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Five-Run Inning Helps CSU Defeat Liberty
The Lady Flames were never able to recover from a five-run second inning by the Lady Bucs, and Charleston Southern walked away with a 6-2 win in game one of a Big South doubleheader, Friday afternoon.
The Lady Bucs outhit Liberty, 8-6, and seven different Charleston Southern batters logged hits during the contest.
The Lady Flames drop to 12-16 overall and 3-3 in the Big South, while Charleston Southern improves to 17-22 and 4-2 in conference play.
The Lady Bucs jumped on the board first, scoring five runs in the top of the second. The first two runs were scored on a walk and a hit batter with two outs. Two more runs scored when Erin Kegley doubled to left center, giving Charlesotn Southern a 4-0 lead. That prompted Liberty head coach Paul Wetmore to bring in Tiffani Smith to relieve starter Katrina Johnson in the circle.
The trouble continued for the Lady Flames, as Trea Steele scored on a passed ball for a 5-0 score.
Kaylee West recorded the first Liberty hit of the contest with a one-out single up the middle in the bottom of the second. But Meredith Crisante struck out, and Katie Zavodny grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.
The Lady Flames were able to put a run on the board in the bottom of the third, when Sammi Shivock punched a one-out homer, her fourth of the year, over the fence in left field.
The Lady Bucs made another threat in the top of the fourth, when Melissa Adams drew a walk, and moved into scoring position on a sac bunt by Kristin Kelleher. Adams went to third when Megan Lombard reached on a Liberty throwing error, and Lombard went onto second when Steele grounded out to third. But the Lady Flames got out of the jam when West made the play on a quick liner by Kegley, and the score remained unchanged.
Ashley Bensinger led off the bottom of the fourth with a walk, and moved into scoring position when Jenny Law singled through the left side. West then grounded out to first, moving Bensinger to third and Law to second with one out.
Crisante was up next, and popped out to the shortstop. Then, Liberty scored its second run of the contest when Zavodny singled through the right side, making it a 5-2 ball game.
Lady Bucs pinch hitter Ari Tedesco reached on an infield single in the top of the fifth, and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Melissa Adams. But she wouldn't advance any farther, as Kelleher flied out to left and Lombard grounded out to third.
The Lady Flames tried to rally back in the bottom of the sixth, as Bensinger led off with a single down the left field line. But Law lined out to the pitcher, who quickly tossed the ball to first for the double play, and the bases were empty once again.
West reached on a walk, and was replaced on the base by pinch runner Marybeth Sciolino, but the inning ended on the next play when shortstop Lombard made a backwards catch on a Crisante fly ball.
The Lady Bucs tacked another run onto their lead in the top of the seventh, ripping four more hits, and the Lady Flames entered their final at-bat trailing by four runs.
After pinch hitter Grace Nordan flied out to left, Amber DePasquale dropped a single behind third base. But Shivock then grounded into a double play, ending the game with a 6-2 score.
Kegley paced the visiting team, batting 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Shivock was 1-for-3 with an RBI for Liberty, while Zavodny was 1-for-2 and drove in a run.
Dowdy (7-13) picked up the win in the circle, giving up six hits and two earned runs in the complete-game win. Johnson (7-5) took the loss, giving up two hits and four earned runs while striking out two batters in 1.2 innings.
The two teams are back in action this afternoon for game two of the Big South doubleheader at Liberty Softball Field.