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Lady Flames Squeeze Out 6-5, 10-Inning Victory over Lamar

February 27, 2016  Ruston, La.  RSS
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Chandler Ball earned the win with five innings pitched on Saturday against Lamar.

Chandler Ball earned the win with five innings pitched on Saturday against Lamar.

Liberty erased a 4-1, seventh-inning deficit, before a Kassidy McCoy walk-off squeeze bunt drove in the winning run in the 10th inning, as the Lady Flames downed Lamar, 6-5, Saturday at Lady Techster Softball Complex.

The Lady Flames (6-8) improve to 3-0 at this weekend's Louisiana Tech Classic, heading into their 4:30 p.m. game against Jacksonville State. Lamar (10-3) saw its program-record nine-game winning streak come to an end. Liberty is now 1-1 in extra-inning games this season. The Lady Flames have evened their all-time series with Lamar, 1-1.

Chandler Ball (1-2) earned the victory, pitching the last five innings of four-hit softball while allowing no earned runs, striking out two and walking two. Julia DiMartino yielded four runs on five hits in five innings of work, fanning seven and walking four.

Lauren Dannelly (1-1) sustained the loss, allowing one unearned run on two hits in one inning of work. Starter Laura Napoli gave up three earned runs on nine hits, with two strikeouts and three walks.

Katie Han went 3-for-4 with a double, while Rylee Reynolds and Alexia Taylor both batted 2-for-4. Mickey Loveridge and Taylor both doubled, while McCoy had two RBI and Sarah Robertson scored twice.

For Lamar, Jenna Holland and Brittany Rodriguez both went 2-for-4. Kelly Meeuwsen drove in two runs while Sable Hankins homered and scored two times.

The Cardinals capitalized on two early walks in the first inning. With runners on second and third and two outs, Kelly Meeuwsen hit a two-run single to left. DiMartino fanned Rodriguez, ending the rally with Lamar ahead, 2-0.

Liberty trimmed the deficit in half, scoring a second-inning run. Robertson singled up the middle to lead off. After a sacrifice bunt sent Robertson to second, McCoy sent a drive to the right-field wall that was caught. Robertson raced home from second base, making the score 2-1.

The Lady Flames received two baserunners in the fourth stanza. Tori Zavodny drew a leadoff walk before being caught stealing. Reynolds lined a two-out single up the middle, before Napoli struck out McCoy.

Lamar added one tally during the top of the fifth. Stephanie Meeuwsen walked to start the inning. Baca drove an RBI double to left center for a 3-1 lead, but Baca was erased trying to stretch to a triple.

Hankins led off the top of the sixth with a solo shot to left center, boosting the lead to 4-1. Ball then entered the circle in relief of DiMartino. She loaded the bases, before getting a groundout to quell the rally.

Taylor launched a leadoff double to center in the sixth frame. Robertson drew a walk with two outs, before a Reynolds groundout ended the inning.

Liberty rallied with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Han singled, and Loverdige followed with an RBI double to center. Taylor Mabry then reached on an error, before a single by Taylor loaded the bases. Jaclyn Amader drew the Lady Flames to within one with and RBI base hit, before a walk to Zavodny tied the game. Napoli kept the game tied, getting Roberts to fly out and Reynolds to ground out.

Lamar pushed across one eighth-inning run with the international tiebreaker in effect. The Cardinals' sacrifice sent Hankins to third, before Holland came through with an RBI single. Rodriguez followed with a single, before Ball retired the next two batters.

Liberty matched Lamar's run in the eighth. McCoy reached on a fielder's choice, with Cicerchia going to third. Pinch runner Clarke stole second. Han then plated Cicerchia, tying the score. Loveridge flied out to left, with Clarke being thrown out at home. Cassie Gingerich then grounded out, sending the game to the ninth.

Both teams left two runners on base during a scoreless ninth inning. Robertson saved a run with a leaping catch at second to end Lamar's rally.

The Cardinals pushed Hankins to third with a sacrifice, but Ball then struck out Holland and got Rodriguez to ground out.

Robertson was placed on second to start the bottom of the 10th. Reynolds reached on a bunt single, sending Robertson to third. McCoy then laid down a squeeze bunt, and Robertson raced home with the winning run.