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West Rips Two Homers as Liberty Wins
Kaylee West hit two home runs and Kelly Strickland added a solo shot, helping the Lady Flames to a 9-7 victory, Wednesday afternoon, in game two of a doubleheader.
Liberty recorded 14 hits in the contest, the second-most hits by the Lady Flames in a single game this season. Every member of the starting nine had at one base hit in the contest.
The Lady Flames, who dropped game one to the Dukes by a score of 4-3, improve to 15-18 on the year, while James Madison drops to 25-14.
The Lady Flames scored a run in the top of the first to take a quick 1-0 lead. Keely McMillon reached on a one-out single to shortstop, and Kelly Strickland walked. Ashley Bensinger then singled to left, as Strickland moved to third and McMillon was thrown out at home.
Liberty scored on the next play, when Jenny Law reached on a dropped fly ball by third baseman Lauren Robison and Strickland crossed home for the unearned run.
The lead didn't last long, as Ashley Burnham led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run over the left field fence for James Madison, tying the game at 1-all.
The Lady Flames regained an advantage in the top of the second, when Amber DePasquale and Sammi Shivock ripped back-to-back doubles with two outs. DePasquale scored on Shivock's knock to right center, giving Liberty a 2-1 advantage.
Once again, the Liberty lead was short-lived, as Haley Johnson led off the bottom of the second with a solo home run to left, tying the game.
But the Lady Flames charged back in the top of the third, taking a 4-2 lead on a two-run homer by West, her first of the season. Jill Stephens tried to ride that momentum with a double to left, but designated player Meredith Crisante grounded out for the third out.
Liberty ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth. The Dukes' bats exploded and James Madison scored five runs off of six hits to take a 7-4 lead.
Strickland tacked another Liberty run on the board in the top of the fifth, leading off with a solo home run to left-center field for a 7-5 score.
After Ashley Bensinger singled to right center, West busted her second home run of the day to tie the game, 7-all.
Bensinger stayed hot, leading off the top of the seventh with a single through the left side. Law followed with a bunt single to put runners on first and second with nobody out.
West was next, and continued her stellar performance with an RBI single through the right side to give Liberty an 8-7 lead.
The Lady Flames didn't stop there, as Crisante reached on a James Madison fielding error, allowing Law to cross home for a 9-7 score.
The Liberty defense came up with three straight outs in the bottom of the seventh, and the Lady Flames walked away with the win.
West led the Lady Flames, batting 3-for-4 with a career-high five RBIs and two runs scored, while Bensinger was 3-for-4 at the plate.
The Dukes were led by Burnham, who was 2-for-3 and drove in three runs.
Tiffani Smith picked up the win in the circle, improving to 5-10 after giving up three hits and striking out three JMU batters in 3.2 innings of work.
Brittany Jeans took the loss, dropping to 5-7 on the year.
Liberty is back in action this weekend, facing Gardner-Webb in a three-game Big South series. Friday's doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.