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Still unbeaten

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Liberty softballers sweep own tournament

By Mike Forster

  Somebody forgot to tell these youngsters just how young they are.

The Liberty Lady Minutemen showed that they're far from the new kids on the block:  They're the rude hosts of the softball diamond.  Flexing their muscles on a sunny Saturday, these Liberty Belles swept a pair in winning their own tournament.

The win improved the team's record to 9-0 as it now takes aim at a brutal slate o' Seminole rivals.

Well, those rivals have to be at least a wee bit wary o' the Lady Minutemen, particularly after Saturday's performance.

Against Staunton River, the lasses were charged by Cassidy Hensley's superb pitching and a pair of big innings at the plate.

Hensley showed she deserves the nickname "K-City" after she fanned a whopping 17 Eagles.

Put another way, the Liberty defense accounted for a mere four of the 21 outs in the seven-inning affair.

The fact that the Eagles hadn't played a game since March 14 only added to their woes.  "After going so long without playing a game, to face a pitcher like that is tough," said River Head Coach Duck Dellis.  "We can't simulate that kind of pitching [in practice]."

"It felt good," said Hensley, of her performance.  "I'm really confident in our defense.  They've made a lot of very good plays to get us out of situations."

The offense was also working.  Morgan Newbrough got the Lady Minutemen on the board in the second, drilling an RBI single to score Haley Maxfield.

In the third, Liberty erupted for four runs off starter Taylor Creasey.  Kelsey Dooley started things off with a double.  Kim Sharrett then singled to left before MaHalea Scicchitano brought home a pair of runs with a shot to left centerfield.

After Kasey Carr sent a single to left, Slammin' Sammy Baldwin brought home two more with her blast to left.

While Creasy would absorb the loss, she did gain the satisfaction of breaking up K-City's no hitter with a double in the top of the fifth.  Staunton River's only other hit was a double by Carol Rice in the top of the seventh.

Meanwhile, the M-Ladies picked up three more runs on the strength of hits by Courtney Knick, Katelynn Howell and walks issued to Dooley and Sharrett.  Those runs were yielded by River reliever Sam Cisco "Kid."

In the title game, Liberty topped a very strong Broadway crew.  Hensley struck out six gobblers, while Baldwin went 3-for-3, scoring a pair and driving in one.  Allyson Crockett came up big at the plate, driving in a pair of runs.

"We've been a solid unit from the start," noted Hensley.  "A lot of our nervousness, we've worked out since the start of the season."

Now it's time for others to be nervous of Liberty.

 

Don't' miss this one

Tonight (Wednesday) the Lady Minutemen head to Jefferson Forest in what should be a dilly of a contest.

The story line on this one is simple:  K-City vs. Doctor K.  That is, Liberty's Hensley against Lady Cav Alexis Brown in a duel of the two top pitchers in the region.

The two teams also match up well in terms of defensive acumen.  The difference could come at the plate, as Liberty seems to have the edge in offensive firepower.

Both teams are young, with a half-dozen freshmen on each squad.  So this could very well be a test to see which team can mature the fastest.  It should resolve the question:  Which team is the most ready for the pressure cooker that is Seminole District softball?  Perhaps the answer will be "both."