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Lady Flames Fall To Host Highlanders In Game 5 Of Big South Softball Championship
No. 3 Liberty belted home runs in three-consecutive innings to take an early lead, but No. 2 Radford connected on two homers in the fourth inning to take a lead they would never relinquish en route to a 7-4 victory in Game 5 of the 2006 Big South Softball Championship presented Aéropostale, Thursday evening, at Dedmon Center Field.
With the victory, the No. 2 Highlanders (39-20) advance to face No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina tomorrow afternoon in Game 9 of the Championship with a spot in the title game on the line. Game time is set for 5 p.m. at Dedmon Center Field.
The loss drops the Lady Flames (39-22) into the loser's bracket as No. 3 Liberty will face No. 5 Winthrop in an elimination game tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m.
The Highlanders wasted little time taking a lead in the game as Radford plated two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Leadoff hitter Ashley Carlson started the frame with a single down the left field line, while the left fielder moved into scoring position with a stolen base.
After back-to-back strikeouts, Ashley Taylor drew a two-out walk to keep the inning alive. Carlson and Taylor both moved up a base on a pass ball, while the two base runners crossed the plate on an RBI base hit back up the middle by Cassie Rhodes to give Radford a 2-0 lead.
Ashley Williams cut the lead in half as the second-team all-conference catcher connected on her 13th home run of the season, sending a solo shot over the fence in left field to start off the second inning.
The long ball continued to play a factor in the game in the third inning as pitcher Terra Lowe started the frame with a single to center field. Two batters later, first-team all-conference selection Jessica Moore homer for the second-straight game as her two-run shot to center field gave Liberty a 3-2 lead and the shortstop her 20th round tripper of the year.
Liberty added to its lead in the fourth inning as the Lady Flames homer for the third-straight inning when Shannon McKain connected on her seventh home run of the year with a solo home run to left field, giving the Lady Flames a 4-2 lead.
Radford quickly got into the home run derby as Jennifer Everhart gave the Highlanders the lead back with one swing of the bat as the second baseman connected on a grand slam home run over the fence in left field, while two batters later, Anne Tatum connected on a solo home run to right center field to give the Highlanders a 7-4 advantage.
The remainder of the game turned into a pitcher's duel as Big South Pitcher of the Year Ashley Taylor was able to come in and shut down the Lady Flames' offense by allowing just one hit over the last four innings of the game, while striking out seven batters to up her record to 19-8 on the season. Breanna Felix started the game by allowing four runs on five hits in three innings of work.
Lowe suffered the loss for the Lady Flames and drops to 15-10 on the season as she allowed seven runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings of work, before Sarah Swor finished off the final 2 2/3 innings by giving up just one hit and striking out three batters.
Moore led the Lady Flames from the plate as she was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, while McKain and Williams were both 1-for-3 with their solo home runs.