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Liberty Holds Off Coastal Carolina, 6-4

March 25, 2016  Conway, S.C.  RSS
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Alexia Taylor hit a three-run homer against Coastal, Friday.

Alexia Taylor hit a three-run homer against Coastal, Friday.

Liberty built a 6-1 lead thanks to a pair of three-run innings, before holding off a late rally by Coastal Carolina, downing the Chanticleers, 6-4, Friday at Coastal Carolina Softball Stadium.

The Lady Flames run their record to 15-13, 4-0 in Big South play following their fifth win in a row. Coastal Carolina falls to 15-16, including 2-2 in conference games.

Jaclyn Amader batted 3-for-4 with her conference-leading ninth double, one RBI and one run scored for the Lady Flames. Alexia Taylor went 1-for-3 with a home run and three RBI, while Sarah Robertson hit 1-for-3 with a homer and two RBI.

For Coastal, Bri Chiusano went 3-for-4 with a double, one RBI and two runs scored. Mackenzie Conrad hit 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI, while Taty Forbes went 1-for-4.

Julia DiMartino (6-5) earned the win, allowing four runs on nine hits, striking out seven and walking two in six innings pitched. Chandler Ball picked up her third save of the season with a 1-2-3 seventh inning. Her three saves are one shy of Liberty's single-season program record, set by Sarah Ellis in both 2007 and 2008.

Kelsey Dominik (10-9) drew the loss, yielding six runs on nine hits with five strikeouts and one walk during the complete-game effort.

Amader doubled down the left field line to start the game. Loveridge sent her to third with a sacrifice bunt. After a walk to Madison Kotchey, Coastal turned an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play, keeping the game scoreless.

The Chanticleers went ahead during the bottom of the first. Chiusano and Morgan Noad both singled, and Conrad plated Chuisano with a two-out RBI double. Annie Robinson popped out to second, ending the inning.

Liberty quickly responded during its second time up. Tori Zavodny hit an infield single, and Robertson followed with a two run blast to center. Katie Han singled, and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. Amader made it 3-1 with a two-out RBI single to left.

DiMartino pitched through trouble in the third. Forbes singled with one out, and Noad then drew a walk. However, the Liberty right-hander kept Coastal at bay, retiring the next two batters.

The Lady Flames doubled their run total in the fifth, scoring three times. Cassie Gingerich bunted for a leadoff single, and Amader followed with a single to left. Both runners moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Mickey Loveridge. Taylor boosted Liberty's lead to 6-1, hitting a two-out, three-run homer to right center.

Consecutive infield singles by Chiusano, Forbes and Dominik loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Conrad then drew the Chanticleers to within three, 6-3, hitting a two-run single to center. Liberty got out of the inning when Robinson grounded out to short.

Coastal inched closer with a two-out rally during the sixth inning. Kailey Mellen drew a walk, and Chiusano came through by doubling to right center, plating Mellen. Forbes flied out to center, ending the sixth stanza with Liberty ahead, 6-4.

Dominik retired six straight batters, before Loveridge singled on the infield with two outs in the top of the seventh. Dominik then fanned Kotchey, bringing Coastal to the plate for the last time.

Ball came on to nail down the save, pitching a 1-2-3 seventh inning against the heart of Coastal's lineup.

The Lady Flames and Chanticleers are currently playing the second game of today's twin bill.