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No. 3/4 UCLA Comes Back to Edge Liberty, 4-3

February 23, 2018  Cathedral City, Calif.  RSS
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Sarah Robertson hit an RBI double against UCLA on Friday.

Sarah Robertson hit an RBI double against UCLA on Friday.

Liberty led the No. 3/4 UCLA Bruins after four and a half innings, before UCLA scored twice in the bottom of the fifth to edge the Lady Flames, 4-3, Friday at Big League Dreams.

UCLA improves to 12-0 on the season, while Liberty falls to 10-3, including 2-2 at the Mary Nutter Classic. The Lady Flames nearly pulled off the upset, leading for a majority of the contest.

Both teams recorded six hits and one error, while Liberty left six runners on base and UCLA stranded three.

Aaliyah Jordan and Kylee Perez both went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, while Jordan hit a two-run homer and Perez tripled.

Jaclyn Amader batted 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Autumn Bishop and Sarah Robertson both doubled and drove in one run.

UCLA's Selina Ta'amilo (1-0) pitched four innings of relief, allowing two hits and fanning five. Starter Johanna Grauer gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits, with two walks and three strikeouts in three innings pitched.

Julia DiMartino (6-2) drew the loss, allowing one run on one hit with one strikeout in 1 1/3 innings pitched. Elizabeth Engler pitched the first 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs, two earned, striking out four and walking three.

Autumn Bishop led off the game with a double to left center. With one out, Zavodny singled up the middle, driving in Bishop for a 1-0 lead. Grauer then retired the next two batters.

The Bruins answered with a two-run first, via a one-out rally. Perez doubled and Jordan walked. After a double steal, Brianna Tautalafua lined an RBI single to left, and a second run scored on an error. Rachel Garcia lined into an inning-ending double play.

Madison Via drew a one-out walk in the top of the second. McFarland then hit into a fielder's choice, with an error allowing Via to take second. A walk to Taylor Hoffman loaded the bases, and Autumn Bishop hit an RBI groundout to tie it at 2-2. Amber Bishop struck out for the third out.

Engler pitched a scoreless second inning with two strikeouts. The Lady Flames then rallied with two outs in the top of the third. Amader singled to left, before Robertson blasted an RBI double to right field to give Liberty a 3-2 advantage.

UCLA threatened in the third, but Liberty turned an inning-ending 5-3-5 double play to short-circuit the rally.

Ta'amilo entered the circle to start the fourth, pitching 1-2-3 innings in the fourth and fifth.

After two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Perez tripled to deep right field, just out of the grasp of Tori Zavodny, who had to leave the game after a collision with the fence. Following the delay, DiMartino entered the game in relief of Engler. Jordan, the first batter she faced, launched a go-ahead two-run homer to right. DiMartino got out of the inning as Tautalafua flied out to left.

Amader singled to lead off the sixth, but was left on base as Ta'amilo retired the next three batters.

After a 1-2-3 UCLA sixth, Liberty got a two-out baserunner in the top of the seventh. Amber Bishop singled through the left side, and a Rylee Reynolds groundout ended the game.

Liberty will wrap up their time at the Mary Nutter Classic tomorrow night, taking on the No. 17/15 Arizona State Sun Devils at 10:30 p.m. ET.