Amber Bishop went 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBI against Longwood.
The No. 3 seed Longwood Lancers used a four-run sixth inning to down the top-seeded Liberty Lady Flames, 7-4, on Saturday at the Big South Softball Championship at Lancer Field.
The host Lancers (27-26) earned a spot in tonight's championship contest with their seventh win in a row. Liberty (36-21) will play in an elimination game against No. 5 seed Winthrop today at 3:30 p.m. The winner of Liberty-Winthrop will have to beat Longwood twice to earn the title.
Longwood's Kaylynn Batten hit 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Justina Augustine batted 1-for-2 with three runs scored, while Karleigh Donovan batted 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
Liberty's Amber Bishop went 4-for-4 with two homers, three RBI and two runs scored. She is just the second player in program history with four hits in a conference tournament game and the fifth with two homers in a Big South tournament contest. Autumn Bishop and Alexia Taylor both went 1-for-4 with a double and one run scored.
Longwood's Sydney Gay (14-13) earned the win, with 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. She allowed two hits and struck out one. Starter Eiizabeth McCarthy allowed four runs on six hits, striking out three and walking one in 4 1/3 innings of work.
Kenzie Friesen (11-3) drew the loss, giving up five runs on three hits, with three walks and two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. Starter Julia DiMartino went 3 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out three and walking two.
Longwood jumped ahead with a two-run first inning. Augustine drew a leadoff walk and scored when Batten lined a double to left center. Walters later made it 2-0 with a two-out RBI single. DiMartino fanned Krista Kelly to end the threat.
The Bishop twins quickly brought the Lady Flames back into a tie. Autumn Bishop lifted a double to left center before Amber Bishop lined a two-run shot to center. McCarthy retired the next three batters, keeping the score at 2-2 through one inning.
Longwood loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the second. DiMartino walked Destiny Martinez and hit Augustine. Friesen then came on in relief of DiMartino, walking Batten. Jordan Clark then grounded out, ending the rally.
The Lancers threatened again in the third, as Donovan was hit by a pitch as the leadoff batter. After a fielder's choice, Glenn Walters stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Friesen the fanned Jessica Smith for the third out.
During the top of the fourth, Longwood staged a two-out rally to regain the lead. Augustine hit an infield single before Batten drew a walk. Jordan Clark then lined an RBI single into center for a 3-2 edge.
Liberty came back to tied it at 3-3 in the fourth. Taylor led off with a double and McCarthy then hit Robertson. With one out, pinch hitter Deidra See loaded the bases by singling to right. Rylee Reynolds then drew a walk, plating Taylor. McCarthy settled in, striking out Kayla Harris and getting Autumn Bishop to pop out.
Amber Bishop led off the Liberty fifth with a go-ahead solo homer to center, making it 4-3. Gay came on in relief of McCarthy, getting the final two outs.
The Lancers scored four times in the top of the sixth. Friesen walked one, hit one and gave up an RBI single to Batten. A fielder's choice loaded the bases. DiMartino reentered the circle, giving up a two-run double to Donovan. A bunt single by Krista Kelly produced a 7-4 lead. Jessica Smith flied out for the third out.
The Lady Flames managed one hit in both the sixth and seventh innings, but were unable to complete the comeback, falling 7-4.