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Lady Flames Take Two From The Mount To Open Home Schedule
The Lady Flames used two stellar pitching performances and some late inning offense to sweep their home opening softball doubleheader, Tuesday afternoon, as Liberty took two from Mount St. Mary's, 1-0 in eight innings and 7-0, at the Liberty Softball Field.
In the first game, neither team could muster much of an offensive threat as the two teams combined for just five hits over the first seven innings of action, sending the game into extra innings. Mount St. Mary's wasn't able to advance their international tiebreaker rule runner in the top half of the frame as Sarah Swor limited the Mount to three infield pop-ups to leave Jessica Burke stranded at second base.
In the bottom half of the inning, pinch runner Sarah Love advanced to third base after a sacrifice bunt by Shannon McKain. Jessica Leary tried to end the game on the next at bat as she lined a hard shot at Amanda Burk, but the second baseman was able to snag the ball for the second out of the inning.
After lead off batter Jessica Moore drew a four-pitch walk to put runners at the corners, second baseman Dawn Jeffs ended the game with an opposite field single off the fence in left field to plate Love and give Liberty's its third extra inning victory of the year.
Swor tossed her first shutout of the year as she allowed just one hit over eight innings of work on a single to left field by lead off hitter Kathleen Housman in the third inning, while she fanned seven batters in her second career one-hit shutout. Maria Lutz was the tough luck loser as she allowed just the unearned run on five hits in 7 2/3 innings of work, while striking out four and walking three batters.
In the second game, Liberty jumped out early as Jessica Moore led off the bottom of the first inning with a single off of pitcher Reanne Tucynski's glove, while four batters later Moore scored on an RBI single to left field by Ashley Williams to give the Lady Flames a quick 1-0 lead.
The Lady Flames added to their lead in the fourth inning as Liberty capitalized on two Mount St. Mary's errors as pinch hitter Whitney Nixon was able to reach on a fielding error by Amanda Burk to start the inning, while another error by Burk off a batted ball by Dawn Jeffs allowed pinch runner Erica Rasmussen to score and give Liberty a 2-0 lead.
Liberty continued to add to its lead in the fifth inning with three home runs as Beth Hensley and Terra Lowe started the inning off with solo homers to right and center fields, respectively, while Jessica Moore connected on her three round tripper of the year as her two-run homer to left field drove in Jessica Leary and gave Liberty a 6-0 lead.
The home run fest continued in the sixth as Beth Bennett led off the inning with a solo homer well over the fence in left field giving Liberty's is final run of the contest.
Sarah Ellis tossed his third-straight complete game victory as the freshman scattered four hits over seven innings of work, while striking out five batters in her first career shutout. Tucynski suffered the loss as she allowed six runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings of work.
Moore finished the game 3-for-4 from the plate with two RBI and two runs scored, while Hensley and Lowe finished the game both 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI. McKain rounded out Liberty's multi-hit performers as she was 2-for-3 from the plate in the game.
The Lady Flames return to the Liberty Softball Field tomorrow afternoon when they close out a brief two-game homestand as they host Gardner-Webb for a non-conference twinbill. First pitch of the first game is set for 2 p.m.