FORT MYERS, Fla. - No. 2 Liberty used a four-run sixth inning to propel its way to a 4-0 win over No. 6 North Florida in its first game of the ASUN Conference Softball Championship Thursday morning at the FGCU Softball Complex.
After going scoreless through five innings with a combined seven hits, a pair of lead-off walks to Amber and Autumn Bishop and a hit-by-pitch came back to haunt the Ospreys. With the bases loaded, the Flames' Sweat reached on a fielder's choice to second to score the game's first run. That set up Denay Griffin for an RBI single to score Amber Bishop, while Sarah Robertson crossed the plate on a throwing error. A sacrifice bunt by Kaitlin McFarland plated Taylor Hoffman, who entered the game as a pinch runner, for Liberty's fourth and final run.
Each team got a runner to third base with two outs but were unable to get the runner home. Liberty's Jaclyn Amader stole third base in the first inning with two outs, while North Florida's Cathy Vega advanced to third in the fifth inning on a ground out.
Julie DiMartino (18-9) retired the Ospreys in order in the top of the seventh inning to secure the game for Liberty.
Robertson and Griffin led the Flames with two hits apiece, while DiMartino registered six strikeouts against no walks in the circle. UNF was led by Navia Penrod who went a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate. In the circle, Morgan Clausen (4-6) suffered the loss for the Ospreys as she went five innings recording a pair of punchouts.
No. 2 Liberty vs. No. 6 North Florida Game Notes
- With the win, Liberty picked up its first-ever ASUN Conference Softball Championship victory in its first year in the league.
- Liberty improved to 4-0 on the season against North Florida as it swept the regular season series 3-0.
- The Flames improve 37-18 on the year, while the Ospreys fall to 27-23.
- North Florida drops to 5-7 all-time in ASUN Conference Championship history with the win.
- With her three hits today, Penrod now sits alone in fifth place in ASUN history with 276 career hits.
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