Grace Nordan was one of two Liberty batters to reach base on Friday against Furman.
The Liberty softball team opened its participation at the Spartan Classic on Friday, taking on Furman of the Southern Conference. The Paladins kept the Lady Flames from recording a hit en route to a 12-0, five-inning victory for Furman. With the win, Furman improves to 3-5 on the season, with its third win in a row. The Paladins also defeated Big South program Winthrop, earlier today. The Lady Flames now hold a 2-7 record, heading into the team's second day in Spartanburg. Furman's Shelby Parker (2-2) tossed a no-hitter, striking out six while walking two, facing two over the minimum in five innings pitched Annah Jo Brittingham (1-4) drew the loss, allowing eight runs on eight hits, while striking out a season-high six batters in 4 1/3 innings of work. Alyssa DiMartino yielded four runs on two hits in 2/3 of an inning. For Furman, Andrea Abbatiello, Candace Johnson and Nikki Legg all collected two hits, while Johnson, Sieara Bishop and Natalie Clemmons each homered. Furman used a nine-run fourth inning to break open a close game. Kelby Allen and Grace Nordan both drew walks for Liberty, serving as the Lady Flames' two baserunners. Brittingham pitched a scoreless first inning, working around a one-out single. The Paladins rallied with two outs in the top of the second, as a Hannah Pace walked, and then Clemmons hit a two-run homer to left field, good for a 2-0 Furman advantage. The game went to the fourth inning with the Paladins leading, 2-0. To that point, Furman had only recorded three hits. Taylor Jenkins hit a leadoff triple, opening the door for a nine-run inning which made the score 11-0. After a three-run homer by Bishop, DiMartino came on in relief of Brittingham, yielding four more tallies before the end of the inning. After a 1-2-3 Liberty fourth inning, Furman scored once in the top of the fifth, on a solo home run by Johnson. Nordan drew a walk with one out in Liberty's fifth time at bat, but a pair of strikeouts brought the game to a close. Liberty will continue its time in Spartanburg with a pair of games tomorrow, starting with an 11 a.m. matchup against Western Carolina. The Lady Flames will meet tournament host USC Upstate at 3 p.m.