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Lady Flames Pound Out 19 Hits in Win Over N.C. Central
Liberty registered a program-record-tying 19 base hits in defeating North Carolina Central, 14-5, in six innings on Saturday at the Elon Invitational. The teams played through adverse weather conditions, with gusts up to 30 miles per hour and temperatures in the low 30's.
The Lady Flames (1-2) scored five runs in the second inning, and added five more in the sixth to clinch the team's first victory of the season, via run rule. The Eagles fall to 1-3 so far on the season with their second loss on Saturday.
Liberty's 19 hits tie a program record, set March 31, 2003 against North Carolina A&T. The Lady Flames scored 14 runs, the most by the team since a 16-3 win over Hampton, April 19, 2011.
Kaylee West and Katie Zavodny both tied a Liberty single-game record, with four hits apiece. Zavodny and Sammi Shivock both scored three runs. Bridgett Woods went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, and Kelly Strickland added a two-run shot of her own. Chandler Ball (1-1) went the distance for her first collegiate victory.
North Carolina Central registered five runs on five hits, and also committed seven errors. Amanda Bullock drove in two runs for the Eagles. Aurora Baker (0-2) drew the loss, allowing nine runs on 14 hits in five innings pitched.
Each team held the other scoreless during the first inning, with a Zavodny single serving as only base hit in the frame.
Liberty broke the game open with a five-run second inning. Following a fielder's choice, Woods launched a home run to left field, driving in Shivock. Grace Nordan laced a two-out double to plate Meredith Crisante and give Liberty a 3-0 lead. Nordan crossed the plate on a Zavodny single, and then Law drove in Zavodny with a base hit to right field. Baker retired the final Liberty batter with the Lady Flames ahead, 5-0.
The Lady Flames added one tally in the third inning. After singles by Shivock and West, Crisante sent an RBI base hit up the middle for a 6-0 edge. Liberty threatened for more, but Baker got Nordan to ground out, ending the inning.
Andrea Searls doubled to center with two outs in the bottom of the third, giving the Eagles their first hit of the game. Martha Batie reached by way of a walk, and then Sarah Kaiser grounded out for the third out.
Zavodny led off the fourth with a double, and moved to third base as Law reached on an error. After a Law stolen base, Zavodny crossed the plate on an errant throw by the N.C. Central catcher. Strickland then went deep with a two-run homer to set the score at 9-0. Crisante sent a deep fly ball to center, which Mae'Risha Watts tracked down for the third out.
West turned an unassisted double play to help Liberty keep the Eagles off the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Kelby Allen recorded her first career hit with two outs in the fifth inning, but Baker worked through trouble, and kept the score at 9-0 through four and a half frames.
The Eagles mounted a five-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning. Bullock sent a two-run single to left field. Cember Carmichael drove in two Eagles with a double, and then Shakemia Edwards scored on a wild pitch to draw to within four, 9-5. Strickland made a running catch to close the inning.
Liberty answered N.C. Central's rally with five runs in the top of the sixth. West lined a double to the gap, plating Shivock and Woods. West boosted Liberty's lead to 12-5 when she scored on an Eagles error. Donovan then recorded a two-RBI double, scoring Zavodny and Crisante. N.C. Central was unable to score in its half of the sixth, ending the game by run rule.
The Lady Flames close out their stay in Elon, N.C., on Sunday, taking on Georgetown at 12:15 p.m.