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ETSU Downs Liberty, 10-7, in Game One of Doubleheader
The Liberty softball team battled back from a pair of three-run deficits, tying the score at 7-7 in the fifth inning, but a three-run sixth inning sent East Tennessee State to a 10-7 victory at Liberty Softball Field, Tuesday.
Liberty's record stands at 5-4 following Tuesday's first game, while ETSU is now 5-11.
The Lady Flames are now 19-8 all-time in home openers, and 14-5 in home openers under head coach Paul Wetmore.
Both teams registered nine hits on the afternoon, with Liberty recording four extra-base hits and ETSU hitting one double and two home runs.
Kelby Allen went 3-for-4 with a double, triple and two RBIs, while teammates Sammi Shivock, Meredith Crisante and Amber Donovan all posted two-hit ballgames. Shivock homered, and Crisante doubled.
For ETSU, Casey Horner hit a pair of home runs, driving in four runs. Marlina Delisa and Katie Wolff both had two RBIs.
Whitney Leon (2-1) came on and earned the win with three innings of relief pitching. Alyssa DiMartino (2-2) drew the loss, allowing seven earned runs in five innings pitched.
Annie Martin led off the game with a triple, but was erased at the plate on a fielder's choice. With two Buccaneers on and one out, Horner hit a three-run home run to left field to put ETSU ahead, 3-0. DiMartino got the final two Bucs to ground out, ending the top of the first.
The Lady Flames responded with a run in the bottom of the frame. After walks to Shivock and Donovan, Kelly Strickland sent a flare to left that was mishandled by Martin. Shivock crossed the plate on the play, trimming the deficit to two, 3-1.
DiMartino retired eight straight Buccaneers, all via groundout, spanning the first through third innings.
Shivock opened the bottom of the third inning with a solo home run, the 10th of her career, to make the score 3-2. Crisante followed with a single, and Donovan walked. Allen plated Crisante and Donovan with a triple to right field, giving Liberty a 4-3 lead.
In the top of the fourth, Horner tied the ballgame at 4-4 with a leadoff home run, her second of the contest, going deep to center field. The Buccaneers regained the advantage, 6-4, on a pair of RBI groundouts after a Liberty error. DiMartino struck out Fox to end ETSU's fourth time at bat.
Wolff worked around a two-out single by Shivock to keep Liberty off the scoreboard in the fourth.
The Buccaneers added to their lead in the top of the fifth inning on a two-out RBI single by Alex Everett. Horner was thrown out on the play, and ETSU led, 7-4 after four and a half stanzas.
Crisante hit a double to the left-center gap to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Donovan drove in Crisante for Liberty's fifth run of the contest. After Leon came on in relief of Wolff, a single by Allen loaded the bases with nobody out. Leon hit Law, pulling Liberty to within one, 7-6. Nordan tied the game at 7-7 with a sacrifice fly, as Strickland scored. Shivock flied out to end the inning.
Back-to-back base hits with nobody out in the sixth put ETSU back in the lead, 8-7. Ball then relieved DiMartino in the pitching circle. Wolff plated pinch runner Sade Johnson with a single to center, making it 9-7. Haley Thompson sent an RBI single to right, setting the score at 10-7. Lower struck out for the third out of the frame.
Ball held ETSU scoreless in the top of the seventh, bringing Liberty to the plate. Allen led off with a double, but three straight outs ended the game.
The Lady Flames and Buccaneers will begin game two of the doubleheader shortly.