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Lady Flames Go Deep Three Times in 7-1 Win

February 24, 2012  Spartanburg, S.C.  RSS
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Katie Zavodny went 3-for-4 and scored a run in Liberty's 7-1 win over Savannah State on Friday evening.

Katie Zavodny went 3-for-4 and scored a run in Liberty's 7-1 win over Savannah State on Friday evening.

The Liberty softball team slugged three home runs, helping the Lady Flames win their fourth game in a row, a 7-1 victory over Savannah State on Friday in Spartanburg, S.C.

Liberty (4-2) defeated Savannah State (3-5) twice, 8-6 and 7-1 on Friday to open the USC Upstate Tournament. The Lady Flames registered 10 hits in both wins over the Tigers, and have collected 10 or more hits during each game of their four-game winning streak.

After hitting five doubles versus the Tigers on Friday morning, the Lady Flames launched three home runs during the nightcap.

Meredith Crisante and Amber Donovan hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning to give Liberty a 2-0 lead. The last time Liberty batters had hit back-to-back homers was April 20, 2011, when Kelly Strickland and Ashley Bensinger homered in order against Norfolk State.

Katie Zavodny was 3-for-4 with one run scored, and Bridgett Woods hit a two-run homer and crossed the plate twice. Kelby Allen went 2-for-3. Chandler Ball pitched a four-hitter, allowing one unearned run and striking out five to raise her record to 3-1.

Four Tigers registered hits, while Madison Hedderley (2-3) drew the loss by yielding seven runs on 10 hits and striking out seven Lady Flames.

Liberty placed two runners on base before the first out of the game was recorded. Sammi Shivock walked, and Zavodny followed with a single. Hedderly worked out of the jam, and Savannah State failed to score during the bottom half, leaving the game scoreless after one inning.

After allowing first-inning base runners, pitchers Ball and Hedderly both retired nine straight batters, keeping each team off the scoreboard through three innings.

Crisante led off the fourth with a towering home run to right center to put Liberty ahead, 1-0. Donovan followed with a home run to left field. Her first career home run doubled Liberty's lead, to 2-0. The next three Lady Flames recorded outs to end the top of the fourth.

The Tigers trimmed the deficit in half by scoring a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. India Morgan singled with two outs, and advanced to third on a throwing error. She then scored on a wild pitch, making it 2-1. Ball struck out her pitching counterpart Hedderly for the third out.

Liberty responded with a run during its next time to bat. With Shivock on second and Woods on third, Zavodny singled, and Shivock scored when the ball got away from the shortstop. Shivock and Zavodny moved up one base on a groundout, but the inning closed on a Donovan flyout.

The Lady Flames tacked on three runs during the sixth inning. Allen came through with a two-out RBI single, driving in Marybeth Sciolino to extend the Lady Flames' advantage to three, 4-1. Woods followed with a two-run homer, and Liberty led, 6-1.

Zavodny opened the seventh inning with a single, and scored on an RBI groundout by Crisante. Ball held the Tigers scoreless in the bottom half to seal the 7-1 victory.

The Lady Flames face La Salle of the Atlantic 10, Saturday at 10 a.m., to continue their time in Spartanburg at the USC Upstate Tournament.