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Longwood Edges Liberty, 2-1, in Game Two
Despite outhitting the Lancers, 7-3, the Lady Flames stranded six base runners, and were edged by Longwood, 2-1.
Longwood wrapped up the sweep of the nonconference doubleheader, after taking game one, 6-0, earlier in the afternoon. The Lady Flames drop to 22-20 on the year, while Longwood improves to 30-11.
The Lancers struck first after an odd series of events in the bottom of the second, taking a 1-0 lead. With two outs, Courtney Long drew a walk, and Kami Nuckols reached on a Liberty fielding error. Nichole Simmons then walked to load the bases.
On the next play, Maggie Margadonna hit a grounder to first baseman Kaylee West, who bobbled the ball before tossing it to Kelly Strickland at first. The umpire called the runner out, and the teams returned to their dugouts.
However, after a discussion between first base umpire Anthony Tutt and first base umpire Roberto Capuno, the umpires concluded that Margadonna was actually safe, which scored pinch runner Brittney Latka to give Longwood a 1-0 lead. So Liberty returned to the field and Longwood was still up to bat after the reversed call.
The Lady Flames got out of the inning without any more runs scoring, as Jordan Cox lined out to center field.
Kelly Strickland led off the top of the fourth with a single on a lined shot to the pitcher, but one out later, she was forced out at second when Jenny Law hit a grounder to the shortstop. Meredith Crisante then hit a shallow pop fly to left that looked like it was going to drop, but Simmons made a diving catch for the third out.
The Lady Flames scored their lone run of the day in the top of the fifth to tie the game, 1-all. With one out, pinch hitter Katie Zavodny reached on an infield single, then stole second. She tagged up and moved to third when Amber DePasquale fouled out to first, and scored on a single up the middle by Sammi Shivock.
The tie didn't last long, as Longwood designated player Brooke Short ripped a solo home run down the right field line in the bottom of the fifth, giving the home team a 2-1 lead.
Liberty responded by putting runners on the corners with nobody out in the top of the sixth. Strickland led off with a double to right center, and moved to third when Ashley Bensinger singled down the left field line.
After Law popped out, Longwood pitcher Briana Wells recorded back-to-back strikeouts to strand the runners.
The Lady Flames made a charge in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with two outs. Bridgett Woods was hit by a pitch, but was forced out at second on a fielder's choice to the pitcher by DePasquale. After Shivock flied out, Keely McMillon singled to center field.
DePasquale moved to third and pinch runner Marybeth Sciolino advanced to second on a wild pitch by Wells, and Strickland drew a walk to load the bases.
But Bensinger flied out to right, and Longwood walked away with the narrow 2-1 victory.
Strickland was 2-for-3 for Liberty, while Shivock and Zavodny each drove in a run. Bensinger was also 2-for-4 in the contest.
Short paced the home team, batting 2-for-3 with a home run and an RBI.
Katrina Johnson (11-6) took the loss in the circle, giving up just three hits and one earned run in six innings of work. Wells (27-11) gave up seven hits and one earned run while fanning six batters in her second complete game of the day.
The Lady Flames are back in action at home next week, hosting Virginia Tech in a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday at 2 p.m.