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Presbyterian Defeats Liberty, 2-1
Despite outhitting the Blue Hose, 5-4, Presbyterian College held on for a narrow 2-1 victory, Sunday afternoon, at Liberty Softball Field.
The Lady Flames drop to 23-25 overall and 9-6 in Big South play, while Presbyterian College improves to 26-16 and 10-8 in the conference after taking the weekend series.
Kelly Strickland recorded the game's first hit with a one-out single to left in the bottom of the second. After Keely McMillon fouled out, Sammi Shivock reached on a throwing error by pitcher Leslie Hensley, which allowed Strickland to move to third. But Kaylee West flied out to left, sending the still-scoreless game into the top of the third.
The Blue Hose took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth, when Amanda Miller ripped the visitors' first hit of the game, which happened to be a solo homer to left center.
Presbyterian College tried to ride that wave, as Morgan Durham followed up with a single to shallow left field. Tiffani Smith then recorded back-to-back strikeouts, but Durham stole second.
Katie Anderson drew a walk, and Durham moved to third on the wild pitch for ball four. At that point, Liberty head coach Paul Wetmore made a pitching change, bringing in Katrina Johnson to relieve Smith. Kristyn Handy then flied out to center for the third out.
Meredith Crisante led off the bottom of the fourth with a bunt single, and Ashley Bensinger followed up with a single to center field.
Bensinger was out on the next play, when Strickland reached on a fielder's choice to second, and Crisante advanced to third. McMillon helped tie the game on the next play, laying down a perfect sac bunt to score Crisante, bringing the score to 1-1.
Amber DePasquale tapped a one-out single to short left field in the bottom of the fifth. But she was forced out at second on the next play, when Jill Stephens hit into a fielder's choice. Law then grounded out to third to end the inning.
The Blue Hose scored another run in the top of the sixth to regain a one-run lead. With one out, Hensley drew a walk, then stole second. After Codee Yeske struck out swinging, Anderson walked, and Kristyn Handy singled up the middle to score Hensley from second.
Crisante tried to start something for the Lady Flames in the bottom of the sixth, as she led off with a single through the left side. But the Blue Hose came up with three straight outs, as Bensinger lined out, Strickland struck out swinging and McMillon grounded out to end the at-bat.
In Liberty's final at-bat, Shivock led of by fouling out to right. West singled down the right field line. But pinch runner Katie Zavodny was caught trying to steal second. DePasquale kept Liberty alive by drawing a walk, but Stephens popped out to third to seal the 2-1 Presbyterian win.
The Blue Hose were led by Miller and Kandy, who were each 1-for-3 with an RBI.
McMillon drove in the lone Liberty run, and Crisante was 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored.
The Lady Flames are back in action on Tuesday, hosting Virginia in a non-conference doubleheader for the season's final contests at Liberty Softball Field.
The Blue Hose, now done with regular season conference play, will face Furman at home on Thursday.