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Lady Flames Pound Out Record-Setting Home Run Total In Sweep Over Gardner-Webb
For the second-straight day, the Lady Flames took advantage of the long ball and this time they set a few school records as Liberty recorded seven homers on the afternoon en route to a 10-1 and 13-3 doubleheader sweep over Gardner-Webb, Wednesday afternoon, at the Liberty Softball Field.
With the pair of victories, the Lady Flames up their record to 10-4 on the season, marking the second fastest time in the history of the program that Liberty has reached the 10-win plateau, ranking just behind the 1996 season when Liberty won 10 out of its first 11 games.
In the opening game, Liberty jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Jessica Moore drew a four-pitch walk, while Dawn Jeffs followed with an RBI double off the fence in left field to drive in Moore and give Liberty a one-run advantage.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the third inning when the Lady Flames started the home run fest as Liberty pounded two out of the ballpark in the inning to take a 5-0 lead. Moore started the frame with a solo homer to left field. Jeffs followed with her second-straight double, while Beth Bennett added a single, setting the stage for Ashley Williams as the starting catcher connected on a three-run homer to left center field to give Liberty the 5-0 lead.
Moore added an insurance run in the fourth inning as the shortstop sent a shot well over the wall in right center field to push Liberty's lead to 6-0.
Gardner-Webb halted Liberty's scoreless opponent inning streak at 19 innings as Lindsay Whitfield connected on a solo homer to right center field to lead off the fifth inning. But the Lady Flames secured the victory with two more home runs as Sarah Swor got her second home run of the year with a two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth, while Moore ended the game in the sixth with a two-run round tripper to left center field to give Liberty the nine-run victory.
The Lady Flames set a school record in the contest as Liberty pounded out five home runs, surpassing the previous record of four homers set against Youngstown State (Mar. 4, 2002) and Charleston Southern (Apr. 22, 2005). Moore set a new individual school record with three homers, bettering the previous record of two homers set by seven different people, including Moore on seven different occasions.
Moore finished the game 3-for-3 with four runs scored and four RBI, while Jeffs and Swor were both 2-for-3 as Swor drove in two runners and Jeffs scored twice.
Terra Lowe upped her record to 2-1 on the season as she allowed one run on four hits in her second complete game of the year, while Haley Scism suffered the loss as she allowed 10 runs on 11 hits in five-plus innings of work.
In the second game, Dawn Jeffs slapped a single to left center field, while Ashley Williams got her second homer of the afternoon with a two-run homer to right center field to give Liberty a quick 2-0 lead after the first inning.
The Lady Flames added to their lead in the third inning as Liberty scored four runs on three hits as Moore led of the frame with a walk and Jeffs drove her in with a RBI double down the left field line. Beth Bennett followed with a RBI single back up the middle to drive in Jeffs, while Terra Lowe drove in Williams with a RBI double off the top of the fence in right field and a sacrifice fly by Swor allowed Beth Hensley to score and give Liberty a 7-0 lead.
The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning as Gardner-Webb capitalized on a Lady Flames' error off a grounded ball by Christie Barlow to start the inning and a three-run homer later on. Jessica Williams got an infield single and Lindsey Whitfield reached on a fielder choice to set up a three-run homer by Joanna Ward to right field, cutting Liberty's lead back to 7-3.
But the Lady Flames put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fourth inning as Liberty pounded out six more hits and scored seven more runs to secure the victory and finish the homestand with a perfect 4-0 record. The seven-run inning was highlighted by RBI singles by Jeffs and Ashley Williams and a two-RBI single by Swor, while Shannon McKain capped off the inning with a three-run homer to right centerfield.
Jeffs led the Lady Flames in the contest as she was 3-for-3 from the plate with three runs scored and a RBI, while Bennett, Williams and McKain all finished the contest 2-for-3 from the plate.
Swor picked up her team-leading fifth victory of the year as she scattered three hits and allowed just two earned runs, while striking out four batters. Kristen McLean suffered the loss as she allowed 13 runs on 12 hits in four innings of work.
The Lady Flames will begin their Spring Break trip on Friday when they face Stony Brook (2:15 p.m.) and host Charlotte (7 p.m.) in first day action at the 49er Classic in Charlotte, N.C.