Late rally leads Liberty past Charleston Southern, 10-7

Late rally leads Liberty past Charleston Southern, 10-7

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Liberty rallied for five runs in the top of the seventh inning as Charleston Southern fell in the series finale against the Flames on Sunday afternoon at the CSU Softball Field, 10-7.

The Buccaneers batted around in the bottom of the fourth to take the 7-5 lead and seemed to be in control of the contest late in the ballgame. However, a two-run home run off the bat of Kassidy McCoy tied the game with one out and Megan Robinson connected on the go-ahead three-run shot as the Flames took the series from the Bucs.

CSU recognized seniors Jennifer Giles and Marci Christian prior to the contest for Senior Day in their final home series of the 2015 season and both seniors made an impact on the field in the game. Giles (11-11) went the distance in the contest, hurling a season-high 161 pitches in taking the loss, while Christian went 1-for-3 from the plate with a pair of walks and an RBI.

Amanda Matsumoto went 4-for-5 from the plate and singled in the bottom of the seventh to load the bases against Liberty starter Chandler Ball (15-7), but Ball was able to close out the contest in getting Christian to popup end the ballgame.

Natalie Yonan also had two hits from the plate, while Stevi Johnson and Stephanie Bergmann had two RBI apiece for the Bucs in the loss.

McCoy homered twice in the contest for the Flames, while Jamie Crisp connected on a grand slam to put Liberty on the board in the top of the third as LU took the series, 2-1, over the Bucs on the weekend.

Charleston Southern falls to 27-19, 9-6 in conference play with the loss, while Liberty improves to 21-22, 9-9 in Big South action with the win.

The Bucs plated the first run of the contest in the bottom of the first inning as Matsumoto led off the frame with a bunt single. A walk issued to Christian put two on with none out and Johnson sacrifice bunted both runners into scoring position. Bergmann followed with a sacrifice fly to right field deep enough to let Matsumoto score to give CSU the 1-0 lead.

The Flames took their first lead of the contest in the top of the third, loading the bases with two outs on back-to-back singles by Robinson and Kelby Allen, while Jessica Cicerchia was hit by a pitch. Crisp followed with a line drive grand slam off of the camera deck in straightaway centerfield putting Liberty ahead 4-1.

The Bucs battled back with a Johnson RBI single in the bottom of the third, before sending 10 batters to the plate in the fourth inning in taking a 7-4 advantage. Yonan opened the scoring in the frame with an RBI single scoring Taylor Powell, while Christian and Bergmann both drew bases-loaded walks and Johnson was hit by a pitch. Christian scored on a wild pitch for the final run of the frame to stake the Bucs to their largest lead of the game.

McCoy's solo home run cut into the Bucs lead in the top of the fifth, before the Flames seventh inning comeback.

Charleston Southern returns to the road next week, traveling to College of Charleston for a midweek doubleheader at the Patriots Point Athletics Complex on Tuesday night with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m. The Bucs continue Big South play on the road next weekend in Clinton, S.C. at Presbyterian College on April 18-19.

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