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Liberty Hangs on for 3-1 Win Over Iowa

March 11, 2011
|  DeLand, Fla.
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Kelly Strickland hit her second home run of the day as Liberty defeated Iowa, 3-1.

Pitcher Katrina Johnson struck out a season-high seven batters and Kelly Strickland drove in two runs as the Lady Flames defeated Iowa, 3-1, in DeLand, Fla.

Liberty improves to 6-3 in 2011, and the Hawkeyes fall to 8-10.

The Lady Flames put runners on base first, setting up a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the first. Katie Zavodny led off by reaching on a fielding error by Iowa pitcher Chelsea Lyon, and moved to second when Sammi Shivock grounded out to third. She advanced to third on a wild pitch, and Ashley Bensinger drew a walk. With two outs, Kaylee West ripped a liner to left, but Jenny Schuelke made a diving catch to end the at-bat and the inning, as the game remained scoreless.

Liberty was the first to put runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth, taking a 2-0 lead. West led off with a single through the right side after a marathon at-bat, and Strickland followed with a home run to center field, her second bomb of the day.

The Lady Flames added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Strickland drew a one-out walk, and one out later, moved to third when Meredith Crisante reached on an infield single. Strickland then scored when Amber DePasquale reached on a fielder's choice, and Liberty moved to a 3-0 lead.

Iowa managed to score in the top of the seventh. With one out, Schuelke reached on a Liberty fielding error, then moved to third after back-to-back singles from Michelle Zoeller and Nikki Gentile. Schuelke then scored the Hawkeyes' lone run on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Goschie.

But Liberty ended the game on the next batter, as pinch hitter Brianna Luna popped out to shortstop to hand Liberty the 3-1 win.

Johnson picked up the win in the circle, giving up four hits and no earned runs to improve to 2-2 on the year. Lyon (3-7) gave up five hits and three earned runs while striking out four Liberty batters.

Strickland paced the Lady Flames, batting 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored, and Crisante went 2-for-2 at the plate.

Goschie drove in the only Iowa run.

Liberty is back in action tomorrow, facing off against Iowa for a second time. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.