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Liberty Threatens Late, CSU Escapes, 2-1
Liberty loaded the bases with nobody out during the bottom of the seventh, but Charleston Southern held off the rally to escape with a 2-1 win, in game one of a doubleheader, Friday at Liberty Softball Field.
The Lady Flames fall to 10-22, 4-6 in Big South play. With the win, Charleston Southern advances to 21-17, including a 6-3 mark in conference competition.
All of the scoring occurred during the first inning, and then Chandler Ball and Morgan Dowdy both tossed shutout softball for the rest of the game.
For Liberty, Katie Zavodny and Jenny Law both went 2-for-4. Zavodny scored Liberty's lone run. Meredith Crisante and Sammi Shivock each had one of Liberty's six hits. Ball (4-6) tossed a complete-game three-hitter, allowing two runs.
Megan Lombard went 1-for-3 with a double and one RBI, while Stephanie Sbardella drove in CSU's second run. Morgan Dowdy went the distance, yielding one run on six hits.
Charleston Southern jumped out to a 2-0 lead during the top of the first inning, on RBI base hits by Lombard and Sbardella. Ball struck out Trea Steele to end the inning.
Zavodny led off Liberty's first time at bat by bunting for a base hit. She stole second, and went to third on a wild pitch. Zavodny scored Liberty's first run on a passed ball with two outs, and the game entered the second inning with a 2-1 ledger.
The Lady Flames threatened with two base hits during the bottom of the third frame. Law and Crisante both singled, putting runners on first and second with two outs. A fielder's choice closed the stanza and the score remained the same.
Following CSU's two-run first inning, Ball and the Lady Flames' defense held the Buccaneers to just three batters during each of the next three innings.
Shivock drew a walk with one out in the bottom of the fourth, and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. After an error that put runners on the corners, Bridgett Woods grounded out to short for the third out.
Linzy Rother received a leadoff walk in the top of the fifth inning. Melissa Adams sent a single to center with one out. Ball worked out of the jam, though, keeping the Buccaneers off the scoreboard with a popout and groundout.
Law collected her second hit of the game on a bunt single in the fifth inning, and was left there as the inning ended.
Shivock reached base by way of an error during the bottom of the sixth inning. Strickland grounded to second base, ending the threat.
Ball worked a 1-2-3 seventh, and the Lady Flames came to bat for the final time.
Donovan walked as the first batter in the bottom of the seventh, and moved to second as Zavodny singled. Law reached on a fielder's choice, loading the bases with one out. The next three batters recorded outs, as Dowdy and the Buccaneers escaped with the 2-1 victory.