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Washington's Pair Of Homers Lift Lancers To Doubleheader Sweep Over Liberty
Longwood's Ryan Washington hit a two-run homer in each game of a non-conference softball doubleheader today at Liberty Softball Field to lift Longwood to sweep, 3-0 and 4-3, over the homestanding Lady Flames.
The pair of losses drops Liberty's record to 25-14 on the year and marks the first time that Liberty has been swept in a home doubleheader this year, while the two victories ups Longwood's record to 20-18 overall this season.
In the first game, the Lancers jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as lead off batter Caitlin Hooe started the game with a base hit through the right side of the infield. After moving over to third on a base hit back up the middle by Ryan Washington, Hooe was able to score as Shamana Washington put down a perfect suicide bunt just in front of the mound to give Longwood the early one-run lead.
The score remained the same until the top of the sixth inning when Danielle Skapura led off the inning with a bunt base hit back up the middle, while Ryan Washington followed with her team-leading eighth home run of the year by sending one over the fence in right center field to give the Lancers a 3-0 lead.
And the homer was all the offense that starting pitcher Rachel Mills would need as the sophomore scattered four hits over seven innings of work to up her record to 15-15, while picking up her sixth shutout of the season.
Terra Lowe suffered the loss as she allowed three runs on six hits, while striking out eight batters in her eighth complete game of the year, while the loss dropped her record to 9-6 on the season.
Offensively, the Lady Flames scattered their four hits over four different players by Jessica Moore (1-for-2), Beth Bennett (1-for-3), Beth Hensley (1-for-3) and Sarah Swor (1-for-3), while Dawn Jeffs finished the game 0-for-3 to bring a seven-game hitting streak to an end.
The second game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth inning as Hooe led off the frame with a double to the gap in right center field. The Lady Flames managed to keep the ball in the infield on the next two plays for two outs, but Pepper Wilson was able to break the scoreless tie with a RBI base hit to right field to drive in Hooe and give the Lancers a 1-0 advantage.
But the lead was short lived as the Lady Flames finally got their offense going in the bottom half of the fourth as Beth Bennett started the three-run inning with a double down the left field line, while Ashley Williams traded places with her with a RBI double down the right field line to get the Lady Flames on the scoreboard for the first time on the day.
Two batters later, Shannon McKain gave Liberty the lead as the center fielder belted a two-run home run to right center field, her third of the year, to give the Lady Flames a 3-1 edge.
The Lancers trimmed the lead in half in the fifth inning as Mallory Gordon led off the inning with an infield bunt single down the third base line, while the second baseman scored on a RBI base hit back up the middle by Emily Radford two batters later.
The score remained the same until the sixth inning when Skapura was able to reach on a fielder's choice play, while Ryan Washington followed on the next at bat with her second two-run homer of the day, connecting on the round tripper to straightaway center field to give the Lancers the 4-3 lead and to seal the doubleheader sweep.
Mills picked up the victory in relief to up her record to 16-15 as she allowed two runs on six hits in four innings of work after relieving Denee Porter who started the first three innings by allowing one run on three hits.
Sarah Swor was denied the opportunity to pick up her 10th victory of the year as she allowed four runs on nine hits in seven innings of work and drops to 9-6 on the season.
Moore finished the game 3-for-4 from the plate, while Liberty's six other remaining hits were picked up by six other single players.
The Lady Flames will close out this five-game homestand as they return to Big South Conference action by hosting Winthrop on Saturday at the Liberty Softball Field for a doubleheader. First pitch of the afternoon is set for 1 p.m.