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Four Homers Lift Liberty Over Radford

March 26, 2011
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Ashley Bensinger's walk-off homer sealed Liberty's 11-2 win over Radford.

Ashley Bensinger hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the fifth to seal an 11-2 win over Radford, Saturday afternoon, in Game 2 of a doubleheader.

As a team, the Lady Flames tallied 13 hits, tying a season-high. Liberty pitcher Katrina Johnson also held the Highlanders to just three hits.

In the same fashion as in Game 1 of today's doubleheader, the Highlanders struck first by scoring the first run.

In the top of the first, Hannah Ojeda singled to third on a bunt, and advanced to second on a Liberty throwing error. She moved to third when Nichole Beall grounded out, and scored when Taylor Cunningham singled to shallow left, giving Radford an early 1-0 lead.

The Lady Flames responded immediately, scoring three runs of their own to take a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first.

Katie Zavodny led off by reaching on a fielding error by Radford shortstop Kristen Shifflett, and advanced to second when Keely McMillon singled on a liner that bounced off the pitcher. Jenny Law then singled up the middle to bring in Zavodny.

After a lineout by Bensinger, Kelly Strickland walked to load the bases with one out. After Meredith Crisante fouled out, Kaylee West came up with a timely single to left center, scoring Law and McMillon for a two-run Liberty lead.

After a scoreless Radford at-bat in the top of the second, Liberty tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the frame when McMillon hit her second home run in four games. The shot to center field scored Zavodny, who had reached on a fielder's choice, and the Lady Flames took a 5-1 advantage.

Liberty extended its lead to 6-1 in the next inning, when Amber DePasquale hit her second homer of the year, a solo shot to left. It marked the senior's first bomb since March 12 against Stetson.

The Highlanders added another run on one hit in the top of the fourth. With one out, Michelle Beall walked, and was safe at second when Vicki Madden reached on a fielder's choice to third.

Shannon Keefe was up next, and reached on a Liberty fielding error to load the bases.

On the next play, Meredith Moore singled to the pitcher, allowing Michelle Beall to cross home for a 6-2 score.

Three more Liberty runs in the bottom of the fourth pushed the mark to 9-2 in favor of the Lady Flames. McMillon led off with a walk, and was replaced by pinch runner Grace Nordan. After a fly out by Law, Bensinger singled through the left side, moving Nordan over to second.

Strickland was up next, and stepped in the box to bust a three-run homer to right field.

After a quiet Radford at-bat, the Lady Flames ended the game early in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, McMillon singled to left. Then, one out later, Bensinger entered the box to rip her two-run homer to left, ending the game with an 11-2 score.

McMillon led the Lady Flames, batting 3-for-3 with two RBIs, while Bensinger was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

The Highlanders were led by Cunningham, who was 1-for-3 with one RBI.

Johnson (5-4) picked up the win, giving up three hits and no earned runs while striking out two batters in five complete innings.

Chelsea Kelley (4-6) threw 2.2 innings, giving up nine hits and striking out one Liberty batter.

The Lady Flames are back in action next week at Liberty Softball Field, hosting Virginia in a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.