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Lady Flames Tie Program Bests in 16-3 Win

April 19, 2011
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Kelly Strickland recorded a career-high six RBIs as the Lady Flames defeated Hampton, 16-3.

The Lady Flames' six home runs tied a program record, Tuesday afternoon, as Liberty cruised to a 16-3 win over Hampton in game two of a non-conference doubleheader.

The last time a Liberty team hit six home runs was on March 3, 2007 against Rhode Island.
The Lady Flames' 16 runs were the most runs the team has scored since March 3, 2003, when Liberty tallied 16 runs in a victory over North Carolina A&T.

Two Lady Flames also enjoyed career highs, as Sammi Shivock tied a program record with four runs scored, and Kelly Strickland's six RBIs were the most in a single game in the junior's career.

With its sixth straight win, Liberty improves to 20-18 on the year, while Hampton drops to 12-28.

In a similar fashion to game one, the Lady Pirates took a lead in the top of the first. Tamara Vickers and Bre'anna Brown strung together back-to-back singles, and Sharde' Estep ripped a shot up the middle to bring in the first run of the game.

With one out, Nina Ferguson grounded out while driving in another run, and Travonna Byrd recorded an RBI single to give Hampton a 3-0 lead.

The Lady Flames responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the first. Shivock led off with a walk, and after a Keely McMillon single, Strickland drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out.

Next, cleanup hitter Ashley Bensinger reached on a fielding error by shortstop Byrd, which allowed a run to score and bring the game to 3-1.

Liberty exploded in the bottom of the second, scoring six runs on six hits. With one out, Amber DePasquale hit a solo homer to left, and Shivock followed up with a single to left. Shivock moved to third when McMillon doubled to left, and both runners came home when Strickland homered to right center.

The hitting streak continued, as Bensinger homered to center field. One out later, Meredith Crisante, who reached on a fielder's choice, came home on an RBI double by Kaylee West, giving Liberty a 7-3 lead.

The Lady Flames turned up the heat in the bottom of the third, scoring six more runs on four hits, as Shivock recorded a two-run homer, and Crisante busted a grand slam for a 13-3 score.

In the top of the fourth, Grace Nordan came in for her collegiate debut in the circle. Nordan came up with two strikeouts, a walk and a groundout to send the game into the bottom of the fourth.

Strickland hit her second home run of the game in the bottom of the fourth, scoring Shivock, who walked, and McMillon, who doubled, to give the Lady Flames a commanding 16-3 advantage.

Nordan and the Lady Flames shut down the Lady Pirates in the top of the fifth, and Liberty walked away with the 16-3 win.

Strickland led Liberty, batting 2-for-2 with two homers and six RBIs, and Crisante was 1-for-4 with a grand slam and four RBIs.

Additionally, McMillon was 3-for-3 with two doubles and three runs scored.

The Lady Pirates were led by Estep, who was 2-for-2 at the plate with an RBI.

Alyssa DiMartino picked up the win in the circle, improving to 2-3 on the season. She gave up four hits and three runs in three complete innings, while striking out two batters.

Tiffany Brents (5-5) took the loss, giving up 13 hits and striking out three Lady Flames in four compete innings of work.

The Lady Flames will host another Eastern Virginia team tomorrow, playing Norfolk State in a non-conference doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.