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Lady Flames Capture Second-Straight Fall Classic

October 2, 2007  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Shannon McKain led the Lady Flames with four hits on the day, including a pair of doubles, at the Lady Flames Fall Classic.

Shannon McKain led the Lady Flames with four hits on the day, including a pair of doubles, at the Lady Flames Fall Classic.

For the second year in a row, Liberty claimed the title at the Lady Flames Softball Classic with a pair of wins over Lynchburg and a third against Norfolk State, Saturday afternoon, at the Liberty Softball Field.

Liberty opened the all-day event with an offensive outburst, downing cross-town opponent Lynchburg, 10-3, followed by edging out Norfolk State, 2-0, in a pitcher's duel.

An 8-3 win by the Hornets over the Spartans pitted Liberty and Lynchburg in the championship contest where the Lady Flames scored four in the first en route to a 6-1 title game victory.

Liberty 10, Lynchburg 3
Box Score

The Lady Flames opened the morning contest with two runs in the top of the first inning. Elena Lampman led off the game with a single to center field and then stole second base.

Shannon McKain walked, setting the stage for Beth Bennett's RBI base hit, scoring Lampman. A groundout by Amber DePasquale moved both runners up a base, which proved to be costly for Lynchburg, as a wild pitch allowed McKain to score and give the Lady Flames a 2-0 lead.

Liberty added to its lead in the third when Leah Cossentino singled to center and advanced to second on a throwing error. After a Jessica Leary groundout moved Cossentino to third, Tiffani Smith knocked her in with a single.

Lynchburg pulled within one in the bottom of the fourth inning as Tara Campbell doubled to right center. Two batters later, Leslie Bailey, who was pinch running for Campbell, crossed the plate on a passed ball. Liberty looked like it might get out of the inning by allowing just one run; however, a fielding error allowed Kirsten Swank to score, trimming the lead to one run, 3-2.

The following inning, the Hornets tied the game at three each when Elizabeth Perkins singled, driving in a pinch runner to knot the contest, 3-3.

However, Liberty put the game out of reach with five in the top of the sixth. J'nae Jefferson led off the frame with a single, followed by Keely McMillon reaching on a fielding error.

Back-to-back walks were issued to Cossentino and Courtney Johnson, with the second one forcing in Jefferson from third. But the bases didn't stay jammed for long, as Smith cleared them with a grand slam home run, staking Liberty to a 8-3 lead.

Liberty tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the seventh when Lampman singled to left, plating Johnson and McMillon for the game's final runs.

Sarah Ellis picked up the win in relief of Dana Wheeler. Ellis tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief work, walking one and fanning five. Wheeler allowed three runs, one of which was earned, on six hits in 4 1/3 innings of work.

Three out of the Lady Flames' top four hitters finished the contest with two hits each. Beth Bennett was 2-for-3 and Lampman was 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. But Smith's solid day at the plate gave Liberty the win, as the freshman was 2-for-4 with five RBI and a run scored.

Liberty 2, Norfolk State 0
Box Score

Liberty kept its offense rolling in its second game of the afternoon, plating two runs in the bottom of the first inning against Norfolk State.

Three batters into the inning, Shannon McKain reached base on a fielder's choice play. Beth Bennett followed by drawing a walk, setting up Amber DePasquale's single to right field, which drove in Bennett and McKain to give Liberty a 2-0 lead.

The remainder of the contest turned into a pitcher's duel, as the two teams combined for four hits over the last four innings.

McKain was responsible for two out of the four hits, as the senior doubled in the fourth and singled to center field in the sixth inning.

McKain finished the game 2-for-3 and DePasquale was 1-for-3 with two RBI.

Tiffani Smith kept the Spartans at bay all afternoon, tossing the complete-game shutout. The freshman allowed two hits, striking out seven and walking four.

Liberty 6, Lynchburg 1
Box Score

For the third-straight game, Liberty jumped out to a lead during its first at bat, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Elena Lampman stared off the frame by reaching on an error, followed by her third stolen base of the afternoon. Three doubles by Leah Cossentino, Shannon McKain and Amber DePasquale drove in the game's first three runs. Keely McMillon singled to right field, plating DePasquale to give Liberty to an early 4-0 lead.

The score remained the same until the fourth inning, when Jessica Leary led off the inning with an infield single down the third base line. Leary advance to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lampman.
Two batters later, Shannon McKain singled to left, driving in Leary, while McKain later scored on a fielding error off a batted ball by DePasquale to give Liberty all the runs it would need.

The Hornets halted the Lady Flames' attempt at a second-straight shutout victory, when Lynchburg took advance of a Liberty error to scratch out an unearned run in the top of the seventh inning.

Kim Hollenberger walked, followed by Leslie Bailey's infield single, which was followed by a throwing error, giving Lynchburg runners on the corners. Megan Spicer singled to left, plating Hollenberger just in time to avoid the blanking.

McKain provided the offensive power for the club in the championship game, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Six other players recorded hits during the game, giving Liberty eight hits in both outings against Lynchburg.

Sarah Ellis went the distance for Liberty, allowing just the unearned run on four hits, walking two and striking out nine in seven innings of work.