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No. 1 Seed Liberty Earns Spot in Big South Final with 9-3 Win over No. 5 Seed Winthrop

May 13, 2017  Farmville, Va.  RSS
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Jasmeen Click went 2-for-3 against Winthrop on Saturday.

Jasmeen Click went 2-for-3 against Winthrop on Saturday.

No. 1 seed Liberty claimed a spot in the 2017 Big South Softball Championship final round with a 9-3 victory over No. 5 seed Winthrop, Saturday at Longwood's Lancer Field.

The Lady Flames (37-21) will now face No. 3 seed Longwood in the final round, tonight at 7:30 p.m. If Longwood wins tonight's game, the Lancers would capture their third straight Big South tournament title. If Liberty wins, the two teams will meet tomorrow at 1 p.m. in the "if necessary" game. Winthrop ends its season at 27-31 after going 3-2 at this week's tournament.

This will be Liberty's seventh appearance in the final round all-time. The Lady Flames won the 2002 and 2011 titles, taking second in 1998, 2000, 2008 and 2009.

Jasmeen Click went 2-for-3 with one RBI, while Amber Bishop batted 1-for-3 with a homer, two RBI and two runs scored. Amber Bishop has hit three homers so far today, including two in this afternoon's semifinal against Longwood. Tori Zavodny and Sarah Robertson both hit a double, while Robertson and Jaclyn Amader scored two runs each.

For Winthrop, Maddie Antone, Morgan Lowers and Ansley Gilreath all went 2-for-4. Gilreath and Brooke Ellison had one double each.

Julia DiMartino (19-9) earned the win in relief of Kenzie Friesen, allowing one run on seven hits, walking three and striking out two in five innings. Stephanie Marlowe picked up the save, yielding one run on two hits with two strikeouts in two innings pitched.

Kiley Majette (17-17) drew the loss, giving up five runs, two earned, on four hits, walking six and striking out two in 3 2/3 total innings of work. Keleigh Romine and Madyson Watson also pitched for the Eagles.

Following a leadoff walk, DiMartino relieved Friesen in the top of the first. A sacrifice bunt sent Paige Haley to second before Antone hit an RBI single. With the bases loaded and one out, Leah Young lined into an inning-ending unassisted double play by Alexia Taylor.

Liberty quickly responded in the bottom of the first, capitalizing on two Winthrop errors. Autumn Bishop reached on an error and Majette hit Amber Bishop with a pitch. Following a passed ball, Taylor hit an RBI groundout, tying the game at 1-1. Jaclyn Amader reached on a two-out error, with two runs scoring on the play. Amader was later erased at home after an infield single by Taylor Hoffman.

The Eagles scored once in the second stanza. Gilreath hit a leadoff double and a sac bunt sent the runner to third. Haley beat out an infield single, making it 3-2.

After loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the second, Majette was relieved by Romine. Amber Bishop hit into a fielder's choice, scoring one run for a 4-2 advantage. The inning ended on a double play.  

In the bottom of the third, Liberty capitalized on another Eagle miscue. Amader reached on an error, and later scored on a single by Click.

The Eagles threatened to score in the top of the fifth, getting singles from Antone and Morgan Lowers. However, a lineout and a popout ended the threat.

Liberty left the bases loaded to end the fifth, as Majette retired both Rylee Reynolds and Autumn Bishop to escape the jam.

A walk and a double led to DiMartino's exit in the top of the sixth. Marlowe came on and got three straight outs, holding the lead at 5-2.

The Lady Flames tacked on four runs in the sixth frame, beginning with a solo shot by Amber Bishop. Robertson later came through with an RBI double, while Kaitlin McFarland drew a bases-loaded walk. An RBI single by Autumn Bishop made it 9-2.

Marlowe allowed one run in the seventh, on an RBI single by Gilreath. The sophomore struck out Majette to end the game.