Shepherd didn’t show any rust from a 354-day layoff to open Sunday’s women’s basketball game against Liberty. The lack of playing time, however, caught up with the Rams as the Flames overwhelmed them over a key stretch between the second and third quarters.
Emily Lytle scored 20 points, Bella Smuda led Liberty’s dominance in the paint, and the Flames overcame a slow start to claim a 73-65 victory over Division II Shepherd at Liberty Arena.
The Flames (15-5) used a 20-4 run that spanned the second and third quarters to take the lead for good. Lytle’s layup with 6:38 left in the third quarter capped the run and gave Liberty a 40-36 lead.
Shepherd, which classified the game as an exhibition, played its first game of the 2020-21 season Sunday and led 32-20 following Marley McLaughlin’s layup with 4:00 left in the second quarter.
That is when the Flames’ dominance in the paint took over. Smuda scored 15 points and pulled down eight rebounds as Liberty outscored Shepherd 44-28 in the paint and owned a 42-27 edge in rebounding.
Kennedi Williams, playing more with Ashtyn Baker out with an illness, scored a career-high 13 points and dished out six assists.
Lytle shot 7 of 8 from the field and 3 of 4 from 3-point range. Her triple with two minutes remaining gave the Flames a 70-61 lead.
Campbell 3, Liberty 2
In Buies Creek, North Carolina, Waldy Arias dropped a suicide squeeze that scored Ryan Parquette from third base in the seventh inning, and that proved to be the game-winning run as the Camels (2-1) claimed the weekend series over the Flames (1-2) at Jim Perry Stadium.
Campbell scored twice in the seventh to take the lead. Parquette tied the game with a single that scored pinch-runner Tyler Halstead.
Gray Betts gave the Flames a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh when his single scored Brandon Rohrer.
Kevin Westlake worked a perfect ninth inning to record the save.
Liberty starter Mason Meyer did not factor into the decision despite throwing 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out five and allowed three hits.
Mason Fluharty allowed three earned runs on four hits in 2/3 of an inning and was credited with the loss.
Greensboro 3, Lynchburg 0
In Greensboro, North Carolina, Cole Cooper threw a three-hitter with five strikeouts and the Pride (2-1) scratched across runs in the fourth and fifth innings on RBI doubles to defeat the Hornets (1-2) at Ted Leonard Park.
Scotty McGuire and Brayden King rattled off RBI doubles in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, to put GC ahead 2-0, and Michael Garvey added an insurance run on an RBI single in the seventh.
Brandon Pond took the loss despite striking out 13 over 6 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and did not walk any batters.
LSU 8, Liberty 5
In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the No. 7 Tigers (5-3) scored three times in the sixth inning to take a four-run lead and defeat the Flames (6-4) in the Bama Bash at Rhoads Stadium.
Taylor Pleasants went 3 for 4 with two home runs and six RBIs for LSU. It was her three-run homer in the sixth inning that gave the Tigers enough breathing room against the Flames.
Liberty tied the game at 3 in the third when Amber Bishop scored on an error, but the Tigers scored twice in the fourth to take a 5-3 lead.
Savannah Channell, who hit a two-run homer in the second, reached on an error in the fourth that scored Kara Canetto (2 for 4) to cut the deficit to 5-4.
Shelbi Sunseri (3-1) picked up the victory, while Karlie Keeney (3-2) drew the loss.
Greensboro 7-9, Lynchburg 0-3
Kassie Simmons rattled off six hits and drove in seven runs in both games, then recorded the complete-game victory in the nightcap as the Pride (2-2) swept the Hornets (0-2) at Moon Field.
Simmons went 3 for 4 with four RBIs in the opener, then went 3 for 4 with three RBIs in the nightcap.
She allowed three runs (one earned) on eight hits and struck out five in her appearance in the circle.
UL’s Kayla Hugate went 2 for 4 in the opener, and Lexi Powell went 2 for 3 with a run scored in the nightcap.
Fuchs wins Seminole Intercollegiate
In Tallahassee, Florida, Liberty junior Alexandre Fuchs stumbled in the final round of the Seminole Intercollegiate. It didn’t stop him from claiming the individual title.
Fuchs, despite shooting 3 over Sunday, held on and edged Florida State’s John Pak by one stroke to win the individual title at Golden Eagle Country Club.
Fuchs shot 7 under in both the first and second rounds, but struggled with two bogeys and a quadruple-bogey at the par-5 No. 9 in shooting 3 over.
However, Fuchs finished at 11 under and held off Pak’s challenge.
FSU won the team title at 26 over. Liberty fell from second to fourth and finished at 11 under.
Liberty’s Isaac Simmons finished in a tie for 75th at 15 over, and Virginia’s Jimmie Massie (E.C. Glass) finished 79th at 18 over.
Liberty 7, Villanova 1
Junior forward Charlotte Vaanhold posted her first career hat trick as the Flames (3-0, 2-0 Big East) defeated the Wildcats (0-2, 0-2) by the same score for the second straight day at Liberty Field Hockey Field.
Robert Morris 9, Liberty 8
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kelley Flynn scored two goals in a 24-second span to give the Colonials (1-0) the lead for good, and the Flames (0-2) were unable to rally at Joe Walton Stadium. Mia Toscano scored three goals for LU.
Liberty 0, James Madison 0
In Harrisonburg, Danny Cordero recorded three saves for the Flames (3-0-1) and T.J. Bush posted six saves for the Dukes (0-0-1) as the teams played to a draw at Sentara Park.
Randolph 8, Emory & Henry 1
Evan Blow scored three of his four goals in the second half as the WildCats (1-0, 1-0 ODAC) overwhelmed the Wasps (0-1, 0-1) at WildCat Stadium.
Liberty 1, James Madison 1
In Harrisonburg, the Dukes (0-0-2) got a goal in the 56th minute and played even with the Flames (0-1-2) throughout the two overtime periods as the teams played to a draw at Sentara Park.
Kasey Jamieson scored off an assist by Maddy Oliver in the 35th minute to give LU a 1-0 lead.
Lynchburg 2, Emory & Henry 0
In Emory, Alyssa Damato and Taylor Smith scored second-half goals, and the Hornets (1-0, 1-0 ODAC) did not allow the Wasps (0-1, 0-1) to record a single shot in a victory at Fred Selfe Stadium.
Liberty 4, William & Mary 3
In Williamsburg, Deji Thomas-Smith edged Joseph Brailovsky 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 at No. 4 singles to lift the Flames (6-4) over the Tribe (1-3) at McCormack- Nagelsen Tennis Center.
UVa Wise 5, Randolph 4
The Cavaliers (1-2) edged the WildCats (0-1) at Randolph Tennis Courts.
South Florida 4, Liberty 3
In Tampa, Florida, Margriet Timmermans edged Micaela Ode Mitre 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 at No. 6 singles to give the Bulls (3-5) the victory over the Flames (6-2) at USF Varsity Tennis Courts.
UVa Wise 7, Randolph 0
The Cavaliers (2-1) swept the WildCats (0-1) at Randolph Tennis Courts.
From staff reports