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Liberty Shuts Down Virginia, 8-0
Liberty pitcher Tiffani Smith held the Virginia Cavaliers to just one hit, and Ashley Bensinger and Sammi Shivock each homered as the Lady Flames defeated the visitors, 8-0, in five innings.
The Lady Flames improve to 24-25 on the year following the win in game one of the doubleheader, while Virginia drops to 22-30.
Bensinger gave Liberty an early lead, ripping a solo homer to start the bottom of the first, her 10th of the season. Katie Zavodny followed up with a walk, Meredith Crisante lined out to center field. Zavodny stole second, and Kaylee West drew a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, and Kelly Strickland reached on a walk to load the bases. At that point, Stephanie Coates entered the game to relieve Erica Cipollani. Jenny Law then tapped a short single to center field to bring in Zavodny for a 2-0 Liberty lead.
The Lady Flames scored three more runs on three hits to take a 5-0 advantage in the bottom of the third.
Zavodny reached on a fielding error by Coates, and moved to second when Crisante singled to second. Both runners advanced on a sac bunt by West, and Zavodny was safe at home on the next play when Strickland reached on a fielder's choice to the pitcher.
The Liberty rally continued, as Crisante scored on a squeeze play, and a single to left by Bridgett Woods scored Law for the 5-0 lead.
The Lady Flames tacked another run onto their lead with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Crisante reached on an infield single to shortstop, and scored when West busted a stand-up double to right field for a 6-0 score.
The Cavaliers recorded their first hit of the game in the top of the fifth, when Kennedy Byxbee reached on a slow-rolling single to second with one out. She was forced out at second on the next play, when Rachel Harvey reached on a fielder's choice to third. Liberty hurler Smith then struck out pinch hitter Lauren Didlake looking, sending the game into the bottom of the fifth.
Law then led off with a single to short, beating the throw on the hard-hit grounder. Shivock ended the game with homer to left, sealing the 8-0 Liberty victory.
Law led the Lady Flames, batting 3-foor-3 with two RBIs, while Shivock also drove in two runs with her seventh homer of the year.
Byxbee recorded the only Virginia hit of the contest.
Smith (9-12) picked up the win in the circle, giving up just one hit and striking out three batters in five complete innings. Cipolloni (5-6) took the loss, giving up one hit and two earned runs in 0.1 innings of work.
The two teams are back in action shortly for game two of today's doubleheader.