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Lady Flames Sweep Texas A&M Corpus Christi To Open Up Big South Play
The Lady Flames pounded out 10 hits in a 9-3 opening win, while Liberty used back-to-back hits in the eighth inning to record a 3-2 eighth inning win to sweep a Big South Conference doubleheader over Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Tuesday afternoon, at Coastal Carolina Softball Field.
Liberty ups its record to 14-6 on the year and the Lady Flames are 2-0 in Big South play after the pair of victories over the conference associate members, while the two losses drop Texas A&M Corpus Christi to 4-18 overall and 0-4 in Big South play.
In the opener, Liberty jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Beth Bennett lined one down the left field line and after a two-out error off a batted ball by Ashley Williams kept the inning alive, Beth Hensley drove Bennett in with a single through the left side of the inning.
However, the Islanders scored three runs in the second inning, starting with a RBI double off the bat of Julia Monsivais to the gap in left center field to drive in Brenda Guerrero who reached on a fielder's choice. Andrea Simoncas followed with a RBI base hit to right field to plate Brittany Green, while Lauren Peters capped off the scoring outburst with another single to left field to drive Monsivais and give Texas A&M Corpus Christi a 3-1 lead.
Liberty tied the game in the bottom of the frame as the Lady Flames capitalized on two Islander errors as Terra Lowe started the inning with a lined single to center field, while Shannon McKain reached on a fielding error by Stephanie Estrada at short stop.
After getting two outs, Jessica Moore singled to center field to drive in Lowe, while Erica Armenta misplayed the ball in center, allowing McKain to score the equalizer.
The score remained the same until the fifth inning when Liberty broke out for four runs on four hits, including two home runs. Moore started the frame with an opposite field solo homer well over the fence in right field, accounting for her team-leading seventh round tripper.
Dawn Jeffs followed with a double to the gap in left center field and after the Islanders got two outs, a walk was issued to Hensley to set the stage for Lowe who greeted relief pitcher Krystal Martinez's first pitch of the game with a well hit shot over the fence in right center field for a three-run homer to give Liberty a 7-3 lead.
The Lady Flames tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning as Moore started the inning with a walk and Jeffs reached on a fielder's choice. After a walk was issued to Bennett to load the bases, Williams drove in Moore and Jeffs with a single to left field to give Liberty the six-run lead.
Lowe picked up the victory in relief of starting pitcher Sarah Ellis as Lowe allowed just two hits over 5 1/3 innings of work, while striking out seven batters to up her record to 5-2. Ellis started the game by allowing three earned runs on four hits in just 1 2/3 innings of action.
Jennifer Cummings suffered the loss, dropping the pitcher to 1-9 on the year, as she allowed six runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, while Martinez (0.1 innings, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER) and Amanda Foster (1.0 innings, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 SO) finished off the game.
Jeffs and Lowe finished the game 2-for-4 with Jeffs scoring twice and Lowe driving in three runs, while Moore was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI.
In the second game, Liberty broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning with back-to-back singles by Sarah Swor and Jessica Leary. After a fielder's choice forced Swor out a third base, Beth Bennett drove in Leary with a RBI single straight back up the middle to give the Lady Flames a 1-0 lead.
The score remained the same until the top of the sixth inning as lead off batter Erica Armenta was struck by a pitch and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Stephanie Estrada. Crystal Russell grounded a ball to second on a potential inning ending groundout, but Dawn Jeffs committed her first error of the year as she wasn't able to make the play, allowing Armenta to score and even the game at 1-1.
Neither team was able to score in the seventh inning, sending Liberty into its sixth extra inning game of the year. The Islanders scored first in the top of the eighth inning as Andrea Simancas, who started the inning at second base as part of the international tiebreaker rule, stole third base and scored on a base hit back up the middle by Estrada.
However, the Lady Flames upped its record to 5-1 in extra inning games in the bottom half of the frame as Jessica Moore lined one off the glove of Andrea Gonzalez at third base into left field to allow Leary to score, while Jeffs followed with the game-winning base hit back up the middle to plate Moore and give Liberty's its fourth-consecutive victory.
Sarah Swor upped her record to 6-3 on the season as she scattered three hits over eight innings of work, while allowing two unearned runs and striking out five batters. Amanda Foster suffered the loss as she allowed three runs on eight hits in seven-plus innings of action.
Swor and Williams led the Lady Flames from the plate as the pitcher-catcher combination finished the game 2-for-3 from the plate, while Liberty's first three hitters Moore (1-for-4), Jeffs (1-for-4) and Bennett (1-for-3) each drove in a run.
The Lady Flames return to action on Thursday when they square off against Indiana (4 p.m.) and Stetson (6 p.m.) at Stetson in Daytona Beach, Fla. for two single games before beginning competition in the Bethune-Cookman Spring Break Classic on Friday.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi continues their Big South regular games tomorrow after as they face Charleston Southern at CCU Softball Field for a league doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.