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Lady Flames Sweep North Carolina A&T To Remain Perfect At Home
The Lady Flames used some timely hitting and a solid pitching performance in a 5-2 opening game victory over North Carolina A&T, while completing the sweep with a 15-1 win in the second game, Saturday afternoon, at the Liberty Softball Field.
With the pair of victories, the Lady Flames up their overall record to 23-10 overall this year, while the two wins allowed Liberty to remain perfect at home this season as the Lady Flames are 8-0 in games played at the Liberty Softball Field.
In the first game, the Aggies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning as Latronda Anderson led off the frame with an infield single, while back-to-back two out hits plated the two runners. Sylvia Felder started the scoring outburst with a single to left field to drive in Anderson, while a double to the fence in right field by Jessica Cooper drove in Felder to give the visitors the early 2-0 lead.
Anderson was able to hold the Lady Flames hitless the first time through the batting order; however, the Lady Flames broke up the no hit and shutout bid with one swing of the bat as Jessica Moore connected on her team-leading 11th home run of the year with a solo homer to center field.
Dawn Jeffs followed with an infield single and later in the inning tied the game as she recorded her sixth stolen base of the year, while Christina Brock's attempted throw sailed past both middle infielders and Cooper in center field to allow Jeffs to score and knot the game at 2-2.
The score remained the same until the fifth inning as Jeffs drove in pinch runner Rachel Love with a single to left field. Two batters later, Ashley Williams upped her team leading RBI total with a two-RBI double to the gap in right center field to plate Courtney Johnson and Moore to give Liberty its final two runs of the game.
Terra Lowe picked up the victory in the game as she allowed two runs on four hits, while fanning five batters in her sixth complete game of the year. Anderson suffered the loss as she allowed five runs on six hits in six innings of work.
Offensively, the Lady Flames were paced by Jeffs as the starting second baseman was 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI, while Williams was 1-for-3 with the two RBI double.
In the second game, Liberty wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as the Lady Flames plated two runs in the first inning as Moore, who reached on a fielding error, scored on a wild pitch by Adia Dial, while Dawn Jeffs crossed the plate on a suicide squeeze bunt by Beth Hensley to give Liberty a 2-0 edge.
Liberty added three more runs in the second inning as Johnson and Jessica Leary were issued back-to-back walks, while Moore cleared the bases with a three-run opposite field homer to right field to up Liberty's lead to 5-0.
North Carolina A&T broke up the shutout bid in the third inning with a two-out rally as leadoff hitter Chaola Simmons slapped a base hit through the left side of the infield and two batters later scored on a RBI base hit back up the middle by Dial to trim the lead to 5-1.
However, the Lady Flames put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fourth inning as Liberty batted around the order, scoring 10 runs on six hits.
The first eight batters of the inning successfully reached base and scored, while the scoring outburst was highlighted by a two RBI base hit by Hensley, a RBI double by Shannon McKain and a two-run homer to right center field by Moore to cap off the game.
Sarah Ellis upped her record to 7-0 on the year as the rookie scattered three hits in five innings of work, while striking out three batters in her fifth complete game of the year. Dial suffered the loss as she was roughed up for 15 runs on 13 hits, while issuing six walks in four innings of work.
All but two of Liberty's starters recorded hits in the game with Moore leading the way with her third multiple home run game of the year and the ninth of her Liberty career as the junior was 2-for-3 with four runs scored, five RBI and two round trippers. Jeffs followed as she was 3-for-4 from the game, while Hensley drove in a season-high three RBI.
The Lady Flames will continue their five-game homestand on Monday when they host Bethune-Cookman in a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch of the first game is set for 2 p.m. at the Liberty Softball Field.