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Bennett's Homer Gives Liberty Big South Split
With the victory in the second game, the Lady Flames forced a split during the opening day of the weekend conference series. Liberty now stands at 9-26-1 and 3-2 in league play. The loss drops the Chanticleers record to 17-28 and 5-3 in Big South action.
Neither team could muster much offense early, as the squads combined for three hits over the first four innings, before rains in the area forced the contest into a 50-minute rain delay.
The game continued to remain scoreless until the first pitch of the top of the sixth inning, when Beth Bennett took an outside pitch over the right center field fence for an opposite field, solo home run.
The round tripper, the fourth for the junior this year, extended her hitting streak to a career-best 17-straight games.
The homer helped spark Liberty's bats as Shannon McKain, J'nae Jefferson and Keely McMillon followed with three-consecutive hits to chase starting pitcher Michelle Evans from the contest.
However, Ashley Pederson was brought into the contest to halt the attempted Liberty run and the freshman did her job. The righty got Leah Cossentino to pop out to second for the inning's first out. Jenna Eatmon, a fifth-inning replacement in right field, followed by popping into a double play, when McKain was caught off third base to keep the score at 1-0.
But, Liberty would prove to not need the insurance runs, as relief pitcher Tiffani Smith shutdown the homestanding Chanticleers, by allowing just one hit over the final 4 2/3 innings of the contest.
The freshman picked up her second victory of the year (2-7) with the solid relief effort, walking one and fanning six batters.
Dana Wheeler started the contest, but was lifted in the bottom of the third inning. During the first 2 1/3 innings of the contest, the sophomore allowed one hit, walked a batter and fanned four to help Liberty strike out 10 Coastal Carolina batters on the afternoon.
Evans was the tough-luck loser, allowing one run on seven hits during the first five-plus innings of work to fall to 2-7. Pederson finished the game, retiring the last six batters in a row.
Liberty pounded out eight hits on the afternoon, led by Jefferson and McMillon who were both 2-for-3. Bennett was 1-for-4 with the solo home run to account for the game's lone run.
Coastal Carolina had two hits during the rain-delayed contest. Allison Cantrell was 1-for-3 and Evans tried to help her own cause by going 1-for-2.
The Lady Flames and the Chanticleers will return to the CCU Softball Field tomorrow to wrap up the Big South weekend series. Opening toss from inside the pitcher's circle is slated for 1 p.m.