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Liberty Outhits Winthrop, Eagles Earn 4-2 Win
Liberty rallied to tie Friday's second game at 2-2, but Winthrop claimed a 4-2 victory by tallying one run in each of the final two innings, sweeping the doubleheader at Liberty Softball Field.
Liberty is now 9-19 on the season, with a 3-5 record in conference play after sustaining its fourth defeat in a row. Winthrop improves to 13-21, including a 2-4 Big South ledger.
Liberty outhit the visiting Eagles, 9-6, during the nightcap. Jenny Law doubled and went 2-for-4, giving her two doubles on the day. Hanna Nichols collected her first career double, going 1-for-3. Meredith Crisante drove in two runs, while Katie Zavodny crossed the plate twice.
Alyssa DiMartino (6-13) pitched her third straight complete game, allowing two earned runs on six hits while tying her career high with five strikeouts.
Chelsey Schoenfeldt hit 2-for-3 with a double, and pitched the first 4 2/3 innings. Natalie Becker (7-8) earned her second win of the day, yielding one hit in 2 2/3 innings of relief. Kristy Noble hit her fourth home run of the campaign.
Liberty jumped ahead, 1-0, on a Crisante RBI single in the bottom of the first inning. Jill Stephens and Zavodny hit back-to-back singles to start the frame. Crisante cashed in with a solid base hit to center to give the Lady Flames the early lead.
Winthrop countered with a pair of runs during the top of the second. The Eagles took a 2-1 lead when two runs scored on an errant throw that found its way into the dugout. DiMartino struck out Teja Durante to quell the rally.
Kelly Strickland and Bridgett Woods hit consecutive singles in Liberty's half of the second, but both were left on, and the game went to the third inning with Winthrop ahead, 2-1.
DiMartino kept Winthrop off the scoreboard in the third inning, fanning two Eagles. Law led off the bottom of the stanza by singling up the middle, and moved to second on a Kaylee West sacrifice. She was left on base, as Winthrop made a pair of fine defensive plays.
Winthrop went quickly during its fourth time at bat, on two flyouts and a groundout. Schoenfeldt then tossed a 1-2-3 bottom half of the inning.
The Lady Flames tied the game, 2-2, with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Megan Robinson drove a single to center field with one out, her first career base hit. Law followed with a double, and West walked to load the bases. Becker then came on in relief of Schoenfeldt. Crisante drove in Zavodny with a sacrifice fly, evening the score at 2-2. A flyout ended the threat.
Schoenfeldt hit a leadoff double during the sixth frame, and went to third on a sacrifice. Alex White earned a sacrifice fly, and Winthrop reclaimed the advantage, 3-2, when Scoenfeldt crossed the plate.
Nichols doubled as the first Liberty batter in the sixth frame. She went to third on a groundout, and remained on base when Becker registered a third-out strikeout.
Winthrop added an insurance run on a seventh-inning solo shot by Kristy Noble, and took a 4-2 advantage into the bottom of the seventh. Grace Nordan sent a hard line drive to third base that was caught for the first out, and the Lady Flames went 1-2-3, bringing the game to a close.
The Lady Flames and Eagles will conclude the weekend series tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. at Liberty Softball Field.