UNCG and Liberty split softball doubleheader
LYNCHBURG, VA – Terra Lowe came within one out of tossing the first-ever seven inning perfect game in Liberty University school history in a 4-0 opening game win over UNC Greensboro, while six straight runs helped the Spartans to a 6-4 victory in the nightcap of a nonconference softball doubleheader, Tuesday afternoon at Liberty Softball Field.
In the first game, Lowe was perfect through 20 batters, until Jennifer Bonilla broke up the perfect game bid with a two-out single in the seventh through the left side of the infield. Lowe then walked Stephanie Talarek, but got an infield popup to end the game, giving Lowe her team-leading 11th victory of the season as she allowed just the one hit and struck out 11 batters in the complete-game effort.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning, when Liberty’s Jessica Leary led off the frame by drawing a walk. After advancing to second and third on a pair of wild pitches, Leary was able to score on an RBI base hit to left field by Dawn Jeffs to give the Lady Flames a 1-0 lead.
They added to their lead in the fifth when Jeffs began the inning with a single to center, while two batters later, she crossed the plate on an RBI single up the middle by Ashley Williams to push Liberty’s advantage to 2-0. A two-run home run by Jessica Moore in the sixth gave the Lady Flames their final 4-0 edge.
Hannah Angel (5-13) suffered the loss as she allowed four runs on seven hits, while walking four batters and strikeout seven Lady Flame hitters.
Jeffs led the home team from the plate as she finished the game 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Williams was 2-for-3 with an RBI single.
In the second contest, the Lady Flames carrier their momentum from the first game as Williams belted a two-run blast to left field to give Liberty a 2-0 lead after one inning of play.
However, the Spartans got their offense going by scoring six-straight runs and would take a lead they would never relinquish. UNCG began its scoring spree in the second inning as Lyndsay Mouse dropped a bunt base hit down the first base line, and two batters later, Kara Clouser knocked her in with a base hit through the left side of the infield.
In the third, the Spartans pulled even with Liberty as Krista Judge led off the frame with an infield single back up the middle and scored on an RBI base hit to center field off the bat of Bonilla.
The score remained 2-2 until the fifth inning when the Spartans plated three runs on three hits to take the lead for good. Judge led off the frame with a bunt single just in front of the pitching circle, while Adriane Audley was struck by a pitch to follow. Liberty starting pitcher Sarah Swor was lifted and relived by Sarah Ellis. The reliever struggled as she allowed a single to right by Bonilla to start her relief appearance, while she issued a bases loaded walk to Kelly Allen to force in the first run of the inning.
Two batters later, Audley scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Talarek, while an RBI base hit back up the middle by Clouser drove in Bonilla to cap off the decisive inning.
UNC Greensboro plated an insurance run in the sixth inning as Koury Duncan was struck by a pitch to start off the inning, while three batters later, Bonilla lofted a ball deep to left field to allow Duncan to score on a sacrifice fly.
Williams’ two-run homer in the first inning was Liberty’s only hit of the game until the sixth inning when Bennett led off the frame with a single to center field, while three batters later, Shannon McKain followed with a base hit to the fence in straightaway center to score pinch runner Rachel Love and pull Liberty within three, 6-3.
The Lady Flames attempted to mount one last rally in the seventh inning as pinch hitter Whitney Nixon led off the frame with a walk. Later in the frame, back-to-back singles through the left side of the infield gave Liberty hope, including an RBI base hit by Williams, but Danielle Byrne was able to halt the late rally to secure the victory.
Byrne (3-5) tossed her first complete game of the season as the senior allowed four runs on five hits, while walking five and striking out four batters in seven innings of work.
Swor suffered the loss and drops to 10-8 on the year as she allowed four runs on six hits in four innings of work, before Ellis and Lowe finished off the final three innings.
Bonilla and Clouser each went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Judge was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Bennett and Williams led the Lady Flames from the plate as Bennett finished the game 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Williams was 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBIs.
UNCG hosts Winthrop on Thursday for a nonconference doubleheader beginning at 4 pm at UNCG Softball Stadium.
Game One 123 456 7 R-H-E
UNCG 000 000 0 0-1-1
LU 001 012 x 4-7-0
UNCG: Hannah Angel and Kelly Allen LU: Terra Lowe and
W: Lowe (11-7). L: Angel (5-13). SV: None.
UNCG 011 031 0 6-9-0
LU 200 001 1 4-5-2
UNCG: Hannah Angel and Kelly Allen LU: Sarah Swor, Sarah
Ellis (5), Terra Lowe and Ashley Williams
W: Byrne (3-5). L: Swor (10-8). SV: None.
- UNCG -