5 runs in 7th boost Liberty, 8-7

Hall's bases-loaded walk provides game-winner as S. Carroll blows 7-1 lead

April 29, 1999|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Her team trailing 7-1 after two innings yesterday against South Carroll, Liberty coach Nora Murray said she wanted her players to eat away at the lead in small bites.

Instead, the host Lions stunned the Cavaliers with one big gulp.

Still down by four run in the bottom of the seventh, eight straight Liberty batters reached base, and the Lions scored five runs -- the last coming on Ashley Hall's bases-loaded walk -- for a come-from-behind win, 8-7.

Following Tuesday's 9-7 loss to Westminster, in which the Lions surrendered four runs in the sixth, the rally and win couldn't have come at a better time.

"We needed a win," said Liberty coach Nora Murray. "We made mistakes early, but I told them there was still a lot of time, and I wanted to get two runs an inning. I wanted us to chip away at it, and we did."

South Carroll (4-6 overall, 2-2 Central Maryland Conference, 3-3 county), which has lost to Liberty (4-7, 3-5, 2-3) two out of three times this season, took a 2-0 lead on a pair of unearned runs in the first.

The Cavaliers extended it to 7-1 with five more unearned runs in the second, courtesy of three Liberty errors. They batted around in the inning, with Melanie Amoss and Stephanie Wilson each contributing RBI singles.

From then on, however, Liberty pitcher Lindsay Rankin took command, no-hitting South Carroll over the last five innings and striking out four.

Meanwhile, the Lions scored single runs in the fourth -- on Danielle Caplan's RBI double -- and fifth to cut the lead to 7-3.

The score stayed that way until the seventh, when, for Liberty, the rally began in earnest.

Kate Hartman led off with a single to right and Becky Campagna reached on an error, putting runners on first and third.

Hartman scored on Stephanie Wilder's infield single to make it 7-4, and Amber Frantz's single to center scored two more Lions, making it 7-6, still with nobody out.

South Carroll pulled starter Emily Wolfing in favor of Amy Smith, but the result was much the same.

After a wild pitch tied the game, Liberty loaded the bases before Smith walked in the game-winner.

"There's not much to say," said South Carroll coach Debbie Eaton. "We just stopped hitting and stopped scoring. You can't do that, even if you're up 10 runs. We beat ourselves -- there's no doubt about it."

For Liberty, it was nonetheless a big win.

"This is very positive for us," said Murray, whose team got off to an 0-5 start last season before rallying to finish a game behind North Carroll in the county. "Now, we need to use it."

Pub Date: 4/29/99

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