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Liberty Hands Hampton 7-2 Loss
Tiffani Smith held the Lady Pirates to just three hits and Ashley Bensinger and Kaylee West drove in two runs, Tuesday afternoon, as Liberty defeated Hampton, 7-2, in game one of a non-conference doubleheader.
The Lady Flames also recorded double digits in hits for the fifth straight game, finishing with 10.
Liberty improves to 19-18 on the year with five straight wins, while Hampton drops to 12-27.
The Lady Pirates struck first, taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. With one out, Tamara Vickers reached on an infield single, and designated player Sharde' Estep followed up with a homer to left to give Hampton the early advantage.
The Lady Flames answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Sammi Shivock led off by reaching on an error by third baseman Bre'Anna Brown, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Shivock scored during the next at-bat, when Keely McMillon doubled to left center to cut Hampton's lead in half.
Kelly Strickland then drew a walk, and one out later, Jenny Law singled up the middle. Strickland came home to tie the game on a single to center by Meredith Crisante.
West led off the bottom of the second inning with a single up the middle, and moved into scoring position when Bridgett Woods walked. But the Hampton defense came up with three straight outs to end the frame with the score still 2-2.
Liberty starter Smith needed only six pitches to shut down the Lady Pirates in the top of the third, as Bre'Anna Brown, Vickers and Estep all grounded out. Smith also got the assist on two of those outs.
Liberty took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third. Strickland led off with a walk, and moved to second on a single to shortstop by Bensinger, Strickland tagged up to make it to third on a lineout by Law, and scored on a wild pitch to give Liberty the advantage for good.
The Lady Flames padded their lead in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two runs on three hits for a 5-2 score. With two outs, Bensinger singled to third, and moved to second on a single up the middle by Law. Crisante then walked to load the bases, paving the way for West to drill a single through the right side to bring in two runs.
Liberty added two more runs to its total in the bottom of the sixth for a 7-2 score. With one out, Shivock singled through the left side, and moved to second when McMillon walked. One out later, Bensinger singled over the head of the center fielder, scoring Shivock and pinch runner Katie Zavodny.
The Lady Pirates couldn't muster any offense in their final at-bat, and Liberty walked away with the 7-2 victory.
The Lady Flames were led by Bensinger, who was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, and West, who was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Estep paced Hampton, batting 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBIs.
Smith picked up the win in the circle, improving to 8-10 on the year. She gave up two runs on three hits and struck out five batters in the complete-game win.
Travonna Byrd suffered the loss, giving up seven runs on 10 hits and striking out one Liberty batter.