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Big Swings Help Liberty Defeat CSU, 9-1
The Lady Flames scored seven runs in the last two innings, Friday afternoon, to claim a 9-1 victory over Charleston Southern in game two of a Big South doubleheader.
The Lady Bucs won the first game, 6-2.
The Lady Flames are now 13-17 overall and 4-3 in conference play, while the Lady Bucs are 17-23 overall and 4-3 in the Big South.
Katie Zavodny notched Liberty's first hit of the game with an infield single in the bottom of the third, then stole second. Two strikeouts later, Keely McMillon stepped up for a two-run homer with a shot to center field and a 2-0 Liberty lead. Kelly Strickland followed with a long single over the center fielder's head, but Ashley Bensinger grounded out to end the inning.
The Lady Flames got another baserunner in the bottom of the fourth, when Kaylee West singled to left with one out. But she never advanced, as Grace Nordan and Zavodny popped out.
Charleston Southern cut Liberty's lead in half in the top of the fifth. Jessica Brock singled up the middle, and was replaced at first by pinch runner Courtney Konyk. After a CSU groundout, Ari Tedesco reached on a slap single to left, and Konyk moved to third.
After Melissa Adams struck out, Kristin Kelleher singled up the middle for an RBI, bringing the score to 2-1.
Amber DePasquale responded in the bottom of the fifth, leading off with a single to left center. A sacrifice bunt attempt by Sammi Shivock was fielded cleanly by third baseman Brock, who forced out DePasquale at second for the first out.
Next up, McMillon continued her solid game with a single to left, advancing Shivock into scoring position at second. With Strickland approaching the plate, Charleston Southern head coach Shane Winkler made the call to the bullpen, bringing in Morgan Dowdy to replace starter Kimberly Hobbs in the circle.
After Strickland walked to load the bases, Bensinger busted a homer to left, her second career grand slam, and Liberty extended its lead to 6-1.
After a quiet CSU at-bat, pinch hitter Bridgett Woods led off the bottom of the sixth with a single to third. She moved to second on a sac bunt by Zavodny, and one out later, Shivock walked to put runners on first and second with two outs. Next up, McMillon reached on a fielding error by Dowdy, loading the bases with the No. 3 hitter, Strickland, up to bat.
Strickland ended the game early with one swing, ripping a three-RBI double to seal the 9-1 Liberty victory.
Kelleher led the Lady Bucs, and was the only batter to record an RBI.
Bensinger led the Lady Flames with four RBIs on her grand slam, while Strickland was 2-for-3 and drove in three runs.
Katrina Johnson (8-5) picked up the win in the circle, giving up six hits and striking out two in six complete innings.
Hobbs drops to 10-10 on the year after giving up six hits and four earned runs in 4.1 innings of work.
The Lady Flames will host the Lady Bucs in the final game of the series, tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.