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49ers Use Seventh Inning Rally To Overcome Lady Flames At 49er Classic
Host Charlotte got four-consecutive hits in the bottom of the seventh inning to overcome a two-run deficit and pick up a 5-4 win over Liberty, Friday night, to complete first day action at the 49er Classic held at Phillips Softball Complex.
This marked the second 5-4 loss on the day for Liberty as the Lady Flames dropped a 5-4 11 inning thriller to Stony Brook earlier in the day. With the pair of losses, the Lady Flames snap their four-game winning streak and fall to 10-6 on the year. Liberty returns to pool play action at the 49er Classic tomorrow against Indiana State (11 a.m.) and Morehead State (1 p.m.) with a chance to qualify for the championship game on Sunday afternoon.
Liberty broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning as Jessica Moore led off the frame with a single up the middle, while Ashley Williams was able to drive her in with a double to the fence in center field to give Liberty a 1-0 lead.
The 49ers tied the game in the bottom half of the third as Evan Miller led off the inning with a double to the gap in left center field, while Laruen Schmitz followed with a RBI single to center field to plate Miller and knot the game at 1-1.
Charlotte took the lead in the fourth inning as a double by Alyssa Kemmerer to right center field placed the starting first baseman in scoring position, while Karianne Huffstetler knocked her in with a RBI base hit to right field to give the 49ers a one-run lead.
The Lady Flames regained the lead in the fifth inning as Jeffs reached on a fielder's choice play, while two batters later, Williams connected on her sixth home run of the year as her two-run shot well over the fence in left field gave Liberty a 3-2 lead.
Liberty added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning as Jeffs once again reached on a fielder's choice play. After advancing to second on a passed ball and to third on an infield single by Ashley Williams, Beth Hensley was called on to attempt a suicide squeeze bunt, but the left fielder wasn't able to get the bat on the wall.
Jeffs was charging on the play and had to scramble back to third, but Becky Matthews' throw back to third sailed into left field, allowing Jeffs to score and give Liberty a 4-2 lead.
After getting a line out to shortstop to start the seventh inning, Schmitz started the eventual game-winning rally with a single up the middle, while Matthews sent a hard shot off of Beth Bennett's glove at first base to give the 49ers two base runners.
Kristi Killough followed with a two-RBI double to the gap in left center field to drive in Schmitz and Matthews and tie the game, while pinch hitter Brittany Cantrell ended it with a base hit down the left field line to plate pinch runner Sarah Malene and give Charlotte the win.
Kristen Bowen picked up the victory as she allowed four runs on seven hits and eight strikeouts in seven innings of work, while Sarah Swor suffered the loss as she allowed five runs on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings of action.
Offensively, the Lady Flames were led by Jessica Moore as she finished the game a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate, while Williams was 3-for-4 with three RBI.