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Rain-Shortened Game Ends in 2-2 Tie for LU
The rain held off long enough for Amber DePaquale to hit a game-tying home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, allowing Liberty to escape with a 2-2 tie against Tennessee Tech in the first game of the College of Charleston Cougar Classic, Friday afternoon, at Patriots Point.
With the 2-2 draw, Liberty starts its season with a 0-0-1 record and the game accounts for the second tie in program history. The Golden Eagles walk away from the softball diamond with a 4-7-1 overall record.
The Lady Flames wasted little time taking the game's first lead, as Liberty capitalized on a Golden Eagle throwing error in the bottom of the first. Following a 20-minute rain delay between her first and second pitch, second baseman Cassie Hendrix dropped in a lead-off triple into right center.
Trying to keep the freshman honest at third, catcher Kristyn Castonzo fired a pick-off attempt down to Katie Speirer, but the ball glazed off her glove and allowed Hendrix to give Liberty a 1-0 lead on the unearned run.
However, the lead was short lived for Liberty, as Tennessee Tech plated two runs in the top of the second to take a 2-1 edge. Starting pitcher Sarah Ellis walked the first two Golden Eagle batters of the inning, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Castonzo to give Tennessee Tech a pair of runners in scoring position.
The Golden Eagles were able to plate both, starting with Amanda Glover's RBI base hit to center field to drive in Kaleigh Gates. Blaes Schmissrauter followed with a ground out to second base, plating first baseman Stephanie Fischer and giving Tennessee Tech a 2-1 lead.
Following the game's second rain delay, this one totaling 67 minutes, DePasquale tied the game at 2-2 on the second pitch offered by Sarah Streeter by sending the 1-0 offering over the fence in left field for her first collegiate home run.
Following Shannon McKain drawing a full-count walk and Leah Cossentino taking first base as a pinch runner, home plate umpire Al Poirier sent the players to the dugouts for the third and final time, calling the game 30 minutes later.
The game was originally ruled a 2-1 victory in favor of Tennessee Tech, as the score was reverted back to the last completed inning, which was the fifth with the Golden Eagles leading by one. However, upon further review of the 2008 NCAA Softball Rule Book, Rule 126.96.36.199 was used to declare the outcome a 2-2 tie.
The Golden Eagles mustered three hits on the afternoon, as Lacie Coquerille and Glover were both 1-for-3 on the afternoon, while Gates was 1-for-1 with a run scored.
Hendrix led the Lady Flames from the plate, as she was 2-for-3 in her first collegiate game with a run scored. DePasquale finished the day 2-for-3, including the solo blast to tie the game, while Beth Bennett followed with a 1-for-2 performance to account for Liberty's four hits.
Street's record stays at 1-6 on the year, as she allowed two runs, one of which was earned, one five hits during five-plus innings of work, while fanning five batters.
Ellis struggled to find the plate during the game, walking six batters to four strikeouts, as she surrendered two runs on three hits over six innings of work during the draw.
Due to continual rains forecasted for the remainder of the day in the greater Charleston area, the rest of the schedule for Day 1 of the College of Charleston Cougar Classic has been washed out and will not be made up.
Day 2 of the tournament is scheduled to begin tomorrow at 10 a.m., with Liberty and Towson taking to the field. The Lady Flames will also face Kennesaw State in the final game of the day, starting at 8 p.m.