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Errors Prove Costly For Lady Flames As Liberty Falls To Fairfield To Conclude Pirate Clash

March 5, 2006
|  Greenville, N.C.
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The Lady Flames jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but four costly errors led to five unearned runs as Fairfield was able to rally for a 6-5 win over Liberty, Sunday morning, at the Pirate Clash.

The Lady Flames jumped out early as Liberty plated three runs in the top half of the first inning as Jessica Moore led of the frame with a walk and Dawn Jeffs followed with a double to centerfield. Two batters later, Ashley Williams connected on her second home run in as many days as the starting catcher sent one well over the fence in left center field to give Liberty an early 3-0 lead.

Fairfield tied the game in the bottom of the second inning as two errors led to three unearned runs. Shannon Logan led off the inning by drawing a lead-off walk, while Riannon Thomas followed with an infield base hit to third. Thomas was able to beat out the throw to first base, but Courtney Johnson's throw to first was errant, allowing Thomas to go to second and Logan to score.

After another infield error off a batted ball by Cagney Ringnalda put runners at the corners, while Kristen D'Alessandro drove in both runners with a two-RBI base hit to straightaway center field, knotting the score at 3-3.

The Stags added to their lead in the fourth inning as Julia Jacoby led off with another infield base hit to shortstop, while Jacoby advanced to second on a throwing error as Moore attempted to get Jacoby at first after fielding the ball deep in the hole at short. Tara Hansen followed with a RBI single to right field to plate Jacoby and give Fairfield a 4-3 edge.

But the Lady Flames answered back as Moore was issued a free pass to start the top of the fifth inning. After Beth Bennett knocked a base hit into right field, Williams drove both players in with a two-RBI double to left field, allowing Liberty to regain the lead.

However, a fourth fielding error cost the Lady Flames another two runs as a fly ball was dropped by Erica Rasmussen in right field, allowing pinch hitter Lisa Meringer to reach second on the two-base error. After getting two outs, the Stags strung together consecutive hits with a RBI single by Ringnalda to drive in Meringer and a RBI double by Breanne Morschauser to center field gave Fairfield the lead for good in the contest.

Ringnalda picked up the victory in relief of staring pitcher Tracy Sylvestre as Ringnalda allowed two earned runs on three hits and struck out seven in four innings of work, while Sylvestre allowed three runs on three hits as she walked five and struck out three in three innings.

Terra Lowe suffered the loss in relief of starting pitcher Sarah Swor as Lowe allowed the two unearned runs in the sixth inning, finishing with two hits in her lone inning of work, while Swor allowed four runs (one earned) on five hits in five innings.

Offensively, the Lady Flames were paced by Williams as she tied a career high with five RBI by going 2-of-4 in the game, while Jeffs was also 2-for-4 with a run scored. On the weekend, Williams finished the tournament with a .471 batting average with two doubles, two home runs, six RBI and a .941 slugging percentage.

The loss drops the Lady Flames record to 6-4 on the season as Liberty finished the Pirate Clash with a 1-4 record and in seventh place. Liberty will open up their 2006 home schedule on Tuesday when they host Mount St. Mary's in a non-conference doubleheader at the Liberty Softball Field. First pitch of the opener is scheduled for 2 p.m.