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Late-Inning Offense Gives CSU 8-5 Win Over Liberty

April 6, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Katie Zavodny went 3-for-4, doubled, scored two runs and drove in a pair during Liberty's 8-5 setback to Charleston Southern, Friday.

The Liberty softball team out-hit Charleston Southern during Friday's nightcap, but a pair of home runs keyed the Buccaneers' 8-5 win over the Lady Flames at Liberty Softball Field.

The Lady Flames scored the game's first three runs, but CSU rallied to take an 8-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh. Liberty tallied two runs in the seventh to draw closer, before the visiting Buccaneers closed out the win.

Liberty is now 10-23, 4-7 in Big South play, following Friday's action. Charleston Southern (22-17, 7-3 Big South) earned a sweep of the doubleheader.

Katie Zavodny batted 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and career-high two RBIs. Kelby Allen and Jill Stephens both went 2-for-3, with Allen doubling and tying her career high with three RBIs. Meredith Crisante stole two bases, moving her to sixth at Liberty with 35 career steals.

Chandler Ball (4-7) went the distance, striking out five batters while yielding eight runs on eight hits.

Jennifer Giles (6-7) picked up the victory, allowing three runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. Morgan Dowdy came on for the save with 2 1/3 innings of two-hit, two-run relief.

Megan Lombard hit 2-for-2 with a homer and two RBIs. Stephanie Sbardella also homered and collected two hits.

Liberty took a 1-0 lead on a two-out single in the top of the first. Zavodny led off the game with a bunt single for the Lady Flames. She went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Law. Allen drove Zavodny in by singling to center, giving the Lady Flames a 1-0 advantage. 

Ball issued one walk, to Linzy Rother during the top of the second inning, and Rother remained on first when the half-inning concluded.

Jill Stephens lined a single with one out in the bottom of the second. Strickland hit a single, and both runners moved up an additional base on a throwing error. Zavodny slammed a double off the wall, plating Stephens and Strickland for a 3-0 lead.

A walk and a single gave the Buccaneers two base runners in the third inning. After a sacrifice bunt, Melissa Adams scored on a wild pitch. Matthews drove in Kelleher with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2. Ball then struck out Sbardella to end CSU's third time at bat.

Both Ball and Giles then pitched scoreless innings, leaving the score at 3-2 after four stanzas.

Charleston Southern took a 4-3 lead on a two-run homer by Lombard in the top of the fifth. Lombard drove in Kelleher with a blast to left field, pushing the Bucs ahead for the first time. With two runners on base, Ball fanned Courtney Konyk to quell the rally.

Crisante singled with two outs in Liberty's half of the fifth inning. Dowdy then came on in relief of Giles, and got Allen to groundout for the third out.

Adams and Kelleher collected consecutive, one-out singles during the sixth frame. Lombard walked, filling the bases for Matthews. Matthews reached on a two-base error in right field, plating three runs to extend CSU's lead to four, 7-3, before being thrown out trying to go to third base.

Shivock drew a walk in the bottom of the sixth, but Liberty was unable to drive her in, leaving the Lady Flames with a four-run deficit going into the seventh inning.

Sbardella hit a solo homer to open the final stanza, adding an insurance run.

Trailing 8-3, Zavodny singled on the infield with one out. Law then received a walk. Allen plated both runs by doubling to the wall in left, slicing the deficit to three, at 8-5. An ensuing popout brought the game to a close.

The Lady Flames and Buccaneers will conclude their weekend series with a single game, tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Liberty Softball Field.