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Law's Walk-Off Completes 9-8 Comeback Victory for Liberty
Liberty erased a pair of four-run deficits against Charleston Southern on Saturday, and won the game, 9-8, on a Jenny Law walk-off hit with two outs in the eighth inning at Liberty Softball Field.
This marks the second Saturday in a row during which Jenny Law collected a walk-off single, as she clinched a 4-3 win over Winthrop one week ago.
The Lady Flames advance to 11-23 on the season, with a 5-7 mark in conference play. Charleston Southern is 22-18, 7-4 in Big South games, after taking two of three this weekend.
Kelly Strickland went 2-for-4 and hit a grand slam in the sixth inning to tie the game at 7-7. It was her third homer of the season, and the first grand slam by a Lady Flame this year.
Katie Zavodny, Hanna Nichols and Sammi Shivock all had two-hit games, helping Liberty collect 10 hits. Meredith Crisante hit a two-run homer during the bottom of the fourth, her fourth homer of the season to tie her for the team lead.
Chandler Ball (5-7) pitched a complete game, allowing six earned runs on 10 hits, striking out six batters.
Kristin Kelleher and Jessica Brock both had two hits for CSU, with Brock hitting her first home run of 2012 to drive in two runs. Morgan Dowdy pitched the first seven innings, yielding eight runs on eight hits, before Jennifer Giles (6-8) pitched the final 2/3 of an inning to draw the loss.
Charleston Southern loaded the bases with nobody out during the top of the first inning, and Matthews gave the Buccaneers a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly. After a wild pitch produced another run, Ball struck out Hayes Holdsworth to end the frame.
Zavodny bunted for a leadoff single in Liberty's half of the first. She moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jill Stephens. Law plated her with a groundout, slicing the deficit in half, to 2-1.
Adams, Kelleher and Brock reached base on consecutive one-out singles in the second inning. Lombard singled to right to drive in Adams for a 3-1 advantage, and Stephanie Sbardella plated a pair with a two-out base hit. Ball fanned Linzy Rother, bringing the top of the second to a close.
Following a scoreless CSU third, Zavodny reached on a two-out infield single. Stephens then shot a liner to third that Brock caught for the third out.
Ball fashioned a 1-2-3 top of the fourth inning, keeping the score at 5-1. Law drew a leadoff walk during Liberty's fourth time to bat. Crisante followed with a two-run homer to left center field, drawing the Lady Flames to within two, 5-3.
Charleston Southern went in order again in the fifth frame. Strickland singled to right center with one out in the bottom half, and Zavodny reached on a throwing error. With runners on second and third and two outs, Dowdy worked out of the jam with an inning-ending groundout.
The Buccaneers tacked on two runs on a homer by Brock in the top of the sixth inning. She went deep to left center after a walk to Kelleher.
Liberty tied the game on one swing in the bottom of the sixth when Strickland hit a grand slam. Shivock sent a base hit to left to put runners on the corners after two outs. Kaylee West walked, loading the bases for Strickland, who tied the game at 7-7 with a home run to right center.
With nobody out and the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, Stickney struck out, and Adams lined out to short for the second out. Ball walked Kelleher, sending the go-ahead run home.
Down to their last strike, the Lady Flames evened the game at 8-8 on an opposite-field RBI double by Nichols. A third-out groundout sent the game to extra innings.
CSU stranded two runners in scoring position during the eighth when Trea Steele grounded out.
Giles entered the circle in relief of Dowdy in the bottom of the eighth. Shivock doubled down the right field line to lead off, and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by West. After two outs, Giles intentionally walked Zavodny, and then Stephens drew a free pass. Law singled, driving in Shivock with the game-winning run.
Liberty remains home, and will finish its 10-game homestand with a doubleheader against North Carolina A&T, Tuesday. The first game on Tuesday is set to begin at 2 p.m.