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Liberty Held to Three Hits in Loss to UVA

March 24, 2010  Charlottesville, Va.  RSS
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Cassie Hendrix led Liberty with two hits in the 4-0 loss to Virginia.

Cassie Hendrix led Liberty with two hits in the 4-0 loss to Virginia.

Cassie Hendrix recorded two of Liberty's three hits as the Lady Flames fell to Virginia, 4-0, Wednesday afternoon, in Game 1 of a doubleheader, in Charlottesville, Va.

The Lady Flames had trouble offensively, as Virginia pitcher Melanie Mitchell tallied 11 strikeouts in the seven-inning contest.

J'nae Jefferson ripped the game's first pitch over the head of center fielder Cipolloni for a stand-up double. With one out, Ashley Bensinger drew a walk, followed by Amber DePasquale drawing a walk to load the bases after another out. But pitcher Mitchell struck out Kaylee West to get out of the jam without allowing the Lady Flames to score.

Giannina Cipolloni led off the home half of the first inning with a single to center field, but was caught stealing shortly thereafter. While Lauren McCaskey swung through strike three, Cipolloni was caught stealing at second for the second out as Bensinger tossed the ball down to Kelly Strickland at second, who applied the perfect tag for the bang-bang play. Starting pitcher Katie Warrington then fanned designated player Nicole Koren to end the scoreless first inning.

Virginia recorded three hits in the bottom of the second, loading the bases with no outs. But Jefferson fielded a grounder to force out Alison Pittman at home, and Abby Snyder struck out swinging. Pinch hitter Alexa Martinez then drew a walk to bring in the first run of the game, giving Virginia a 1-0 lead.

After a quiet third inning, the Cavaliers added a run to their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Alex Skinkis led off with a single to right, but was forced out on the next play, on a fielder's choice by Warrington on a grounder from Clara Kendall.

Kendall stole second, then third, and was able to score when Alison Pittman grounded out to the pitcher, giving Virginia a 2-0 advantage.

The Lady Flames put a runner in scoring position in the top of the sixth. With one out, Bensinger drew her second walk of the contest, and moved to second with two outs when DePasquale reached on a throwing error by Virginia shortstop Kendall. But West grounded out to first for the third out, sending the game into the bottom of the sixth.

The Cavaliers padded their lead during the next at-bat, scoring two more runs on three hits, to extend the score to 4-0. The Lady Flames failed to generate any last-inning offense, and the final score was 4-0.

Hendrix led Liberty, batting 2-for-3, while Jefferson was 1-for-3 at the plate, accounting for all of Liberty's hits during the contest.

Virginia was led by Pittman, who was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored, while Taylor Williams was 1-for-2 with a double and one RBI.

Mitchell picked up the win in the circle, improving to 13-10, giving up three hits. Warrington (5-4) took the loss, but struck out a season-high seven batters in the contest.

Liberty drops to 14-9 on the year, while Virginia improves to 15-12. The two teams square off in Game 2 later this afternoon.