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Spartans Halt Lady Flames' Winning Streak with 10-7 Game Two Victory
With the split on the afternoon, Liberty raises its record to 30-17 on the year. The first-game victory got Liberty to the 30-win plateau for the second-straight year and eighth time in program history. The win also gave Liberty its eighth-straight triumph, accounting for the seventh time in program history Liberty has won eight-consecutive games.
In the nightcap, the Lady Flames wasted little time taking a lead, plating two runs during their first at bat. Dawn Jeffs led off the game with a bunt single just in front of the plate, but the senior was erased at second when Shannon McKain grounded into a fielder's choice play.
But Jessica Moore followed by connecting on her team-leading 14th home run of the year, hitting a two-run shot over the fence in left field to stake Liberty to a two-run lead.
The Spartans got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning as Brandi Schnute hit her second home run of the day. The designated player's solo shot over the fence in right field trimmed Liberty's lead to a single run, 2-1.
UNC Greensboro took control of the game during its next at bat as the Spartans batted around the order in the third, scoring four runs on six hits to take a three-run lead, 5-2.
The four-run frame was highlighted by RBI base hits off the bats of Adriane Audley, Leslie Furness and Kara Clouse. Mary Greenway also scored on a passed ball to extend the Spartans' advantage.
UNC Greensboro took advantage of a two-out Liberty fielding error which kept the fourth inning alive to tack on three more runs. Lyndsay Mouse started the inning with a single to center field.
Two batters and two outs later, Liberty looked like it was going to get out of the inning as Ausley grounded a hard shot down to third, but Courtney Johnson wasn't able to make the play. The following batter made the extra at bat count as Furness hit her sixth home run of the year. Her three-run blast out of the park over the fence in center field pushed UNC Greensboro's lead to six runs, 8-2.
Liberty cut into the lead during its next at bat as J'nae Jefferson led off the top of the fifth inning by hitting her fourth round tripper of the year, sending a solo shot over the fence in left field to trim the Spartans' lead to five runs, 8-3.
UNC Greensboro added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on back-to-back RBI base hits by Greenway and Audley to give the Spartans a seven-run edge, 10-3.
Liberty had scored seven runs in the seventh inning at Winthrop earlier this season, pushing the game into extra innings. The Lady Flames attempted to mount another such rally on Wednesday, but fell a little bit short.
Liberty scored two runs on a triple to right by Shannon McKain and two more on a two-out throwing error, but Amber Harrell was able to get the final out of the game to secure her 11th complete game of the year.
Sarah Ellis suffered the loss for the Lady Flames as the sophomore was roughed up for five runs on five hits during the first two-plus innings of the game to fall to 11-7 on the year.
Moore pushed her season-best hitting streak to 12-straight games as the senior was 1-for-1 with a first-inning, two-run home run. Jeffs (2-for-4), McKain (1-for-4) and Jefferson (1-for-2) recorded Liberty's other four hits during the game.
The Lady Flames return to Big South Conference action this weekend when they host first-place Radford for a three-game series at the Liberty Softball Field. The top two teams in the conference will open with a doubleheader, starting at 2 p.m. on Friday, followed by a single game at Noon on Saturday.