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Lady Flames Stay Unbeaten In Big South Action With A Pair Of Two Run Victories
The Lady Flames got some timely hitting and a pair of solid pitching performances that included a combined 21 strikeouts to sweep a Big South doubleheader, 2-0 and 3-1, over Charleston Southern on Friday afternoon.
With the pair of victories, the Lady Flames increase their overall season record to 33-16, while Liberty stays undefeated in Big South action as they are now 4-0 in league play.
In the first game, the Lady Flames wasted little time taking a lead as leadoff hitter Jessica Moore drew a walk to open the game, while three batters later, Ashley Williams connected on a double to the gap in left center field to drive in Moore and give Liberty a 1-0 lead.
Moore continued to add to Liberty's advantage in the third inning as the shortstop led off the frame with a single to center field. After picking up her team-leading 10th stolen base to move to second base, Moore scored on a RBI base hit to center by Dawn Jeffs, giving the Lady Flames a 2-0 lead.
The remainder of the game turned into a pitcher's duel as both teams combined for just four hits over the last four innings of the contest with Liberty's starting pitcher Sarah Swor getting the edge over CSU's hurler Amanda Noble.
Swor posted her second highest strikeout total of the year by fanning nine batters, while allowing just three hits in the complete game shutout to up her record to 12-8. Noble suffered the loss as she allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings of work.
Offensively, the Lady Flames scattered their six team hits evenly between six different players with Moore leading the way as she was 1-for-2 with two runs scored, while Jeffs and Williams were 1-for-3 with RBI singles each.
The Lady Flames jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning of the second game as Liberty used two hits and capitalized on a Buccaneer throwing error. Liberty loaded the bases as Shannon McKain and Terra Lowe were issued walks, while Beth Hensley singled to center field.
Jessica Leary grounded into a fielder's choice, forcing McKain out at the plate, but Charleston Southern's catcher Joanna Mazurkeiwicz attempted to turn a double play when her throw sailed into right field to allow Hensley to score. Moore followed with a single back up the middle to plate Lowe and give Liberty a 2-0 lead.
Liberty plated an insurance run in the fifth inning as Beth Bennett got a two out walk to keep the inning alive, while Ashley Williams followed with a hard lined shot off of Amy Trenkamp's glove in left field that rolled to the wall, allowing pinch runner Rachel Love to score and give the Lady Flames a 3-0 lead.
Charleston Southern broke up the shutout in the fifth inning as Tiffany Reid led off the bottom half of the frame by drawing a four-pitch walk, while Jill Shondell helped out her own cause with a two-out triple to the gap in left center field to trim Liberty's lead to 3-1.
However, Lowe settled down by striking out four of the last six batters she faced to record the victory and up her record to 13-6 on the year. The junior scattered four hits over seven innings of work, while fanning a season-high 12 batters. Shondell suffered the loss as she allowed three runs (only one was earned), while walking four and allowing six hits.
Offensively, the Lady Flames were led by Moore, who was 2-for-4 with a RBI, and Hensley, who was 2-for-3 with a run scored.
The Lady Flames will continue Big South Conference action tomorrow afternoon when they travel to Conway, S.C., to face Coastal Carolina. First pitch for the league doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m.