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Highlanders Rally Late, Take Deciding Game From Liberty, 6-5

April 27, 2016  Radford, Va.  RSS
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Katie Han went 1-for-3 against Radford, Wednesday.

Katie Han went 1-for-3 against Radford, Wednesday.

A pair of two-out homers sent Radford to a 6-5 win over the visiting Liberty Lady Flames in the rubber match of the series, Wednesday at Radford Softball Stadium.

The Highlanders (31-19, 12-6 Big South) took games two and three after falling in yesterday's conference series opener. The Lady Flames' record stands at 27-26, 13-8 in Big South play entering their final three regular-season games.

Kayla Bishton batted 1-for-3 with a homer and three RBI for the Highlanders, while Whitney Davis went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. Hannah Medlam and Marissa Gagliano both doubled.

For Liberty, Tori Zavodny went 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI, while Rylee Reynolds hit 2-for-3 with a homer, two runs scored and one RBI. Kassidy McCoy batted 2-for-3, while Jaclyn Amader homered.

Lauren Mcintyre (8-0) earned the win, allowing two runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings. Kayla Huffman pitched 1 2/3 innings of one-hit softball, picking up the save. Starter Abby Morrow gave up three runs, one earned, on seven hits in four innings pitched.

Julia DiMartino (15-11) drew the loss, giving up four runs on five hits, striking out five and walking two in four innings pitched. Chase Cassady yielded two runs on one hit, with three hits and one walk in two innings of relief.

Alexia Taylor started the game with a single to right. Zavodny then lined into a 1-3 double play, before a groundout brought Radford to bat.

Medlam doubled to the wall in left to open Radford's first time at bat. She went to third on a wild pitch. DiMartino got out of the jam, striking out Becky Mantel and getting Bishton to ground out and keep the game scoreless.

Liberty rallied with one in the top of the third. McCoy and Madi Clarke hit back-to-back singles. Then, after two outs, Zavodny ripped a double down the right-field line, pushing two runs across. A comebacker to Morrow ended the rally, but not before Liberty took a 2-0 lead.

The Highlanders got one run back during the bottom of the third inning. Alex Lang drew a leadoff walk, and a one-out error put runners on first and second. Gagliano then hit an RBI double, but was thrown out on the bases. A Mantel flyout sent the game to the fourth with Liberty ahead, 2-1.

Three consecutive two-out singles restored Liberty's two-run cushion in the fourth stanza, with McCoy's base hit sending Reynolds home for the 3-1 advantage.

Radford tied it during the bottom of the fourth with a two-out, two-run blast to left center off the bat of Davis.

Chiles led off the home half of the fifth inning with a single up the middle. Cassady then entered the circle in relief of DiMartino. She walked Medlam. After two outs, Bishton pushed Radford ahead, 6-3, with a three-run homer.

Liberty opened the sixth inning with back-to-back homers from Amader and Reynolds, narrowing the gap to 6-5. Huffman entered in relief of McIntyre with one out. Cassie Gingerich bunted for a base hit before a fielder's choice ended the threat.

Cassady struck out the side in the sixth, bringing Liberty up for the final time.

Huffman tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning to wrap up the win.       

Liberty returns home for its final three regular-season games, hosting Gardner-Webb on Friday and Saturday at Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium. Friday's doubleheader will begin at 5 p.m., with a single game scheduled for Saturday at 2 pm.