Liberty softball team sweeps the Liberty Invitational
The Liberty Lady Flames softball team swept the Liberty Invitational this past weekend, defeating Iona, UConn and Radford two times in the span of two days.
In the opening matchup against Iona, the Flames started off hot. With help from a two-run home run off the bat of Caroline Hudson and then another two-run home run from Mary Claire Wilson, Liberty was on top 4-0 by the end of the first inning.
This game against Iona was originally scheduled to be played on March 3, but due to the rain forecast, the game was moved to March 4. Head Coach Dot Richardson credits the game operators for making this game come together in the uncertainty of the weather.
“I think the good thing is that all the coaches and game operation people really worked well together to say, ‘Okay, it’s going to rain out on Friday,’ and so it worked out,” Richardson said.
In the second inning, KK Madrey doubled to the outfield, scoring in Rachel Roupe to give Madrey the RBI and the Flames a 5-0 lead. Later in the same inning, Roupe, with bases loaded, would get hit by a pitch, ultimately sending Madrey in for the run to make the score 6-0 in favor of the Flames.
The Lady Flames got on base in the third inning. With bases loaded, Roupe would create a highlight as she hit a grand slam to extend the Flames lead 10-0. Wilson would knock out another home run, giving Liberty the 11-0 lead and victory as the Flames were up by 10 or more after the fifth inning. This would be Liberty’s first shutout of the weekend.
Immediately following the Flames taking care of Iona, it was time to take on the Lady Huskies of Connecticut. Liberty got on the scoreboard early as Devyn Howard scored off a sacrifice fly, tagging from third to give the Flames the lead 1-0.
Going to the fourth inning, Madrey had another RBI on the day, bringing in Wilson and Megan Fortner to score two more runs to shift the scoreboard 3-0 in favor of the Lady Flames. Liberty would hold off UConn for the remainder of the contest to win 3-0 and tally their second shutout of the day.
The next day’s games for the Lady Flames were no different in the sense that they had to play two games back-to-back, as they took on the Radford Highlanders. In the first matchup, Radford took a 6-0 lead on the Flames going into the middle of the third inning. From that moment onward, Liberty scored 14 unanswered runs from the efforts of Hudson, Madrey, Savannah Woodard, Rachel Craine, Roupe, Wilson, Maddy Tuck and Alexis Soto. The final score was 14-6.
In the second matchup against Radford, the Lady Flames struck early as Hudson launched a two-run home run in the first. Later in the second inning, Craine and Howard scored along with Hudson to make the score 5-0.
Radford showed signs of life when Rachel Smith scored off a Highlander hit to the outfield. Lexie Roberts also scored for Radford to cut the score to 5-2. From there, the Flames scored seven more runs behind the efforts of Madrey (twice), Tuck, Brynn McManus, Craine and Howard. These scores forced the game at five innings with the final score resulting in a victory for Liberty 12-2. This gave the Flames their fourth win in two days and a record of 8-0 at home this season.
The Lady Flames will take to the diamond once again on March 7, when they host Virginia at 6 p.m.
Hughes is a sports reporter for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on Twitter