Grace Nordan doubled and scored a run in Liberty's 8-6 victory over Savannah State on Friday.
Liberty softball recorded two four-run innings to build an 8-2 lead, and held off a late surge to defeat Savannah State, 8-6, in the first game of the USC Upstate Tournament on Friday. The Lady Flames (3-2) have won three straight contests, while the Tigers fall to 3-4 on the season with their fourth consecutive setback. Liberty scored four runs during the second and fourth innings, and Savannah State scored four runs in the sixth. Liberty registered 10 hits, its third 10-hit game in a row, posting a season-high five doubles. Seven different Lady Flames scored at least one run. Amber Donovan went 4-for-4, tying a program record for hits in a single game. She also tied an NCAA Division I record with three doubles. The last Lady Flame with three doubles in a game was Jessica Moore, who did so on April 3, 2006 against Bethune-Cookman. Meredith Crisante hit 2-for-3 with a run scored, and Kelby Allen drove in two runs with a double. Alyssa DiMartino (1-1) allowed six runs on seven hits in seven innings. She had a stretch of 10 straight batters retired during the middle frames. For Savannah State, India Morgan went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Amber Hallman also went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Tiffany Davies (1-2) allowed eight runs, one earned, in six innings pitched, as the Tigers recorded five errors. Savannah State took the lead during the top of the first inning. Shamyra Adams reached base via a walk to lead off the game. With one out, India Morgan hit a two-run homer to center to give the Tigers a 2-0 advantage. DiMartino kept Savannah State off of the board for the rest of the inning. Donovan laced a double down the left field line to open the bottom of the second inning. With two on, Sammi Shivock singled in Donovan for Liberty's first run of the game. Kaylee West drove in Allen, and Grace Nordan sent Liberty ahead, 3-2, on an RBI fielder's choice. Crisante scored on a Tigers error, and Liberty held a 4-2 lead after two innings. DiMartino pitched a 1-2-3 third inning, bringing the Lady Flames back to the plate. Donovan hit a leadoff double for the second inning in a row. She moved to third on a groundout, but was stranded after left fielder Jessica Weimerskirk made a sliding catch for the third out. The Lady Flames added four runs to their total in the fourth inning. After a two-out double by Nordan, the sophomore second baseman came around to score on a throwing error. Donovan recorded her third double of the game, driving in Zavodny for a 6-2 Liberty edge. Allen then doubled off the top of the wall in left, plating Jenny Law and Donovan. Savannah State recorded three straight singles to start the sixth inning. Hallman singled in two runs, slicing the deficit to four, 8-4, with nobody out. An RBI groundout by Davies and a sacrifice fly by Katherine Stewart made the score 8-6. DiMartino got Weimerskirk to ground out, ending the threat. With one on and two outs in the Savannah State seventh, Sammi Shivock made a running catch to clinch the 8-6 victory for the Lady Flames. Liberty and Savannah State will face each other again this evening, as they are set to square off at 6 p.m., following the conclusion of the USC Upstate versus La Salle contest.