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Law's Walk-Off Hit Seals Lady Flames' 4-3 Win
Jenny Law capped a 3-for-4 day at the plate, with a walk-off two-out base hit to center, giving Liberty a 4-3 win over visiting Winthrop, Saturday.
The Lady Flames now hold a 10-19 record, including a 4-5 mark in Big South play, after snapping a four-game winless streak. The Eagles fall to 13-22, 2-5 in conference play after winning two out of three in Lynchburg this weekend.
Winthrop had taken a 3-2 lead with two runs in the top of the seventh, but Liberty loaded the bases before Law's hit provided the Lady Flames winning margin. Each of Liberty's last two game-winning hits has come with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, including a three-run homer by Amber Donovan, this past Sunday at Gardner-Webb.
Chandler Ball (4-5) pitched a complete-game six-hitter, striking out a career-high seven batters, allowing two earned runs. Law had three hits and two RBIs, while Meredith Crisante hit a two-run homer, her third of the season. Five additional Lady Flames collected base hits, giving Liberty eight hits on the afternoon.
Chelsey Schoenfeldt hit 2-for-3 and drove in a run for the Eagles, who recorded six hits but left eight runners on base, compared to three left on for Liberty. Natalie Becker (7-9) yielded four runs on eight hits in going the distance.
Ball recorded two strikeouts during a scoreless top of the first inning. Law sent a one-out single to center in the bottom of the frame. Crisante then hit a towering two-run shot over the scoreboard, giving the Lady Flames a 2-0 edge.
Winthrop put its first two batters on base in the second inning, on a walk and an error. Ball worked out of the jam with a strikeout and a popout, and Liberty kept its two-run lead. Becker then got all three Lady Flames out in the bottom of the stanza.
The 2-0 ledger remained through a scoreless third inning. The Eagles sliced the deficit to one run, 2-1, with a fourth-inning tally. Kristy Noble was hit by a pitch with one out. She came around to score, as Kelly Blea drove her in with a sacrifice fly. Ball struck out Megan Chapman for the third out.
Becker then pitched her third three-batter inning in a row, sending the game to the fifth with Liberty ahead by one.
Bridgett Woods drew a walk during the bottom of the fifth inning, ending Becker's stretch of 12 straight batters retired. After Woods moved to third on a stolen base, Becker recorded a strikeout to close the inning.
Katie Zavodny bunted for a single to lead off the sixth for Liberty. She went to third on a single by Law. Becker walked Crisante to fill the bases with one out. Hanna Nichols sent a liner that the shortstop tracked down, resulting in an inning-ending double play.
Taylor Wright singled lead off the seventh. Durante followed with a double to left center. Ball then issued a walk to McKenzi Corn, loading the bases. Kathryn Eberlin lined out to right field, driving in Kelsey Ritter to tie the game. Schoenfeldt sent Winthrop ahead with an RBI single to center, and the Eagles took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh.
Megan Robinson led off the seventh with a single, and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. Kelby Allen singled, and Jill Stephens sent a single to right with two outs, filling the bases. Law rocketed a 1-0 pitch back up the middle, plating Robinson and pinch runner Marybeth Sciolino while sealing the 4-3 comeback victory.
Liberty continues its 10-game homestand on Wednesday, hosting UNCG for a doubleheader. Game one between the Lady Flames and Spartans is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at Liberty Softball Field.