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Lady Flames Fall to No. 1/1 Florida at Aquafina Invitational

February 20, 2015  Gainesville, Fla.  RSS
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Tori Zavodny recorded a base hit on Friday at No. 1/1 Florida.

Tori Zavodny recorded a base hit on Friday at No. 1/1 Florida.

The Liberty softball team competed against the defending national champion for the second year in a row, playing at No. 1/1 Florida on Friday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The top-ranked Gators broke open a 1-0 game with a seven-run third inning on the way to an 11-0, five-inning victory over the Lady Flames.

With the win, their eighth shutout this season and fourth in a row, the Gators improve to 12-0 on the year. Liberty's record stands at 4-7 after falling to a pair of undefeated teams, Florida and Kansas, during the first day of the Aquafina Invitational.

Florida senior Lauren Haeger, the reigning NFCA National Pitcher of the Week, ran her season record to 6-0 with a one-hitter, her fourth shutout of the year. Haeger struck out 10 Lady Flames.

Liberty freshman Abby Tincher (1-2) yielded seven runs, six earned, on three hits, striking out two and walking four in 2 2/3 innings pitched. Redshirt sophomore Kenzie Friesen pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits with one walk and one strikeout.

Junior Taylore Fuller went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI for Florida, while freshman Kayli Kvistad (three RBI) and Haeger (one RBI, two runs scored) both homered, as well.

Liberty freshman Tori Zavodny registered the Lady Flames' lone hit.

Zavodny singled as the leadoff batter in the first inning. She was later caught stealing, and Haeger fanned senior Kelby Allen for the third out.

Florida scored once in the bottom of the first, as Tincher walked a pair of batters. After striking out senior Bailey Castro, an illegal pitch allowed junior Kelsey Stewart to score for a 1-0 lead.

Haeger did not allow a baserunner in innings two through four, retiring 13 batters in a row.

Tincher pitched a 1-2-3 second inning, capping it with a strikeout of junior Taylor Schwarz.     

The Liberty right-hander walked two and hit one batter in the third, but had a chance with two outs to get out of the inning with no damage. Fuller then hit a grand slam, giving Florida a 5-0 lead with its first hit of the game. Kvistad followed two batters later with a two-run homer. Friesen entered the game and allowed one run before getting out of the inning.

The Gators added three runs in the bottom of the fourth, starting with a leadoff homer by Haeger. Florida made it 11-0 on a Schwarz RBI single, before Friesen fanned senior Briana Little for the third out.

With two outs in the top of the fifth, junior Katie Han reached on a dropped third strike, but Haeger struck out junior Kassidy McCoy to seal the one-hit shutout.

Liberty will play two games tomorrow to complete its time at the Aquafina Invitational. The Lady Flames will face Illinois State at 9:30 a.m. before meeting Mercer at 6:45 p.m.