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LU Falls to Highlanders in Close Single Game

April 28, 2009  Radford, Va.  RSS
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Jenna Eatmon recorded two hits and drove in a run in Liberty's 2-1 loss to Radford.

Jenna Eatmon recorded two hits and drove in a run in Liberty's 2-1 loss to Radford.

Despite out-hitting the Highlanders, seven hits to six, the Lady Flames fell to Radford, 2-1, in a single game at Radford, Tuesday afternoon.

With the victory, the Highlanders clinched the Big South regular season title. They will enter next week's Big South Championship as the No. 1 seed.

Liberty starting pitcher Sarah Ellis calmly avoided a potentially dangerous first inning after the Highlanders put runners on second and third with one out, by striking out Nicole Beall and Michelle Beall to keep the game scoreless.

The Highlanders were able to put a run on the board because of a Liberty fielding miscue in the bottom of the second. Shannon Keefe led off with a double down the left field line, and after Jenn Everhart struck out looking, Hope Creasy reached on a fielding error by third baseman J'nae Jefferson, allowing Keefe to cross the plate to give Radford a 1-0 lead.

Jefferson came back strong at the plate in the top of the fourth, clubbing a double to right-center field and advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt from Amber DePasquale. But the Highlanders made sure she remained stranded, as Beth Bennett struck out swinging and Keely McMillon grounded out to second to end the half-inning.

The Highlanders added another run in the bottom of the fourth when Leigh Godfrey singled through the left side with one out, scoring pinch runner Kristy Brewer from second, extending Radford's lead to 2-0.

The Lady Flames bounced back in their next at-bat, breaking Radford's lead in half by scoring a run of their own. Strickland led off with a double to left-center field, and moved to third on an infield single by Danielle Howard. Jenna Eatmon continued the hitting spurt with another infield single, and Strickland came home to put Liberty on the board, cutting the Flames' deficit to one run, 2-1.

Neither team was able to muster any more offense after that, and the Highlanders held on to win the game, 2-1.
Godfrey led the Highlanders, batting 3-for-3 and driving in a run.

Liberty was paced by Eatmon, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Strickland was 1-for-3 with a run scored.

Radford pitcher Chelsea Kelley picked up the win, scattering seven hits and striking out two batters in the complete game appearance.

Ellis (11-20) took the loss, giving up six hits and striking out five while giving up no earned runs, in six innings of work.
With the win, Radford improve to 34-12 overall and 16-2 in the Big South, and officially secures the regular season conference championship.

The Lady Flames drop to 19-31 overall and 7-8 in the Big South, and remain in third place in the conference standings.
Liberty is back in action tomorrow in Greensboro, N.C., taking on the Spartans of UNC Greensboro in a non-conference doubleheader starting at 3 p.m.

The Lady Flames will then head to Conway, S.C., for a three-game conference series with Coastal Carolina to conclude the 2009 regular season.