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Liberty Captures Lady Flames Fall Softball Classic Title With Offensive Outburst

September 24, 2006
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Beth Bennett hit four home runs during the Lady Flames Fall Classic.

Beth Bennett hit four home runs during the Lady Flames Fall Classic.

The Lady Flames belted eight home runs over a three-game stretch, while getting some timely pitching to finish the Lady Flames Fall Softball Classic with a perfect 3-0 record en route to capturing the one-day event title at the Liberty Softball Field.

Beth Bennett had a breakout day for Liberty as she hit four of the team's eight home runs, while J'Nae Jefferson and Jessica Leary finished the tournament with two home runs apiece.

Sarah Ellis picked up two of the three victories from the circle for Liberty, including the tournament's deciding victory over Longwood, while Terra Lowe captured the remaining victory of the event.

The Lady Flames will conclude their fall tournament schedule on October 6 and 7 when they look to defend their title at the Virginia Tech Fall Tournament in Salem, Va.

Below are the final game-by-game results from the tournament, plus recaps from the Lady Flames' three victories.

Lady Flames Softball Classic Results (September 23)
9 a.m. – Liberty (13) vs. Lynchburg College (4)
10:30 a.m. – Liberty (5) vs. Longwood (2)
Noon – Hampton (4) vs. Lynchburg College (8)
2 p.m. – Longwood (11) vs. Lynchburg College (2)
3:30 a.m. – Liberty (9) vs. Hampton (5)
5 p.m. – Longwood (2) vs. Hampton (1) ... game was called in the top of the third due to darkness

Liberty Game 1
Liberty 13
Lynchburg College 4

Box Score

The Lady Flames opened the tournament with a 13-4 victory over cross town opponent Lynchburg College behind a pair of five-run innings and a tournament-high 13 hits.

Liberty jumped out to a five-run lead in the second inning as Sarah Swor was able to reach on a fielding error, followed by a two-run home run to center field by Beth Bennett. Shannon McKain kept the inning going with a walk, while Courtney Johnson doubled to center field.

Jessica Leary drove in both McKain and Johnson with a triple to right field. While J'Nae Jefferson capped off the five-run frame by lifting a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Leary and give Liberty a 5-0 lead.

The Lady Flames added to their advantage in the fourth inning as Johnson connected on her second double of the game to start the inning. Leary and Jefferson followed with back-to-back home runs as Leary sent a two-run shot over the fence in center field and Jefferson hit a solo home run to left field.

Lynchburg College attempted to get back into the game as the Hornets plated four runs on three hits to avoid the game ending in the fifth inning. Hayley Gordon started the inning by reaching on a fielding error, while Carolina Cubbage singled down the third base line.

After a sacrifice bunt advanced both runners, Morgan Austin drove in Gordon and Cubbage with a two-run single to center field, while two batters later, Tara Campbell homer to right field to finish off the frame.

However, Liberty squelched any hopes of a rally in the top of the sixth inning as Liberty plated five more runs to end the game. The five-run frame was highlighted by a two-run double to right by Leary and an infield single by Swor that drove in Jessica Moore.

Leary finished the game 3-for-3 with six RBI and three runs scored, while Bennett was 1-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI. Jefferson was 2-for-4 with two RBI and Ashley Williams was 2-for-3 in the contest.

Terra Lowe picked up the victory as she scattered four hits over 4 2/3 innings of work, while Bennett allowed four runs with only one being earned on five hits in 1 1/3 innings of relief work.

Liberty Game 2
Liberty 5
Longwood 2

Box Score

A four-run fourth inning by Liberty proved to be the difference in the decisive game of the tournament as Liberty defeated Longwood, 5-2, in its second contest of the day.

The Lancers took an early lead in the game as Ryan Washington was able to reach base on a fielder's choice, while Kaity McKeown followed with a RBI double to center field to give Longwood a 1-0 lead in the first.

The score remained the same until the fourth inning as Liberty loaded the bases with infield singles by Dawn Jeffs, Jessica Moore and Ashley Williams. The next batter Beth Bennett cleared the bases with a grand slam to right field, giving Liberty a 4-1 edge.

The Lady Flames added to their lead in the fifth inning as Jessica Leary led off the frame with a solo home run to right field, her second home run of the tournament.

Longwood made one last push to get back into the contest in the top the seventh as Pepper Wilson scored on a fielding error, but Nicole Hamill was gunned down at the plate to end the game.

Bennett led the Lady Flames at the plate as she was 2-for-2 with four RBI on her grand slam home run, while Leary was 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.

Sarah Ellis went the distance for the complete-game victory as she allowed two runs on three hits in seven innings of work.

Liberty Game 3
Liberty 9
Hampton 5

Box Score

It took the Lady Flames a bit longer than expected to get their offense going, but Liberty plated eight runs in the sixth inning en route to a 9-5 victory over Hampton to cap off a perfect day in the tournament.

Hampton jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Teresara Liggins led off the game with a walk, while Jennifer Gonzales followed with a two-run homer to center field, giving the Lady Pirates the early lead.

Hampton added to its advantage in the second inning as Sara Ward reached on an infield single, followed by a single to left by Liggins. Two batters later, Gonzales struck again as the catcher drove in two runs with a double to left field, while Maggie Wolfe pushed Hampton's lead to 5-0 with a RBI base hit to left field.

The score remained the same until the fifth inning when Liberty finally got on the scoreboard as Bennett homered to right field to lead off the frame.

Liberty broke open the game with an eight-run sixth inning off on eight hits. The scoring outburst was highlighted by three-run homers by Bennett and J'Nae Jefferson, followed by RBI base hits by Ashley Williams and Sarah Swor.

All three of Liberty's pitchers saw action in the game as Sarah Swor started the contest by allowing five runs on six hits over the first 1 2/3 innings of work. Sarah Ellis came in to halt the Lady Pirates offense by allowing one hit over 4 1/3 innings of work, while Terra Lowe tossed the final inning of the game and allowed a hit and struck out one batter.

Bennett was 2-for-3 in the game with four RBI, while Michelle Fridey was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Dawn Jeffs and Jessica Moore each finished the game 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Jefferson was 1-for-4 with three RBI.