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Mississippi State Tops Liberty 9-2

February 8, 2020  Clearwater, Fla.   RSS
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Amber Bishop hit her 40th career homer, Saturday.

Amber Bishop hit her 40th career homer, Saturday.

Liberty took a 1-0 lead in the second inning before Mississippi State scored nine runs over the final three innings to defeat the Lady Flames 9-2 on Saturday at Eddie C. Moore Complex.

Mississippi State improves to 2-0 on the season, while the Lady Flames fall to 0-4 at the NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic.

Liberty's slate of opponents this weekend features three Top 25 teams, four SEC opponents and one from the Big Ten.

Scoring Summary
Liberty – 2nd INNING – Griffin homers to left center, 1-0

MSU – 4th INNING – Mia Davidson homers to center, 1-1

MSU – 4th INNING – Kennedy singles to center, St. Clair scores, 2-1

MSU – 5th INNING – Denis singles to center, advance to second on throw, Quinn advances, Brownlee scores, 3-1

MSU – 5th INNING – Leilua singles to left, Davidson and Denis advance, Quinn scores, 4-1

MSU – 5th INNING – Spexarth walks, Leilua and Davidson advance, Denis scores, 5-1

Liberty – 6th INNING – Amber Bishop homers down the left field line, 5-2

MSU – 6th INNING – Leilua homers to right center, Denis, Brownlee and Kennedy score, 9-2

Notable Numbers
- The Bulldogs outhit the Lady Flames 11-4. Mississippi State committed two errors compared to one for Liberty. The Lady Flames left six runners on while MSU stranded four.

- Grace Fagan (1-0) earned the win, yielding one run on two hit, striking out six and walkig five in five innings of work. Reliever Emily Williams yielded one run on two hits in two innings.

- Liberty freshman Kastin Belogorska (0-1) drew the loss in her first career start, giving up two runs on three hits in three innings. Karlie Keeney (one inning, three runs, five hits) and Emily Kirby (two innings, four runs, three hits) combined the pitch the final three innings.

- Fa Leilua went 3-for-4 with a grand slam and five RBI for the Bulldogs, while Mia Davidson homered and Candace Denis and Madisyn Kennedy both doubled and both had two hits.

- Four different Lady Flames had hits, while Amber Bishop and Denay Griffin homered.

Turning Point
- Liberty led 1-0 and was looking to tack on more, loading the bases with one out in the top of the fourth. Gaby Ruiz then laced a liner right into the glove of first baseman Leilua, who stepped on first for the unassisted double play.

- MSU then scored two in the fourth, three in the fifth and four in the sixth to earn the win.

Beyond the Box Score
- Mississippi State and Liberty met for the first time in softball today.

- Amber Bishop, who has a hit in all four games this season, hit her 40th career homer. She is the fourth Liberty player to hit 40 or more career home runs, and first since Kelly Strickland (2009-12). Bishop also became the third Lady Flame, and first since Ashley Williams (2005-08) with 400 or more career total bases.

- Griffin is now 3-for-5 with one double, two homers and six RBI this season.

Up Next
Liberty will face its third straight SEC opponent tomorrow to wrap up the NFCA Leadoff Classic, as the Lady Flames take on Ole Miss at 10 a.m. at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.