Chandler Ball tossed a four-hit shutout, Friday at Coastal Carolina.
Liberty ran its winning streak to six games, with Chandler Ball tossing a four-hit shutout during a 2-0 victory over Coastal Carolina in game two of a doubleheader, Friday at CCU Softball Stadium.
With the win, Liberty (16-13, 5-0) is off to a 5-0 start to the season for the first time since 2006, tying the longest winning streak to start conference play in program history. The Lady Flames' current overall winning streak of six games is their longest since winning eight in a row, April 13-20, 2011. Coastal Carolina is 15-17, 2-3 in Big South play following its third straight loss.
Liberty tied a program single-game record with two sacrifice flies. Also, Ball's shutout was Liberty's sixth shutout victory of the season.
Ball (4-3) allowed just four hits, striking out five and walking just one batter while registering her sixth career shutout. She is now tied with Terra Lowe (2004-07) for sixth in program history with 43 career victories.
Coastal's Ashley Guillette falls to 3-5, yielding two runs on three hits, striking out eight and walking five in the complete-game effort.
Mickey Loveridge, Sarah Robertson and Katie Han recorded one hit apiece, with Han hitting a double. Alexia Taylor and Rylee Reynolds both hit one sacrifice fly.
Four different Chanticleers hit one single each.
Han doubled with one out in the top of the second, and Reynolds drew a walk, giving Liberty two baserunners for the second inning in a row. Guillette then struck out Cassie Gingerich and got Amader to pop out for the third out.
Kailey Mellen drew a leadoff walk during Coastal's third time to bat. Angela Buccilli dropped a one-out single into center. Ball then hit Bri Chiusano with a pitch, loading the bases. The Liberty right-hander escaped, as Taty Forbes popped out and Morgan Noad flied to center, keeping the game scoreless through three stanzas.
Robertson led off the fourth with a sharp single to right field. A sacrifice bunt by Han sent Robertson to second. The freshman went to third on a wild pitch, before Reynolds hit a sacrifice fly to center for a 1-0 Liberty lead.
The Lady Flames manufactured an insurance run in the fifth stanza. Jaclyn Amader drew a leadoff walk, and Loveridge bunted for a base hit. After a sacrifice bunt by Madison Kotchey, Taylor made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly to left.
Chiusano singled with two outs in the fifth inning, but Ball kept the shutout in order when Forbes flied out to center.
Both Guillette and Ball pitched to three batters during a scoreless sixth frame. Guillette retired the last nine batters she faced, sending the game to the bottom of the seventh with Coastal trailing, 2-0.
After giving up a one-out single to Mellen in the bottom of the seventh, Ball shut the door with two straight strikeouts.
Tomorrow's game between Liberty and Coastal Carolina has experienced a time change. The Lady Flames and Chanticleers will wrap up the series, tomorrow at noon at CCU Softball Stadium.