LYNCHBURG, Va. - Alyssa Heinrich went five strong innings and Destini Ewing reached base in both at-bats on Friday night to highlight Charleston Southern's efforts in the series opening 5-0 loss to Liberty at the LU Softball Stadium.
The Bucs (25-25, 6-10) surrendered two early runs behind a pair of errors to provide Liberty (34-12, 13-3) all the offense it would need in the contest. Amber Bishop and Kaitlin McFarland added home runs in the fifth inning to secure the LU victory.
Heinrich (7-3) went the first five innings allowing five hits and five runs (three earned) while striking out one in taking the loss. Arizona Pilgrim went the final inning in relief striking out Jasmeen Click to highlight the 1-2-3 inning.
Julia DiMartino (20-7) went the distance in the complete game shutout. The right-hander allowed four hits and a walk while striking out seven in the win.
Liberty struck for the first run in the bottom of the first inning. Amber Bishop connected on a one-out single and advanced to second on a dropped fly ball to left field. The next batter, Sarah Robertson, beat out the throw to first on her grounder up the middle to prevent the double play and allow Bishop to score.
A leadoff error proved costly for CSU in the bottom of the second as Click connected on a two-out double down the left field line scoring Alexis Erich to put the Flames ahead 2-0.
The Bucs' best scoring opportunity came in the top of the fourth. Kasinger's one-out double down the left field line put CSU in scoring position early. With Kendall Anderson in to run, Bakenhus drove a hard grounder through the left side of the infield and advanced to second on the throw to the plate to put runners on second and third. DiMartino rebounded to get the final two outs of the frame and leave the two runners stranded.
Amber Bishop connected on a one-out solo home run to centerfield in the bottom of the fifth for the third LU run of the contest. Three batters later, McFarland connected on a drive off the scoreboard in left centerfield scoring Robertson for the final margin.
Gandara's single in the top of the sixth put CSU's final runner on the base paths as DiMartino retired the final five batters she faced to close out the win.
News & Notes
- Charleston Southern's losing streak is extended to seven games with the loss to the Flames. The Bucs have lost their last six against Liberty dating back to the 2016 season.
- Mallory Kasinger's double was her team-leading 11th two-bagger of the season and 16th double of her career with the Bucs.
- Destini Ewing drew her team-leading 30th walk of the season in the fifth inning.
Charleston Southern and Liberty will play a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon at the CSU Softball Field starting at 1 p.m. Both contests will be streamed live via ESPN3.