Liberty pulled away for an 8-0, series-opening win over the visiting Presbyterian College Blue Hose, Friday, extending the Lady Flames' winning streak to five games.
The Big South-leading Lady Flames (24-16, 8-2 Big South) have outscored their opponents, 43-5, over the last five games. Presbyterian falls to 14-25, including 3-7 in Big South play.
Redshirt senior Kenzie Friesen (9-1) was honored with a Senior Night ceremony prior to Friday's game. She then proceeded to pitch 4 1/3 innings of shutout softball, allowing just four hits while striking out five. Julia DiMartino tossed the final 1 2/3 innings, striking out three while allowing no hits, to earn here second save of the season.
PC's Katie Brown (6-10) allowed six runs (four earned) on seven hits in five innings of work, striking out one. Natasha Sherrod pitched 2/3 of an inning, walking three while giving up two runs on two hits.
Deidra See went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI, while Sarah Robertson (2-for-3) also doubled and drove in one run. Tori Zavodny batted 2-for-4 with one RBI. Alexia Taylor hit 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI.
For PC, four different batters registered one hit apiece.
Presbyterian staged its best scoring attempt in the top of the second, when Presley Bissett and Madison Longanecker hit back-to-back one-out singles. However, Friesen retired the next two batters.
Liberty cashed in on its first scoring chance. See singled to center to lead off the third, giving the Lady Flames their first hit in the game. After a fielder's choice, Jasmeen Click popped out. Zavodny then lined an RBI single, scoring pinch runner Jessica Cicerchia.
Friesen struck out the final two batters of the fourth inning, giving her five strikeouts through four frames. After a one-out single by Kylie Young in the top of the fifth, DiMartino came on in relief of Friesen, getting the final two outs.
The Lady Flames added to their advantage during the bottom of the fifth with a two-out rally. Kaitlin McFarland singled to right center with one out. Click then laid a bunt down, and Brown's throw to first went all the way down the right field line, allowing McFarland and Click to both score for a 3-0 lead.
DiMartino walked the first batter in the sixth inning, but then struck out the next three.
Liberty put the game out of reach, scoring five times during the bottom of the sixth. Robertson led off with a double, and Taylor then launched a two-run homer to left center. Emily Sweat singled to left, leading to a pitching change. Sherrod entered, and See followed with a two-run double to the gap in left center. After a pair of walks loaded the bases, Robertson bunted for a single, and Liberty walked off with an 8-0, run-rule victory.
The Lady Flames and Blue Hose will wrap up this weekend's series with a doubleheader, tomorrow at Liberty Softball Stadium. Game one of the twin bill is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.