ROCK HILL, S.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - No. 2 Liberty ignited for four runs in the fifth and added two in the sixth to defeat No. 6 Gardner-Webb, 6-1, in game 11 of the 2011 Big South Softball Championship presented by Musco Lighting Friday afternoon at Terry Field in Rock Hill, S.C.
With the win, Liberty improves to 29-28, while Gardner-Webb ends its season at 18-28.
Gardner-Webb put its only run on the board in the top half of the third to take the 1-0 lead. With one out, Samantha Meenaghan singled to the left side. Two batters later, McKenzie Morenus brought home Meenaghan as she reached on an error.
Liberty took the 4-1 as the Lady Flames scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Amber DePasquale reached on a fielder's choice and moved up to second as Ashley Bensinger was hit by a pitch. Jenny Law reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases. Meredith Crisante brought home Besinger and DePasquale with a single to right field as Law moved to second. Kaylee West followed with a shot to right field to bring in Law, she reached second on the throw. Head Coach Paul Wetmore brought in Marybeth Sciolino to pinch run for West. Sciolino took third on a passed ball, and scored on another passed ball.
The Lady Flames put two more on the board in the bottom of the sixth to pick up the 6-1 win. After a Sammi Shivock walk, DePasquale caught up with a Jessica Childers offering and sent the ball over the center field fence to clear the bases.
Katrina Johnson picked up the win in the circle for the Lady Flames. Cindy Boomhower suffered the loss.
Liberty will play the winner of the No. 1 Radford/No. 5 Coastal Carolina in the Big South Championship game tomorrow at 12:00pm. The game will air live on ESPN3.com.
Liberty Head Coach Paul Wetmore
"Gardner-Webb is an extremely well-coached team and they did a great job all year long, and made a great run in the tournament. We just kept pressing forward and kept shutting them down. Kat Johnson really controlled the tempo and we're excited for what's to come."
Gardner-Webb Head Coach Tom Cole
"I am happy with the way we finished the season, but disappointed with the way it ended today. We are excited about the future of the program and I am blessed to have the players and staff that I have at Gardner-Webb."