loudermelk for Liberty's fifth run. Nichols walked, and Loudermelk got Lawrence to ground out, ending the inning.
The Blue Hose responded by scoring three runs in the bottom of the third. The first two batters drew walks. Following a fielder's choice, Legacki hit a three-run blast to left to trim the deficit to 5-4. DiMartino retired the next two batters in order.
Following a 1-2-3 Liberty third, Brittingham came on in relief of DiMartino, keeping the Blue Hose off the board during the bottom of the inning. Brittingham then fanned two batters during a 1-2-3 fourth inning, preserving the 5-4 lead.
Loudermelk set down 12 Lady Flames in a row, before Crisp lined a two-out single to right during the top of the sixth.
Erin Taylor drew a leadoff walk in the sixth inning, ending a stretch of nine straight batters retired by Liberty right-hander Brittingham. Courtney Lawton sent Taylor to second with a sacrifice bunt, and a groundout moved Taylor up 60 feet. A pair of walks loaded the bases, before Ruff hit a grand slam to left for an 8-5 PC advantage.
The Lady Flames went three-up, three-down in the seventh, as Loudermelk put the finishing touches on the 8-5 Blue Hose victory.