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Scoring in Two Frames Leads Winthrop Past LU

March 29, 2009  Rock Hill, S.C.  RSS
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J'nae Jefferson was 1-for-2, recording one of Liberty's three hits against Winthrop in Sunday's Big South opener.

J'nae Jefferson was 1-for-2, recording one of Liberty's three hits against Winthrop in Sunday's Big South opener.

Winthrop broke open a scoreless game with three runs in the third, while adding six more in the sixth to secure a 9-1, six-inning victory over the Lady Flames, Sunday afternoon, at Terry Field.

With the victory, the Eagles raise their season mark to 12-14, while the Big South's preseason favorite program opens conference play with a 1-0 record. Liberty, who had won four of its previous five games entering the contest, falls to 11-17 on the year and 0-1 in league play.

Liberty tried to jump out on top during its first at bat, as the Lady Flames managed to put two runners on the base paths. Danielle Howard opened the game with a single to right field, and advanced two bases on a pair of groundouts.

A walk was issued to Kaylee West, giving Liberty runners at the corners, but the Big South's third-most winningest pitcher Megan Evans was able to get out of the opening-frame jam with one of her four strikeouts in the contest.

Lady Flames' starting hurler Tiffani Smith managed to keep Winthrop's bats in check until the third, when the homestanding Eagles exploded for three runs on three hits.

Pearl Coleshill started the three-run frame by drawing a walk, followed by Lisa Kingsmore's second home run of the season to break the scoreless tie. Ashley Revell directly followed with her own round-tripper, with her third homer of the year staking Winthrop to a 3-0 lead.

A free pass factored into the game's next run, this time benefitting the Lady Flames. Howard was issued a walk to open the fifth inning. Winthrop tried to get Howard out at second on a batted ball by J'nae Jefferson, but both runners remained safe, giving Liberty runners on first and second with no outs.

Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Ashley Bensinger. West directly followed by lofting a ball deep enough into right field to allow Howard to score on the sacrifice fly, trimming Liberty's deficit to two runs, 3-1. But that would be all the Lady Flames could muster in the inning, as a second fly out to right ended the scoring threat.

The score remained the same until the bottom of the sixth, when Winthrop's bats once again exploded, this time doubling up the third inning output to end the contest.

The six-run, six-hit frame was spotlighted by four home runs, as Mallory Hogan, Evans, Veronica Berrie and Kingsmore each left the yard to secure the six-inning victory for the Eagles.

Evans went the distance to up her record to 9-6 on the season, scattering three hits and allowing one run, while walking four and fanning another four batters.

Smith took the loss, falling to 6-7 on the year, as the sophomore allowed five runs on six hits over five-plus innings of work. Allyson Hudson was brought into the game in the bottom of the sixth and was roughed up for four runs on four hits.

Kingsmore was the offensive star for the Eagles, batting 3-for-3 at the dish, with two runs scored and four more driven in on the two-homer game. Hogan was the other Winthrop player to have multiple hits to add to the team's 10-hit effort, going 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.

The top three batters in Liberty's lineup accounted for the team's three total hits, as Howard, Jefferson and Besinger each were 1-for-2, while Howard crossed the plate for the team's lone run.

The Lady Flames and the Eagles will complete today's Big South doubleheader later on this afternoon at Terry Field.