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Region roundup: Liberty baseball, softball knock off top-25 opponents, and more
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Region roundup: Liberty baseball, softball knock off top-25 opponents, and more

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From staff reports

The Liberty baseball team added a second win this season against No. 14 North Carolina on Tuesday at Liberty Baseball Stadium, recording an 8-4 victory for its ninth straight triumph.

The Flames (10-5) never trailed despite being outhit 10-7. LU led 4-0 after two innings, and UNC cut the lead to 4-3 with a two-run fourth. UNC used 10 pitchers, with no one lasting longer than two innings. The Heels issued 10 walks, which opened the door to LU runs in the first, fifth, sixth and eighth frames.

Cam Locklear and Aaron Anderson each went 2 for 3 for Liberty. Locklear had two RBIs on his single in the eighth inning, a grounder through a wide-open right side with UNC applying a shift.

Landon Riley picked up his fourth save after throwing 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief. David Erickson improved to 4-0, earning the win in 2 1/3 innings of relief. He walked one, struck out two and gave up two hits. Four Flames pitchers combined for just one walk and seven strikeouts.

SOFTBALL

Liberty 2, Arkansas 0: In Fayetteville, Arkansas, Devyn Griffin provided the game-winning runs on her two-run homer in the 10th inning at Bogle Park. The Flames snapped a two-game skid and ended No. 13 Arkansas’ 19-game winning streak.

After nine scoreless frames, Caroline Hudson jump-started LU with a leadoff single. Griffin then hit the one-out blast to left on an 0-2 count.

Arkansas (20-3) tried to respond, with Danielle Gibson reaching and advancing to second on a fielding error by LU (17-9), but Emily Kirby (5-3) induced a flyout, struck out the next batter and forced Aly Manzo to pop out in foul territory to end the game. Kirby’s complete-game effort included five hits, four walks and eight strikeouts.

Mary Baldwin 9-3, Randolph 7-6: Lacey Pugh’s three-run double lifted Mary Baldwin in extra innings in the opener, and Randolph used a pair of three-hit innings in the nightcap to salvage a split at Randolph Softball Field.

In Game 2, Lexi Hawkins (LCA) broke a 1-1 tie in the first with a double down the left-field line, giving Randolph (5-7) a lead it never relinquished.

The Fighting Squirrels (1-7) cut the RC lead to 3-2 in the top of the third, but RC tallied another three runs in the bottom half of the inning for insurance. MBU responded with a run in the fifth.

In the opener, Randolph outhit Mary Baldwin 13-10, but Pugh’s two-out double in the eighth was the difference.

RC and MBU went back and forth before that, with Randolph taking a 6-5 lead in the fifth. But a bases-loaded walk tied it, and Pugh delivered two frames later. Randolph’s final run came on Delaney Nuckols’ two-out single. Dominique Irving (Amherst) led Randolph with four hits on the day.

FIELD HOCKEY

UL 3, Washington and Lee 2: Lynchburg preserved its perfect record and handed Washington and Lee its first loss of the season on Aaryn Boatwright’s golden goal in the 62nd minute at Shellenberger Field.

The Hornets (3-0, 3-0 Old Dominion Athletic Conference) led 2-0 at the half, but W&L (2-1, 2-1 ODAC) tallied a pair of goals in a two-minute span in the third quarter to tie it.

Just over a minute into overtime — Lynchburg’s first OT contest since October 2019 — Jackie Lerro found an opening in the defense, and the ball deflected off Boatwright and into the cage for the win.

Sweet Briar 2, Ferrum 1: Alexis Jones scored the game-winner in overtime to give the Vixens (1-2, 1-2 ODAC) their first victory at Amherst County High. Ferrum fell to 0-3 overall and in conference play.

MEN’S GOLF

Lynchburg 6th at Johnson & Wales: In Matthews, North Carolina, Lynchburg’s Andrew Watson finished in a tie for fourth, and the Hornets recorded a sixth-place showing as a team in the Johnson & Wales University Spring Invitational at Emerald Lake Golf Club.

Watson shot 4-over 75 (eight strokes back of medalist Kevin Burris) in what turned into a one-day event because of rain, while the Hornets finished at 50-over 334.

UL was 39 strokes back of team champ Pfeiffer, which swept the top three spots among individuals.

WOMEN’S GOLF

Lynchburg wins Johnson & Wales tourney: In Matthews, North Carolina, Lynchburg earned top honors among both individuals and teams in the Johnson & Wales University Spring Invitational at Emerald Lake Golf Club.

The Hornets posted a 59-over 343 after 18 holes, as the event was shortened by rain. Freshman Emily Brubaker shot 79 for an eight-stroke lead and eventual medalist honors.

WOMEN’S TENNIS

Sweet Briar 9, Ferrum 0: Sweet Briar (5-2) didn’t drop a single game in a sweep of Ferrum (0-4) — its second sweep in as many days — at Van Der Meer Tennis Center.

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