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Hits Abound in LU's Regular-Season Finale

May 3, 2008
|  Charleston, S.C.
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Jenna Eatmon (center right) was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, helping Liberty take their regular-season finale against Charleston Southern on Saturday.

Jenna Eatmon (center right) was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, helping Liberty take their regular-season finale against Charleston Southern on Saturday.

For the first time this season, Liberty tallied double-digit hits during back-to-back games, helping Liberty take a Big South weekend series with a 12-3 victory over Charleston Southern, Saturday afternoon, at the CSU Softball Field.

Liberty, who took the nightcap of yesterday's doubleheader, concludes its regular-season schedule with a 17-38-1 overall record and a 5-10 mark in Big South play.

Charleston Southern, who honored eight graduating seniors prior to the opening pitch, wraps up its regular-season slate with an 18-39 tally and a 2-13 record in conference action.

The Lady Flames jumped out to an early lead, thanks to four hits and a costly error by Charleston Southern in the second.

Almost identical singles down the right-field line by Keely McMillon and Shannon McKain started the four-run burst for Liberty. Jenna Eatmon followed by grounding to Lisa Rice, but the second baseman's throw to first was errant, allowing McMillon to score from second base.

Two batters later, Cassie Hendrix singled through the right side of the infield to plate McKain. Beth Bennett capped off the four-run inning with Liberty's seventh double of the weekend, getting a two-base hit off the fence in center field to drive in Eatmon and Hendrix to stake Liberty to a four-run advantage, 4-0.

Mistakes continued to cost the homestanding Buccaneers in the top of the third. After getting consecutive groundouts to open the inning, starting pitcher Jamie Wellons induced a pop-up to second by Miranda Fielder.

However, the ball popped out of Rice's glove, allowing the designated player to keep the inning alive. McKain continued to dot the right-field line, dropping her ninth career triple into the corner, to plate Fielder from first and move the senior into sole possession of third place on Liberty's career triples list.

Eatmon kept things rolling for Liberty, driving in her third of five runner during the series with a single to left field. The base hit pushed Liberty's lead to six runs, 6-0, and chased Wellons from the game following her sixth unearned run of the contest.

Charleston Southern's bats started to come alive in the bottom of the fourth, beginning with back-to-back singles through opposite sides of the infield by Megan Hall and Rice.

Jennifer Brooks followed by being struck by a pitch to load the bases, while Erin Kegley put the Buccaneers on the scoreboard with a single to center field.

Amy Trenkamp grounded a ball to first base, but the ball kicked off Bennett's glove, allowing Rice to score the inning's second run on the miscue. The 1-1 offering to Shondel from starting pitcher Sarah Ellis got by Ashley Williams, allowing Brooks to cross the plate and trim Liberty's lead in half, 6-3.

However, the Lady Flames quickly got the trio of runs back, scoring three runs on five hits during the top of the fifth inning. The three-run frame was highlighted by Eatmon's single up the middle to plate pinch runner Elena Lampman, and a two-run single to center by Bennett to score McKain and Eatmon.

Liberty secured the victory with three insurance runs in the top of the sixth inning. The second-consecutive three-run frame was spotlighted by McMillon's RBI double to drive in J'nae Jefferson from first and Eatmon's third RBI of the game on a base hit to left field.

Wellons suffered the loss to fall to 13-19 on the season. The righty allowed six runs, all of which were unearned, on seven hits during 2 2/3 innings of work. Liberty continued its offensive onslaught on reliever Caitlin Allen, roughing up the righty for six more runs on eight hits over 2 1/3 innings inside the circle, before Whitey James finished off the final inning.

Ellis picked up her second victory in the series and third on the week to up her record to 8-19 on the season. The junior allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits over 3 1/3 innings of work.

Tiffani Smith finished off the final 2 2/3 innings of the game to pick up her second save of the year. The freshman scattered two hits over the latter part of the game, fanning three batters.

After claiming a 7-0 victory with 12 hits yesterday, Liberty upped its number with a season-high 15 hits. Four different players finished the game with three hits each. McMillon, McKain and Eatmon were 3-for-4, while Hendrix was 3-for-5.

Eatmon had one of her more productive days in a Liberty uniform, driving in three, while Bennett, who was 2-for-3, drove in four runners for the third time this season.

Charleston Southern only had one multiple hit batter, as Rice was 2-for-3 with a run scored, accounting for two of Charleston Southern's eight hits.

The Lady Flames will return the softball diamond on Thursday when they begin play at the 2008 Big South Softball Championship, hosted by Winthrop in Rock Hill, S.C.

Liberty will open the three-day tournament, playing in Game 1 at 10 a.m. The Lady Flames' seeding and opening-game opponent will be determined following the conclusion of this weekend's Big South Conference action.