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Lady Flames Hold Off Buccaneers, 5-3

March 18, 2017  Charlestson, S.C.  RSS
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Sarah Robertson drove in two runs at CSU, Saturday.

Sarah Robertson drove in two runs at CSU, Saturday.

Liberty scored five straight runs, before holding off a late Charleston Southern rally, downing the Buccaneers, 5-3, in game one of a doubleheader, Saturday at CSU Softball Field.

With the win, Liberty (15-12, 2-0 Big South) extends its winning streak to five games, downing the Buccaneers twice in a row to start this weekend's conference-opening three-game series. Charleston Southern falls to 11-20, including 0-2 in Big South play.

Sarah Robertson batted 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and one run scored, while Autumn Bishop went 2-for-3 with one run. Tori Zavodny hit 1-for-3 with two RBI and one run.

CSU's Stevi Johnson batted 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI, while Amanda Matsumoto scored twice.

Julia DiMartino (4-4) earned the win, allowing two runs on three hits, striking out three and walking one in 2 2/3 inning of relief. Starter Chase Cassady gave up one run on one hit, with seven strikeouts and three walks in 4 1/3 innings pitched.

Holly Clark (5-5) drew the loss, giving up five runs on 10 hits, walking two and striking out three in a complete-game effort.

Prior to Charleston Southern's first-inning run, Liberty had gone 14 1/3 consecutive innings without allowing a run.

Charleston Southern entered the scoring column in the bottom of the first. Matsumoto drew a leadoff walk, and went to second on a sacrifice bunt before stealing third. Matsumoto then scored on a wild pitch for a 1-0 lead. Cassady fanned Jade Gandara for the third out.

See hit a leadoff single up the middle in the third inning. Three grounders produced three straight outs, keeping the score 1-0.

CSU got two baserunners in the third, as DeLio drew a leadoff walk and Emberson was hit by a pitch with two outs. Cassady then struck out Jade Gandara.

Zavodny walked to lead off the fourth, and Alexia Taylor sent her to second with a sacrifice bunt. Robertson tied the game at 1-1, hitting a double to right. Emily Sweat followed with a double to left, moving Robertson to third with one out. Clark got out of the jam, on a fielder's choice and a groundout.

Cheyenne Gandara broke up Cassady's no-hit bid with a leadoff single in the fourth. Cassady retired the next three batters, including strikeouts for the final two outs.

The Buccaneers staged another scoring chance in the fifth, as DeLio drew a leadoff walk. After one out, DiMartino relieved Cassady. Johnson then hit an infield single, before DiMartino fanned Caitlyn Emberson and got Jade Gandara to fly out.        

Liberty went ahead with a two-run sixth inning. Taylor walked to lead off, and pinch runner Channing Cox stole second, going to third on a throwing error. Robertson made it 2-1 with an RBI single to left. After a groundout, Taylor Hoffman hit an infield single. Deidra See then plated Robertson with a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 Liberty advantage.

The Lady Flames added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh, thanks to heads-up baserunning by the Bishop twins. Autumn Bishop lined a leadoff single to right. Amber Bishop lined a single to left center, advancing to second when Autumn Bishop raced to third. Zavodny then hit a two-run single through the right side for a 5-1 advantage. A double play and groundout brought the at bat to a close.      

CSU made a seventh-inning comeback attempt. DeLio singled with one out before Matsumoto drew a walk. Johnson then lined a triple to right center, plating DeLio and Matsumoto, trimming the deficit to 5-3. DiMartino shut the door, getting Emberson to ground out and Jade Gandara to fly out.

Game two between the Lady Flames and Buccaneers is currently under way.