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Liberty Overwhelms UNC, 8-0

April 25, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Alexia Taylor went 2-for-3 with a double against UNC on Wednesday.

Alexia Taylor went 2-for-3 with a double against UNC on Wednesday.

Liberty rolled to an 8-0, five-inning victory over North Carolina, Wednesday at Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium.

The Lady Flames (37-12) swept the season series from the Tar Heels (27-24), which also included a 3-2, nine-inning victory on Feb. 22 in Cathedral City, Calif. Liberty has won seven straight games, and has tied a program record with 13 consecutive home victories.

Julia DiMartino (22-7) earned the victory, allowing just three hits and striking out three while running her personal shutout streak to 33 2/3 innings. Tonight, she matched her season high of 22 wins from last year, which shares a program record with Leslie Inge (2000). She also tied Inge's single-season record with eight shutouts.

UNC's Brittany Pickett (25-10) drew the loss, allowing six runs, five earned, on seven hits, striking out two and walking one in four innings pitched. Kellyn Daly pitched a third of an inning, yielding two runs (one earned) on two hits, walking two.

Alexia Taylor went 2-for-3 with a double for Liberty, who got hits from eight different batters. Autumn Bishop batted 1-for-1 with her seventh sacrifice fly, tying for the national lead, and adding a solo home run. Kaitlin McFarland batted 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI.

Three different Tar Heels had one hit apiece.

Liberty scored in every inning of today's game, beginning with a two-run first. Pickett hit leadoff batter Autumn Bishop with a pitch and Amber Bishop followed by singling up the middle. After two outs, McFarland drilled a two-run double to the left-center gap for a 2-0 lead.

The Lady Flames tacked on two more in the second. Taylor Hoffman singled to lead off and Alexia Taylor's double put runners at second and third. Hoffman scored on a wild pitch, and Jasmeen Click drew a walk. Autumn Bishop sent a flyout to right, plating Hoffman. With two outs, Jaclyn Amader singled up the middle, and Click was thrown out at the plate.

The hosts took advantage of two errors in the bottom of the third. Sarah Robertson hit a leadoff single, and Madison Via reached on a fielding error after one out, with Robertson scoring on the play. Pickett retired the next two batters, but not before Liberty led, 5-0.

North Carolina's leadoff batter reached in the fourth, via Taylor Wike's bunt single. However, she proved to be UNC's final base runner of the game, as DiMartino retired the final six batters she faced.

Autumn Bishop's one-out solo shot to right center boosted Liberty's advantage to 6-0 in the fourth.

Daly came on in relief of Pickett to begin the bottom of fifth, issuing back-to-back walks. Taylor's one-out single loaded the bases. Pinch hitter Deidra See dropped an RBI single into short right field, and the right fielder's misplay allowed Via to score from second, ending the game via run rule.

The Lady Flames next travel to Hampton, Va., to take on the Hampton Lady Pirates in a doubleheader, beginning tomorrow at 3 p.m.