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Lady Flames Finish off Successful Fall

October 30, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Amber DePasquale and the Lady Flames finished the fall season with a 5-1 record, which included a doubleheader sweep of Lynchburg College and the championship at the Virginia Tech Fall Invitational.

Amber DePasquale and the Lady Flames finished the fall season with a 5-1 record, which included a doubleheader sweep of Lynchburg College and the championship at the Virginia Tech Fall Invitational.

The Lady Flames softball team recently finished off a successful fall campaign, posting a 5-1 record that included a doubleheader sweep of Lynchburg College and a championship run at the Virginia Tech Fall Invitational.

Sept. 27 – Lynchburg, Va. (Liberty Softball Field)
Liberty 9, Lynchburg 0 (6 innings)

In the opening game, the Lady Flames didn't feel any effects of a lengthy rain day, scoring five runs off five hits during their first trip to the plate. The five-run frame was highlighted by a two-run double by Kelly Strickland and a bases-clearing doubled by Amber DePasquale.

The score remained the same until the bottom of the fifth, when Strickland struck again with the freshman's second double in the contest. Another rookie ended the game in the sixth, when Jenny Law clocked a three-run blast to give Liberty the 9-0 victory.

Starting pitcher Sarah Ellis was the victor, allowing one hit during three innings of work, while fanning seven batters. Freshman Brittney Keeney finished off the second half of the contest, as she allowed one hit and struck out two batters.

Strickland and Law were two of four freshmen in the Lady Flames' starting line-up, with the rookies proving their worth, as they were both 3-for-3 with three RBIs each. DePasquale rounded out the Lady Flames big bats, going 2-for-3 with two runs driven in.

Liberty 6, Lynchburg 1

In the nightcap, the Lady Flames again raced out to a quick lead, scoring three runs early. Amber DePasquale smacked a three-run round tripper over the left-field fence to bring home J'nae Jefferson and Danielle Howard in the second inning.

Following a solo homer by opposing pitcher Katie Bruce, Liberty scored a trio of runs in the bottom of the sixth to secure the victory. Following a pair of walks, Jenna Eatmon brought home Danielle Howard with a ground ball to shortstop. Jenny Law and Beth Bennett both added RBI singles up the middle to give Liberty its final five-run margin.

Sophomore Tiffani Smith tossed three scoreless innings, striking out seven to open the game. The righty was brought back into the contest in the sixth to halt an attempted rally, picking up two more strikeouts.

Law finished the second game 3-for-4, while DePasquale was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and three RBIs.

Oct. 10 – Salem, Va. (Moyer Complex)
Virginia Tech 7, Liberty 3

Fresh off their 2008 Women's College World Series run, the Hokies scored in five-straight innings to open the Virginia Tech Fall Invitational with a 7-3 victory over Liberty.

Trailing 2-0, Liberty finally got on the scoreboard when Danielle Howard opened the third inning by drawing a walk. Following a sacrifice bunt by Keely McMillon, leadoff batter Cassie Hendrix batted Liberty's first run home with a RBI single.

However, the Hokies plated two runs in the fourth and sixth innings and another in the fifth, proving to be too much for the Lady Flames. Liberty's two remaining runs crossed the plate when Beth Bennett scored twice, once on a throwing error by the pitcher in the fourth and another by a passed ball in the sixth.

Bennett finished the game, 2-for-4, to lead the Lady Flames from the plate. Sarah Ellis suffered the loss, as the senior was roughed up for six runs on eight hits, walking seven batters and striking out one.

Liberty 4, Longwood 1

The Lady Flames evened their record at the Virginia Tech Fall Invitational later on that evening, scoring three times in the sixth inning to secure a 4-1 victory over Longwood.

Liberty struck first, scoring a run in the fourth inning, as Beth Bennett opened the frame by drawing a walk. Following an infield single by Kelly Strickland, Bennett scored the game's first run on a batted ball by J'nae Jefferson to third base.

The contest remained a one-run game until the sixth inning, when Kaylee West opened the inning with a single. Pinch runner Jennifer Pittman stole second, followed by Strickland drawing a walk. Jefferson doubled to drive in Pittman and Strickland, while the third baseman scored the Lady Flames' fourth run on a RBI groundout by Meredith Baisden.

The Lancers finally broke their scoreless streak in the top of the seventh inning, but the one run wasn't enough to overcome the deficit. Jefferson was the offensive star, going 2-for-3 with a double, while West finished the contest 1-for-3.

Tiffani Smith dominated from inside the pitching circle, allowing one run on four hits, while fanning 12 batters over seven innings of work.

Oct. 11 – Salem, Va. (Moyer Complex)
Liberty 3, East Tennessee State 1

Two runs in the fourth and an insurance run in the sixth propelled the Lady Flames into the championship game of the Virginia Tech Fall Invitational with a 3-1 victory over East Tennessee State.

The Buccaneers struck first, scoring one run in the top of the third inning. Katie Powell led off the inning with a single and scored on a Jessie Hackworth single up the middle to give East Tennessee State the early 1-0 advantage.

A pair of walks proved costly for the Buccaneers, as Beth Bennett and Ashley Bensinger drew free passes to give the Lady Flames base runners. After a fielder's choice left the bases loaded, Amber DePasquale singled to left, scoring Bennett and Bensinger to give Liberty its first lead of the game.
The Lady Flames added to their advantage in the bottom of the sixth inning when Bensinger homer to lead off the frame and push Liberty's lead to two runs, 3-1.

Tiffani Smith came back out to the pitcher's circle and recorded her third-straight three-up, three-down inning to secure the victory in the top of the seventh. The sophomore allowed one run on four hits during the complete game, while fanning six and walking three.

Bensinger led the Lady Flames from the dish, going 1-for-2 with two runs scored and a home run, while DePasquale was 1-for-3 with the two-run single in the fourth.

Liberty 5, Virginia Tech 4 (8 innings)

The Lady Flames overcame a three-run second inning deficit to pick up an extra inning 5-4 victory over host Virginia Tech, taking the Virginia Tech Fall Invitational for the first time since the 2005 fall season.

The Hokies jumped out to a three-run lead in the second, thanks to two extra base hits, including a lead-off double and a two-run homer by Jessica Everhart.

The Lady Flames quickly answered back, plating three runs in the third to knot the contest. Singles by Amber DePasquale and Cassie Hendrix set the stage for a two-run triple by Kelly Strickland. Following a pair of walks, Ashley Bensinger tied the game with a RBI single.

The two teams traded runs during the fourth and fifth innings. Virginia Tech scored in the fourth a RBI single by Charisse Mariconda, while Liberty once again tied the game in the fifth when, Jessica Leary squeezed home J'nae Jefferson on a bunt play.

The score remained the same until the bottom of the eighth inning. A pair of fly outs in the top of the eighth by Virginia Tech stranded the Hokie's international tiebreaking runner 60 feet away from home plate.

However, pinch runner Jennifer Pittman moved to third on a single by Leary to give Liberty runners at the corner with nobody out in the bottom of the frame. After Jenny Law was issued a free pass to load the bases, DePaquale laced the game-winning single to left to give Liberty the victory.

DePasquale was the offensive star, going 2-for-4, with a run scored and a RBI. Beth Bennett was also 2-for-4, while Leary came off the bench to go 2-for-2.

Tiffani Smith tossed the final 5 2/3 innings to pick up her third-straight victory in the event, allowing two runs on seven hits, while fanning four and walking two batters.