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Liberty Rally Falls Just Short, as LSU Tops Lady Flames 8-5

February 21, 2021  Tuscaloosa, Ala.  RSS
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Autumn Bishop hit her 57th career double on Sunday against LSU

Autumn Bishop hit her 57th career double on Sunday against LSU

No. 7 LSU's three-run sixth inning proved to be the difference in an 8-5 Tigers victory over Liberty on Sunday at Alabama's Rhoads Stadium.   

The Tigers improve to 5-2 on the season, including 2-1 at this weekend's Bama Bash. LSU takes on Alabama following today's victory over the Lady Flames. Liberty (6-4) went winless in four games this weekend, despite scoring a combined 12 runs against two of the top pitching teams in the nation in LSU and No. 5 Alabama.   

Scoring Summary
LSU – 1st INNING – Pleasants homers, Andrews scores, 2-0
LSU – 1st INNING – Sunseri homers, 3-0
Liberty – 2nd INNING – Channell homers, Wilson scores, 3-2
Liberty – 3rd INNING – Bishop scores on error by catcher, 3-3
LSU – 4th INNING – Coffey triples, Newland scores, 4-3
LSU – 4th INNING – Pleasants doubles, Coffey scores, 5-3
Liberty – 4th INNING – Channell reaches on an error, Canetto scores, 5-4
LSU – 6th INNING – Pleasants homers, Andrews and Coffey score, 8-4
Liberty – 7th INNING – Sweat flies out, sacrifice fly, Hudson scores, 8-5

Notable Numbers
- LSU outhit Liberty 11-7 for the game, with the Tigers committing three errors which led to three unearned runs. The Tigers hit three homers while Liberty went deep once.

- The Tigers batted 4-for-9 (.444) with runners in scoring position, while Liberty hit 2-for-13 (.154) in those situations. The Lady Flames stranded eight runners, including two each to end the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.   

- Liberty chased LSU starter Ali Kilponen after three innings, as Kilponen gave up four runs (two earned) on five hits, walking one and striking out one.

- LSU's Shelbi Sunseri (3-1) earned the win, yielding one unearned run on two hits, walking two and fanning two in four innings of relief. Sunseri also batted 2-for-4 with a homer.

- Karlie Keeney (3-2) drew the loss for the Lady Flames, giving up eight runs on 11 hits, walking three and striking out three.      

- Taylor Pleasants (3-for-4) was the hitting star for the Tigers, batting 3-for-4 with a double, two homers and six RBI. Danieca Coffey (triple) and Aliyah Andrews (double) both contributed two hits and two runs scored.

- Kara Canetto batted 2-for-4 with one run scored for the Lady Flames. Savannah Channell batted 1-for-3 with a homer, two RBI and one run scored, while Autumn Bishop went 1-for-3 with a double and one run scored.  

Turning Point
- LSU got off to a 3-0 lead after scoring three times in the first inning. The Lady Flames rallied to tie it at 3-3, as Channell hit a two-run homer in the second and Autumn Bishop scored on a third-inning error.

- The Tigers regained a 5-3 lead on RBI extra-base hits from Coffey and Pleasants in the top of the fourth.     

- The Lady Flames bounced back in the home half of the fourth, spurred by Canetto's leadoff double. Canetto scored on a two-out error, slicing the deficit to 5-4.

- Liberty threatened in the bottom of the fifth, as Bishop and Bishop-Riley both reached with nobody out. However, Sunseri retired the next three. Pleasants gave LSU breathing room with a sixth-inning three-run homer, pushing the Tigers' lead to 8-4.     

- The Lady Flames loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh, an inning that started with an error. Sweat lifted a sacrifice fly to right, narrowing the gap to 8-5. With the tying run at the plate, Madison Via grounded out to end the game.  

Beyond the Box Score
- Bishop-Riley was named to the Bama Bash All-Tournament Team after hitting .385 with a homer this weekend.

- Channell hit her first two career homers at the Bama Bash, one on Friday against Alabama and her bomb today versus LSU.

- LSU holds a 3-0 series lead over Liberty in softball.  

- Liberty scored eight runs this weekend against LSU, who had the nation's best ERA during the 2020 season at 0.95.

- Liberty's Amber Bishop-Riley was listed on the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List, while LSU's Aaliyah Andrews joined her on the list.

- Bishop-Riley is the NCAA Division I active leader in games played (225), at bats (739) and hits (275), while Autumn Bishop is now second on the active list with 57 career doubles.

- Liberty used the same batting lineup for the first nine games this season before inserting Devyn Howard in right field, batting ninth in today's order. That is the longest Liberty has gone in a season before switching its batting order in its NCAA Division I history (since 1994).

- Current Liberty associate head coach Paige Cassady played for current LSU head coach Beth Torina in 2009 and 2010 while Torina was the head coach at FIU.

Up Next
The Lady Flames open their 2021 home schedule next weekend, hosting the Liberty Softball Classic from Friday through Sunday. Liberty will welcome Notre Dame to Liberty Softball Stadium for the first time, while also taking on Bucknell twice.