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Extra-Inning Win Gives Coastal Carolina Split on the Day with Liberty
With the split on the day, Liberty raises its record to 33-21 on the season and 8-3 in Big South play, leaving them just one win shy of first-place Winthrop. The second-game loss was the Lady Flames' second at home this year, leaving Liberty 14-2 at Liberty Softball Field this year, which is two wins shy of the school record set in 1999 (16-2).
The game two victory upped Coastal Carolina's record to 20-31 on the season and 7-7 in conference action.
Coastal Carolina's first hit of the afternoon gave the Chanticleers a two-run edge in the top of the fourth inning. Allison Cantrell kept the inning alive as she grounded up the middle; however, Dawn Jeffs wasn't able to record the third out of the frame.
Coastal Carolina capitalized on the extra at bat as Kristina Sheppard followed by hitting her ninth home run of the year, a two-run blast to right-center field to give the Chanticleers the 2-0 lead.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the sixth as Shannon McKain was struck by a 0-2 pitch, allowing the left fielder to reach base. Pinch runner Rachel Love was erased at second base as Jessica Moore grounded into a fielder's choice, but Ashley Williams followed by hitting her 11th home run of the year.
The two-run shot into the batting cage screens in straightaway center field knotted the scored at 2-2.
Neither team was able to muster a run in the seventh, sending the contest into extra innings. In the top of the eighth, Alicia Irwin moved Ashley Gerdts over to third on a sacrifice bunt, followed by a grounded ball to shortstop by Trish Kretchman, but J'nae Jefferson wasn't able to make the play, allowing Gerdts to cross the plate and give the Chanticleers the lead.
Shannon McKain was placed at second base to start the bottom of the eighth as part of the international tiebreaker rule, leaving first base open to start the inning.
Moore was intentionally walked to create the force at any base, but Coastal Carolina won't need it as Ashley Frederick got the next two batters to strikeout, followed by a groundout to second to secure the afternoon split.
Frederick went the distance for the Chanticleers as she allowed two runs on five hits over eight innings of work, walking two and striking out eight to up her record to 10-16.
Sarah Swor suffered the loss as she allowed three unearned runs on two hits, while striking out a season-best 10 batters to increase her school record total to 474 career strikeouts.
Coastal Carolina tallied just two hits during the game as Sheppard was 1-for-2 with the two-run round tripper in the fourth and Brittany Birnbaum was 1-for-3.
Williams led the Lady Flames from the plate as she was 2-for-3 with the other two-run homer. Jeffs recorded her team-leading 32nd multiple hit game as she was 2-for-4, pushing her hitting streak to 10 games.
Liberty and Coastal Carolina will conclude their three-game Big South Conference series tomorrow afternoon with a single game at the Liberty Softball Field. First pitch of the contest is set for 1 p.m.