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Shivock Homer Lifts Liberty to 1-0 Victory
In a close contest, the only run scored was a solo home run by Liberty's Sammi Shivock, lifting the No. 2 seed Lady Flames to a 1-0 victory over No. 6 seed Gardner-Webb.
The Liberty forces a second game between the two teams later this afternoon at 5:30 p.m. The winner of that game will advance to tomorrow's championship, while the loser will be eliminated from the 2011 Big South Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting.
The Lady Flames evens its record at 28-28 following its second win of the day, while Gardner-Webb drops to 18-27.
The Lady Flames put runners on in the bottom of the first, but couldn't capitalize. Ashley Bensinger reached on an error by center fielder Melinda Dulkowski, and Jenny Law followed up with a single to left. But Gardner-Webb pitcher Jessica Childers fanned three straight batters to keep Liberty scoreless.
The Runnin' Bulldogs made a threat in the top of the third, putting runners on the corners with two outs. Rachel Jablonski led off by drawing a walk and then advanced to second on a sac bunt by Michelle Primm. After Dulkowski struck out, Samantha Meenaghan singled through the right side. But Jordan Arrowood grounded out, keeping the game scoreless.
Liberty put runners on once again in the bottom of the third. With one out, Bensinger singled to left, and moved to second on a sac bunt by Law. Next, Meredith Crisante ripped a single to right, but Jane Savage made the throw to home to catch Bensinger trying to score, ending the inning with Liberty coming up short.
Shivock scored the first run and lone of the game with one swing, ripping a solo home run to left to lead off the bottom of the fifth for a 1-0 Liberty lead.
Savage recorded a hit for the Runnin' Bulldogs in the top of the seventh with two outs, but Jablonski grounded out to end the game.
Meenaghan led Gardner-Webb, going 3-for-3 at the plate. Savage was the only other Runnin' Bulldog to record a hit in the game.
Shivock led the Lady Flames, batting 2-for-2 with her eighth home run. Crisante went 2-for-3.
Katrina Johnson picked up the win in the circle, giving up four hits and striking out four batters in the complete-game shutout, Liberty's second-straight shutout on the day.
Childers (10-12) suffered the loss, giving up six hits and striking out four batters.