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3-Run 6th Sends Winthrop Past Liberty, 6-3

April 24, 2015  Rock Hill, S.C.  RSS
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Tori Zavodny stole two bases against Winthrop on Friday.

Tori Zavodny stole two bases against Winthrop on Friday.

Winthrop staged a three-run rally in the bottom of the sixth, surging to a 6-3 win over Liberty in the series opener, Friday at Terry Field.       

The Eagles leveled their season record to 23-23, including 12-9 in Big South play. Liberty falls to 27-26, with a 12-10 conference mark entering game two of today's doubleheader.

Winthrop's Leah Young and Shayne Covington both went 2-for-3. Maddie Antone homered and drove in three runs, while Kelsey Ritter had a solo home run.

The Lady Flames tied a season high with five stolen bases, including two each from Tori Zavodny and Jessica Cicerchia. Cicerchia, Kassidy McCoy and Blair Lawrence had one RBI apiece.

Sutton Watson (7-6) earned the win for Winthrop, with three hitless innings of relief. Watson struck out four and walked two. Starter Sara Allen allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits, walking four and striking out two.

Liberty's Chandler Ball (19-9) drew the loss, yielding six runs (five earned) on eight hits, with four strikeouts and one walk.     

With one on and one out during Winthrop's first time up, Antone hit into an inning-ending 3-6-3 double play.

Katie Han drew a leadoff walk during the top of the second, before going to second on a sacrifice bunt by Zavodny. Madison Kotchey then singled to left, advancing to second on the throw home. McCoy grounded out to second, plating Han. Cicrechia made it 2-0 with a two-out RBI single to right.

The Eagles jumped ahead with a three-run third inning. Covington led off with an infield single. K.J. Uyeno later received a two-out walk, before Antone went deep, giving Winthrop a 3-2 lead. Ball fanned Ritter to end the third.

With two outs in the fourth, Cicerchia stole second an advanced to third on an error. Lawrence beat out a game-tying infield single, and Cicrechia scored Liberty's third run.

Watson entered the circle in relief of Allen to start the fifth inning, retiring the Lady Flames in order.

Winthrop's first batter of the fifth inning, Covington reached second on a throwing error. Covington reached third with two outs on a Paige Haley sacrifice. Ball got Uyeno to ground out, maintaining the tie score.

Zavodny walked to lead off the sixth stanza. She stole both second and third before a Cicerchia foulout ended the threat.

Ritter broke the tie with a one-out solo blast in the bottom of the sixth. Young followed by tripling to right center. Haley Zuehlke dropped an RBI single into right field for a 5-3 lead. An error extended the inning, scoring an insurance run for the Eagles. With the bases loaded and two outs, Uyeno grounded into a fielder's choice.

Lawrence walked to open the Lady Flames' last time up. Mega Robinson reached via fielder's choice, putting two runners on base. Watson sealed the victory as Kelby Allen flied out and Han struck out.