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Lady Flames Down Aggies, 9-8, in Walk-Off Fashion
Kelly Strickland hit a game-winning RBI single during the seventh inning of Liberty's 9-8 victory against North Carolina A&T on Tuesday, sealing a doubleheader sweep of the Aggies.
Following a scoreless first inning, the Lady Flames scored at least one run during each of the remaining six innings to win a back-and-forth contest.
Liberty is now 13-23 after sweeping North Carolina A&T, and the Lady Flames have won three games in a row. The Aggies fall to 12-21 after suffering their third straight loss.
Strickland and Meredith Crisante both went 3-for-3 during the nightcap. Crisante hit a home run, her sixth of the season and 20th of her career, while tying a program record with four runs scored. Crisante is now tied for 10th all-time at Liberty in career homers. Strickland tripled and drove in two runs, including the game-winner. Kelby Allen hit 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Alyssa DiMartino (7-14) started and finished the game, pitching six total innings while allowing five runs on nine hits. Chandler Ball pitched one inning during the middle of the game.
North Carolina held a one hit advantage, 13-12, and hit three homers during game two. Sabrina Edmonds went 3-for-4 with two homers and four RBIs, while Raven Smith homered as well and Juanita Jernigan went 3-for-4 with a double.
Alexandra McAfee (1-9) drew the loss, yielding nine runs on 12 hits.
Both teams sent just three batters to the plate during the first inning, a change from game one, when eight runs crossed the plate in the first stanza.
The Aggies took a 1-0 lead with a second-inning tally. Jernigan opened the second frame by doubling off the wall in center, and scored a run when Raven Smith followed with a single. DiMartino got out of a jam, leaving two runners on base with a groundout.
Crisante sent a leadoff single to center, and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a groundout, Crisante scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Strickland drove in Sammi Shivock with a two-out single, giving Liberty a 2-1 lead. A popout to short ended the second inning.
Ball and the Lady Flames got North Carolina A&T out in order during the third inning. Stephens then led off the bottom half of the frame with a single, and Crisante then record a base hit. Allen plated Jill Stephens and Crisante to extend Liberty's lead to 4-1.
Edmonds homered to right field with one runner on base in the fourth inning. Her fifth home run of the season brought the Aggies to within one, 4-3. Consecutive singles put runners on the corners before Smith lined out to end the threat.
Strickland tripled to left field with one out in the bottom of the fourth. An infield single by Katie Zavodny plated Strickland for a 5-3 advantage. Law grounded to first for the third out.
Ball came on in relief of DiMartino during the fifth frame. Jernigan recorded an RBI single to tally the visitors' fourth run. Raven Smith's two-run blast staked the Aggies to a 6-5 edge.
Crisante and Allen both reached base during the fifth inning, and Crisante crossed the plate on a squeeze bunt by Shivock. West pushed Liberty back into the lead, 7-6, on a two-out RBI single.
DiMartino re-entered the circle with a 7-6 lead in the top of the sixth. After the visitors received two baserunners with nobody out, DiMartino struck out one and got two groundouts to work out of the inning.
Crisante gave the Lady Flames an insurance run during the sixth stanza, hitting a solo shot for an 8-6 advantage.
Edmonds hit a two-run, game-tying home run with nobody out in the seventh inning. DiMartino retired the final three Aggies, bringing the Lady Flames to the plate.
Shivock walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh. West moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt. Strickland drove in Shivock with the winning run, sealing Liberty's 9-8 win in walk-off fashion.
The Lady Flames travel to Hampton, Va., tomorrow to take on the Hampton Lady Pirates in a doubleheader. The first pitch for game one is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.