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Lady Flames Earn 8-Inning, 6-4 Victory Over PC
Liberty held off Presbyterian in the seventh, and scored twice in the final frame to earn a 6-4, eight-inning victory during the nightcap on Saturday at PC Softball Complex.
With the win, Liberty improves to 9-44, including 3-20 in Big South play, while PC is now 25-23, 10-12 in conference action after the two teams split Saturday's doubleheader. The Blue Hose won game one, 8-5.
The Lady Flames tied a program record with eight stolen bases, as the record was set on April 5, 1997 versus UMBC.
Liberty's Katie Zavodny went 3-for-4, tying a career high with three stolen bases to give her 30 steals on the season. Marybeth Sciolino went 3-for-4 with a career-high three steals, while Kelby Allen batted 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs. Hanna Nichols went 2-for-4 with a solo home run.
Hope Rogers went 2-for-4 for PC, doubling while posting one run and one RBI. Jill McLean batted 1-for-4 with two runs scored, while Shelby Petik and Kersten Legacki both doubled.
Annah Jo Brittingham (4-20) gained the win for the Lady Flames, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks in six total innings pitched. Alyssa DiMartino yielded two runs, one earned on two hits in two innings.
Sydney Seigler (11-11) drew the loss, giving up six runs (five earned) on 11 hits, while striking out five and walking two in 7 1/3 innings of work. Kensley Loudermelk pitched the final 2/3 inning, yielding one hit.
The Lady Flames' first two batters, Zavodny and Megan Robinson, opened the game with consecutive singles. Allen popped out, and then Zavodny was erased on the base paths. Seigler fanned Nichols to get out of the jam.
Consecutive doubles by Rogers and Petik with two outs during the first inning staked the Blue Hose to a 1-0 lead. Brittingham got Taylor to pop out to close the frame.
Liberty tied the game thanks to speedy base running. Blair Lawrence drew a walk and stole second. A bunt base hit by Sciolino put runners at the corners, and then Lawrence scored on a double steal play. A groundout and strikeout ended Liberty's second at bat.
The guests went ahead during the top of the third. Zavodny led off with a single and stole second. Allen later hit a one-out, two-run homer to right center for a 3-1 Liberty lead.
PC scored an unearned run in the third stanza, pulling to within one. With runners on the corners and two outs, Petik reached on a dropped popup, with Erin Ruff crossing the plate. Erin Taylor lined out to left center, as Lawrence made a running catch for the final out.
Sciolino singled and stole second to start the fourth inning. Seigler retired the next three Lady Flames.
The Blue Hose stranded a pair of runners during the bottom of the fourth, with Allen and Lawton hitting back-to-back singles. Liberty's Allen picked off Abby Allen, and Brittingham got Legacki and Ruff on a popout and lineout.
The Lady Flames added a fifth-inning tally, as Allen and Nichols hit consecutive singles with one out. Han then drove a sacrifice fly to deep center, scoring Allen for a 4-2 edge. Lawrence ended the rally with a lineout.
DiMartino entered the circle for the Lady Flames in the fifth. She hit McLean, and a wild pitch sent McLean to second. Rogers hit an RBI single, for a 4-3 score. Rogers made it third with one out, but DiMartino got the final two batters out in a row to maintain the lead.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Liberty threatened to push a runner across in the seventh. Zavodny hit a leadoff single, and stole both second and third. Robinson then popped out, and Zavodny was thrown out at home after Allen flied out to left.
The first two PC batters reached in the bottom of the seventh. Brittingham then re-entered the circle, getting a flyout. McLean scored the tying run on an error, and a two-out walk loaded the bases. After an extended battle, Brittingham struck out Ashley looking, sending the game to extra innings.
Nichols untied the game with a leadoff homer in the top of the eighth. An error put Han on first. A Lawrence groundout sent Han to second, and Sciolino singled to put runners on the corners. With two outs, Nordan hit an RBI single up the middle, and Sciolino was thrown out, ending Liberty's eighth at bat with a 6-4 Lady Flames lead.
Brittingham made quick work of the Blue Hose during the eighth inning, with a pair of strikeouts to secure the 6-4, extra-innings win.
The Lady Flames and Blue Hose will wrap up the series with a single game, tomorrow at 1 p.m. at PC Softball Complex, in Liberty's last regular-season contest of 2014.