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Liberty Overcomes 10-Run Deficit in Win Over ETSU

March 6, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Kelly Strickland scores a run during Liberty's 10-run inning on Tuesday against East Tennessee State.

Trailing, 12-2, in the fourth inning, Liberty rallied for a 14-13 win, to complete the comeback over East Tennessee State in the nightcap, Tuesday. The Lady Flames won for the first time in their NCAA Division I history when trailing by 10 runs in a game.

Liberty, playing in its first home night game in program history, scored 10 runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game, and won on a Hanna Nichols sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.

The Lady Flames go to 6-4 after splitting the doubleheader with East Tennessee State (5-12).

Liberty earned its first 10-run inning since tallying 10 runs in the fifth inning of a 15-1 win over North Carolina A&T, April 1, 2006. Tonight, the Lady Flames recorded 18 base hits, one shy of a season high and program record, set Feb. 11 against North Carolina Central.

Six Lady Flames recorded two or more hits, led by three-hit ballgames from Sammi Shivock, Katie Zavodny and Kaylee West. Shivock and Kelby Allen both drove in three runs. Allen hit a homer, while Shivock, West and Jenny Law all doubled. Alyssa DiMartino (3-2) came on in relief of Chandler Ball, earning the win by pitching the final five and one-third innings.

The Buccaneers registered 13 runs on 16 hits, with Annie Martin, Casey Horner and Tara Hartnett recording three hits apiece. Alex Everett drove in four runs with a second-inning grand slam. Relief pitcher Katie Wolff (3-4) drew the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in two and two-thirds innings

To open the game, East Tennessee State loaded the bases on a single, double and a walk. The Bucs then began the scoring on a bases-loaded wild pitch. Amy Campbell grounded out to short to end the top of the first.

After Shelby Morris worked out of a jam in the bottom of the first, ETSU's first three batters reached base during the second inning. On back-to-back plays, Shivock threw out Marina Delisa and Jackie Baird at home on a fielder's choice. After a pair of wild pitches and a walk, Everett delivered a grand slam to give ETSU a 7-0 edge. DiMartino entered the game, and forced a groundout to third for the final out.

Allen led off the bottom of the second with a single, and Law then doubled to the gap. With two outs and the bases full, Zavodny singled on the infield, driving in Allen. Law scored on a throwing error that allowed Zavodny to reach second. Morris fanned Meredith Crisante to quell the rally, but not before Liberty drew to within five, 7-2.

ETSU regained its seven-run lead with two runs in the third, scoring on an RBI base hit by Martin and a wild pitch to make it 9-2.

A 1-2-3 Lady Flames third ensued, bringing the Bucs back to the plate. ETSU added three runs, on a Campbell RBI single and a two-run homer by Baird, to take a 12-2 edge into the bottom of the fourth.

Liberty battled back to tie it with 10 runs on 11 hits in the fourth inning. Woods and Shivock posted consecutive RBI singles, and Liberty trailed, 12-4. Amber Donovan plated Woods and Shivock with a single, making the score 12-6 with one out. After an RBI single by Strickland, Allen cleared the bases with her first home run of the season, hitting the scoreboard just before it read 12-10. Shivock leveled the score at 12-all with a two-RBI base hit, and was thrown out at second to end the inning.

ETSU briefly regained the lead, 13-12, on an RBI double by Horner in the top of the fifth frame. The Lady Flames evened the score during their fifth time at bat, when a two-out grounder by Allen went under the glove of the shortstop and Zavodny scored.

DiMartino retired the Buccaneers in order to open the sixth inning, before West singled to open the bottom half of the inning. Shivock doubled to left center, sending Woods to third. Nichols sent Woods home with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly, and Liberty led, 14-13 going into the seventh.

The Buccaneers threatened in the top of the seventh, filling the bases with two outs for Everett, who had hit a grand slam earlier in the game. This time, she grounded out to second, and Liberty sealed its 14-13, come-from-behind victory.

Liberty will next travel to Texas for the first time in program history. The first leg of the trip will see the Lady Flames compete in the Aggie Invitational, from Friday through Sunday, at Texas A&M in College Station. Liberty's first contest will be against North Dakota State, on Friday at 11 a.m.