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Liberty Completes Sweep with 5-2 Win
The Liberty Lady Flames recorded double-digit hits for the second time today, defeating Gardner-Webb, 5-2, in the second game of a Big South doubleheader, Friday afternoon. Liberty took game one, 14-3.
Liberty improves to 17-18 overall and 7-3 in conference play, while Gardner-Webb drops to 11-21 overall and 3-7 in the Big South.
The Lady Flames struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. With two outs, Meredith Crisante singled to shortstop, and moved to second when Jill Stephens reached on a fielder's choice. Crisante scored when Kaylee West singled to center field.
Jane Savage recorded a hit for the Runnin' Bulldogs in the bottom of the second with one out, but Liberty pitcher Katrina Johnson struck out two in a row to end the inning.
Keely McMillon and Kelly Strickland strung together back-to-back singles with one out in the top of the third, but the Lady Flames couldn't add to their lead, as Gardner-Webb pitcher Cindy Boomhower came up with two strikeouts to strand the runners.
Liberty recorded two more hits in the top of the fourth when Crisante singled to third, and one out later, Kaylee West singled to second. But Boomhower fanned another batter and Shivock flied out, keeping the runners from scoring.
The Lady Flames ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth, when McKenzie Morenus reached on a throwing error by Ashley Bensinger at third, and Lindsea Hutchinson drew a walk. After Savage flied out, Kelsey Witter laid down a sac bunt to advance the runners to second and third with two outs.
Next, Rachel Jablonski singled to right to drive in a run and tie the game, and Melinda Dulkowski followed up with an RBI single to shortstop to give the Runnin' Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.
The Lady Flames responded in the top of the fifth, scoring a run to tie the game. With one out, Strickland doubled to right center, and advanced to third on a sac bunt by Bensinger. Strickland then scored when Jenny Law singled through the left side, bringing the game score to 2-2.
Liberty tacked on three more runs to its total in the top of the sixth, thanks to three hits and a Gardner-Webb miscue. With one out, West singled up the middle, and was replaced by pinch-runner Grace Nordan at first. Nordan advanced when Amber DePasquale singled through the left side, and scored when Sammi Shivock reached on an error by shortstop Jordyn Arrowood. Next, two more runs came in when McMillon singled to center field, and the Lady Flames took a 5-2 advantage.
The Runnin' Bulldogs put runners on after two Liberty fielding errors in the bottom of the seventh, but the Lady Flames were able to shut down the home team to walk away with the 5-2 win.
McMillon led the Lady Flames, batting 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Law was 2-for-4 and drove in a run and West batted 3-for-3 with an RBI.
The Runnin' Bulldogs were led by Savage, who was 2-for-3, while Jablonski and Dulkowski each drove in a run.
Johnson picked up the win in the circle to improve to 10-5 in 2011. The sophomore gave up seven hits and no earned runs while striking out five batters in the complete-game appearance.
Boomhower (4-11) gave up 12 hits and struck out five Liberty batters in seven complete games.
The two teams will face off for the third game of the Big South series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m.