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Liberty Walks Off in 9th, Downs North Carolina, 3-2

February 22, 2018  Cathedral City, Calif.  RSS
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Jaclyn Amader scored the winning run in the ninth inning on Thursday against North Carolina.

Jaclyn Amader scored the winning run in the ninth inning on Thursday against North Carolina.

Liberty erased one-run deficits in both the seventh and eighth innings before walking off with a 3-2 win in the ninth, Thursday at the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, Calif.

With the win, Liberty's second nine-inning victory in a row, the Lady Flames improve to 9-1 on the season. It ties the 1996 Lady Flames for the best 10-game start to a campaign in program history. North Carolina falls to 5-7 following its fifth loss in a row. Liberty has gone 6-1 in its last seven games against ACC opponents.

For the game, Liberty outhit UNC, 7-6, while the Tar Heels recorded three errors compared to two for the Lady Flames.

Autumn Bishop went 2-for-4 with a double, while Taylor Hoffman batted 2-for-3 for Liberty.

UNC's Kiani Ramsey and Destiny DeBerry recorded two hits apiece.

Julia DiMartino improved to 5-1 on the season, allowing two unearned runs on six hits, striking out five and walking four in nine innings pitched.

Brittany Pickett (5-1) yielded three unearned runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out seven in eight innings of work.

Liberty trailed 1-0 entering the bottom of the seventh. Sarah Robertson led off with a single to right. With two outs and Robertson on second base, Hoffman chopped a single to first base and Robertson scampered home with the game-tying run.

With the International tiebreaker in effect to start the eighth, North Carolina scored a go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Sierra Parkinson.

The Lady Flames tied it up in the bottom of the eighth. A flyout sent Autumn Bishop to third, and she then scored on a wild pitch.

North Carolina moved the inherited runner to third with a sacrifice bunt in the ninth, but left her stranded on a groundout and a strikeout.

Amader was placed on second to start the bottom of the ninth. She stole third and scored on an overthrow by the catcher, allowing Liberty to celebrate a walk-off, 3-2 win.

Earlier in the game, Autumn Bishop hit a leadoff double in the bottom of the first, but was left on base to end the inning.

The Tar Heels went ahead in the fourth inning. Ramsey bunted for a base hit to lead off. With two outs, Kristina Burkhardt singled and went to second on an error. DeBerry made it 1-0 with an RBI single.

Alexia Taylor reached on an error to start the Liberty fourth and Jaclyn Amader followed with a single to right. Robertson lined into a double play and Madison Via grounded out, ending the threat.

North Carolina left two runners on base to end the top of the fifth, as DiMartino got Parkinson to line out for the third out.

The Tar Heels' sixth at bat ended with a 4-3 double play, and the Liberty defense held UNC down to give the Lady Flames a chance to come back in the seventh.