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Hampton Edges Lady Flames, 5-3
Liberty battled back to within one run, 4-3, in the top of the fourth inning, but the host Hampton Lady Pirates held on for a 5-3 win in Wednesday's nightcap.
The Lady Flames (14-24) had won their last four games prior to the loss to Hampton. The Lady Pirates now hold a 14-24 record on the season.
Sammi Shivock was 2-for-3 with one run scored, while Kelly Strickland and Bridgett Woods each went 1-for-3 with a RBI. Strickland's RBI, the 141st of her career, moved her into a tie for third place in program history with Jessica Moore (2005-07).
Alyssa DiMartino (7-15) allowed five runs in four innings of work, while Grace Nordan finished out the game by yielding one hit in two innings of relief.
Margaret Wilkins batted 3-for-3 for Hampton, while Nina Ferguson went 2-for-3. Rebecca Magett led the Lady Pirates with two RBIs. Jailynn Jackson (8-12) earned the win, allowing three runs on four hits in seven innings.
Host Hampton went into the lead with a four-run first frame. With runners on the corners and one out, Shine Huwe plated Bre'Anna Brown with a squeeze bunt. After an RBI single by Margaret Wilkins, Magett drove in two runs to stake the Lady Pirates to a 4-0 lead.
During the top of the second, Kaylee West drew a walk and Shivock followed with a single to right. Woods then doubled to left center field to bring home West to make the score, 4-1. Two runners remained in scoring position, when a popout ended Liberty's second at bat.
Katie Zavodny reached on a throwing error as the first batter in the third inning, and was caught stealing. Jenny Law walked with two outs and was left on first when the inning concluded.
DiMartino pitched a scoreless third inning, yielding just one base hit, as the score remained 4-1.
Liberty added two runs in the top of the fourth. West drew a leadoff walk, and Shivock followed with a single to center. Amber Donovan then moved both runners up one base with a sacrifice bunt. After West scored on a wild pitch, Strickland plated Shivock with a single, trimming the Lady Flames' deficit to one.
After Adrianna Scott was hit by a pitch to open up the bottom of the inning, Ferguson doubled to the gap. Scott was thrown out trying to score on the play. Brown then drove in Ferguson with a single to extend Hampton advantage to 5-3.
Following a 1-2-3 Liberty fifth inning, Grace Nordan came on in relief of DiMartino. Nordan struck out one batter and kept the Lady Pirates off of the scoreboard.
The Lady Flames went in order on three flyouts in the sixth inning. Liberty's catcher, Donovan, threw out two attempted base stealers during the bottom of the frame, leaving the ledger at 5-3.
Liberty went in order on a strikeout and two flyouts in the seventh inning, as Hampton captured the 5-3 victory.
The Lady Flames will begin a three-game Big South series against Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C., with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. Sunday's game between Liberty and the Chanticleers will begin at 1 p.m.