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Liberty Silences Marshall's Bats in 3-1 Win

April 28, 2015  Huntin  RSS
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Abby Tincher struck out a career-high nine batters ina 3-1 win over Marshall, Tuesday.

Abby Tincher struck out a career-high nine batters ina 3-1 win over Marshall, Tuesday.

Liberty jumped out to a 2-0 advantage after a half inning at Marshall, Tuesday, and received a four-hitter from Abby Tincher, as the Lady Flames downed the Thundering Herd, 3-1, at Dot Hicks Field.

The Lady Flames wrap up their regular-season schedule with a 28-28 overall record, snapping a four-game winless streak. Marshall falls to 33-13 on the season.

The Herd entered the week ranked eighth in the nation with a .351 team batting but managed four hits against Tincher (3-7). Tincher allowed one run and walked four, while posting a career high with nine strikeouts. Her nine strikeouts were the most by a Lady Flame since Tiffani Smith fanned nine Winthrop Eagles on May 13, 2011.

Jordan Dixon (31-13) drew the loss for Marshall, allowing three runs on seven hits, with seven strikeouts and two walks.

Kelby Allen went 2-for-4 for the Lady Flames. In the process, she became the third Lady Flame all-time with 200 career hits, 100 career runs scored and 100 career RBI. Madison Kotchey batted 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Jamie Crisp hit her third home run of the season.

Marshall's Morgan Zerkle hit 1-for-2 with a stolen base and one run scored, while Shaelynn Braxton posted an RBI single.

Liberty staked itself to an early lead with a two-run first inning. Megan Robinson singled with one out and Tori Zavodny drew a two-out walk. Kotchey followed with a double to left center, plating both Robinson and Zavodny for a 2-0 advantage.

Marshall trimmed the deficit in half during its first time to bat. Zerkle drew a leadoff walk and stole second. She later scored from third on a two-out single by Braxton, making it 2-1 after one inning.

Crisp lined a solo shot to right with one out in the top of the second, extending Liberty's lead to 3-1.

Tincher added two strikeouts during a three-batter second stanza, on which ended with a strikeout-caught stealing double play.

Zerkle hit a bunt single with one out in the bottom of the third, but the Herd's top base stealer was caught stealing, derailing Marshall's scoring opportunity.

Alexia Taylor led off the fifth inning, reaching on an error. Allen singled on the infield with one out, before Dixon got out of the jam with a strikeout and ground out.

The Herd drew back-to-back walks to start its fifth at bat. A sacrifice bunt by Madi Marshall advanced both runners. Tincher then struck out Emileigh Cooper and induced an inning-ending flyout by Zerkle.         

Katie Han singled to open the sixth, and went to third after two throwing errors. Blair Lawrence lined out to Dixon for the third out.

Tincher continued to keep the Herd off balance, working around a leadoff single with a pair of strikeouts in the sixth to maintain Liberty's two-run lead through six.

A fielding error, a single and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out in the Liberty seventh. Kotchey then grounded into a 6-3 double play, bringing Marshall to bat for the final time.

The hosts put the tying run on base with a one-out hit by Raquel Escareno in the bottom of the inning. Tincher clinched the victory with a strikeout and popout.

With the win, the Lady Flames wrap up their regular-season schedule. Liberty will next compete at the Big South Softball Championship, held May 7-10 at Amanda Littlejohn Stadium in Buies Creek, N.C. Seeding for the conference's championship tournament will be announced on Sunday.