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Four Run Fourth Give Western Illinois Victory Over Lady Flames At Bethune-Cookman Spring Break Classic
The Westerwinds plated four runs in the fourth and halted a Lady Flames rally in the fifth to pick up a 5-2 victory over Liberty, Friday afternoon, in the team's second game at the Bethune-Cookman Spring Break Classic.
Coupled with a victory over Central Connecticut State earlier in the day, Liberty's record now stands at 17-7, while the loss to Western Illinois in the second game snaps the Lady Flames season-best seven game winning streak.
Liberty once again jumped out on top in the first inning as Jessica Moore sent the second pitch of the game over the fence in straightaway center field for her team-leading eighth home run to give Liberty a quick 1-0 lead after one.
Western Illinois evened the game in the bottom of the second inning as Maureen Troller led off the inning with a double to the gap in right center field, while a single by Racheal Heagney back up the middle drove in Troller and knotted the game at 1-1.
The Lady Flames regained the lead in the third as Shannon McKain led off the inning with a double to the wall in left field, while Moore followed with a single to center which Lindsey Hession fielded cleanly and threw to the plate in time to get McKain but catcher Nicole Green dropped the ball to allow McKain to score.
The Westerwinds broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning with four runs on four hits starting with a two-RBI single to center field by lead off hitter Ashley Gilland to drive in Green, who started the inning with a walk, and Britt Mason, who got on base with a bunt single to first base.
After a walk was issued to Amy Douglas, Meghan Strazar and Elysha Swider followed with back-to-back RBI base hits to left and center fields, respectively, to drive in Gilland and Douglas and give Western Illinois a 5-2 edge.
The Lady Flames threaten in the top of the fifth inning as Liberty loaded the bases with one out, but relief pitcher Kamren Ferguson struck out two-straight batters to eliminate the threat, while she retired eight out of the next nine batters to pick up the save and secure the victory.
Christina Drankiewicz picked up the victory as she allowed two runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings of work, while Ferguson picked up the save by allowing just one hit in 2 2/3 innings of action as she struck out seven batters.
Terra Lowe suffered the loss as she allowed four runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings of work, while Sarah Swor finished off the final 2 1/3 innings of work by allowing one run on three hits.
Moore led the Lady Flames offensively as she finished the game a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate with a run scored and a RBI, marking a season high in hits for Moore in a game.
The Lady Flames return to action tomorrow for two more round robin games as Liberty will face Bethune-Cookman (2 p.m.) and Iowa State (6 p.m.) to determine their seeding in the championship round of the Bethune-Cookman Spring Break Classic on Sunday.