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Lady Flames' Rally Falls Short As Liberty Falls To St. Francis At Pirate Clash
The Lady Flames almost overcame an eight-run deficit as Liberty, which included a five-run seventh inning, but St. Francis was able to halt the rally to secure the 9-8 win over Liberty, Saturday morning, at the Pirate Clash.
The Red Flash wasted little time as St. Francis jumped out to a four-run lead in the top of the first inning. Kate Lancaster led off the game with a single to left field and later scored on a single to right off the bat of Kara Stroup.
Hilary McNeils followed with an RBI double to straightaway centerfield to drive in Stroup, while Nicole Waligora completed the four-run frame as her shot to left field was lost in the sun by Beth Hensley and glanced off her head for an inside the park homer. But the play cost the Lady Flames more than just two more runs as Hensley was sent to the bench for the rest of the day as she was injured on the play.
The Lady Flames got on the scoreboard on the first pitch of the bottom half of the frame as Jessica Moore got her first homer of the year with a solo shot over the fence in left centerfield to cut the lead to 4-1.
The score remained the same until the top half of the fifth inning as the Red Flash exploded for five runs on six hits, including a double by Kelly Slingwine to start the outburst, while five-consecutive hits by the first five batters in the order completed the frame to put St. Francis up 9-1 after three and half innings.
The Lady Flames slowly started to chip away at the lead as Ashley Williams led off the fourth inning with a single to left field and later scored on an RBI base hit to centerfield by Courtney Johnson, while Rachel Love and Moore led off the fifth inning with back-to-back singles and scored on a base hit up the middle by Williams to drive in both runners and cut the lead to 9-4.
Liberty continued to push in the seventh inning as Moore connected on a solo shot over the fence in left field, while four-straight two-out singles by Beth Bennett, Williams, Shannon McKain and pinch hitter Jessica Leary got the Lady Flames within one run, but starting pitcher Janelle McCoy was able to get the final out and pick up the complete-game victory.
McCoy allowed eight earned runs on 13 hits in seven innings of work, while fanning five batters. Katie Jones suffered the loss in her first career outing as she was roughed up for four runs on four hits in just 2/3 innings of work before Terra Lowe (2.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO) and Sarah Swor (3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO) finished off the game in relief.
Moore led the Lady Flames offensive as she recorded her seventh career multi home run game with two solo homers as she was 3-for-4 from the plate, while both Bennett and Williams were 2-for-4 with Bennett driving in two and Williams scoring twice.