Three unearned runs pushed the top-seeded Lipscomb Bisons past the No. 2 seed Liberty Lady Flames in the winners' bracket final of the 2019 ASUN Softball Championship, Friday at FGCU Softball Complex.
Lipscomb (40-13-1) advances to tomorrow's title game, while Liberty (37-19) will have to play in Game 9 tomorrow at approximately 9 a.m. against either No. 3 seed FGCU or No. 6 seed North Florida. The winner of Game 9 would have to beat Lipscomb twice to claim the conference championship and the ASUN's automatic qualifying berth into the 2019 NCAA Division I Softball Championship.
Scoring Summary LIPSCOMB – 3rd INNING – Brewer reaches on a throwing error, sac bunt, advances to third, Vetula scores, 1-0
LIPSCOMB – 3rd INNING – Gladden out at first, sac bunt, Brewer scores, 2-0
LIPSCOMB – 5th INNING – Gladden flies out to left, sac fly, Vetula scores, 3-0
Notable Numbers - Liberty held a 3-2 advantage in hits, while both teams left four runners on base. Liberty's two errors led to the Bisons' three runs.
- Megan Gray (8-2) tossed a three-hit shutout for Lipscomb, striking out five and walking one.
- Liberty's Chase Cassady (13-3) drew the tough-luck loss, allowing three unearned runs on just two hits, walking two and striking out five in 4 1/3 innings. Julia DiMartino pitched 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief, with two strikeouts and one walk.
- Graysen Gladden went 1-for-1 with a sacrifice fly and two RBI, while Amy Vetula batted 1-for-1 with two runs scored.
- Amber Bishop, Jaclyn Amader and Sarah Robertson all had one hit for Liberty.
Turning Point - Liberty loaded the bases with a two-out rally in the top of the first. Amader and Robertson had back-to-back hits before Gray walked Emily Sweat. Denay Griffin popped out to short, leaving the bases full. A third-inning single by Amber Bishop provided Liberty's last baserunner, as Gray retired the final 14 batters in a row.
- Vetula drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third. Destinee Brewer then reached third base on a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt, with Vetula scoring all the way from first on the play. Gladden the executed a squeeze bunt for a 2-0 Lipscomb lead.
- Vetula led off the home half of the fifth with an infield single, going to second via an error. A sacrifice bunt sent her to third before Gladden's sacrifice fly made it 3-0.
Beyond the Box Score - Current Liberty associate head coach Paige Cassady spent the 2013 season on Kristin Ryman's coaching staff at Lipscomb.
- The Lady Flames had won their last 14 games in a row when playing in Florida before today.
- Liberty has allowed zero earned runs in 21 different games this season.
- Sarah Robertson is now tied with Stacy Radulovich (1996-99) for fourth place in program history with 226 career hits.
- Liberty is attempting to become the first team to win the ASUN Conference Softball Championship title in its first year in the conference since Jacksonville State did so in 1996.
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