DURHAM, N.C. – A four-run seventh inning and five more in the ninth propelled the Liberty Flames past the Duke Blue Devils, 10-6, Wednesday at the Duke Softball Stadium.
The Blue Devils (14-19) held a 5-1 lead heading into the top of the seventh before the Flames (20-13) rallied back with four runs on five hits to tie the ballgame. After a quiet eighth inning, Liberty would tack on five more runs in the ninth behind three hits and a Duke error to jump ahead 10-5. The Blue Devils would pull one back in the bottom of the ninth thanks to an RBI single from Rachel Abboud, but would come no closer.
Caroline Jacobsen got things started in the second inning for the Blue Devils. After Jameson Kavel reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to second on a stolen base, Jacobsen netted her 18th RBI of the season with a double up the middle to score Kavel and give the Blue Devils an early 1-0 advantage. That lead would only hold for a half inning, as Liberty took advantage of a pair of hits and a Blue Devil error in the top of the third to even the score.
Duke broke the game open in the sixth, pushing out to a four-run lead. A single from Kristina Foreman and a Raine Wilson double brought Kavel up the plate, who would push the two home with a single to center and advance to third on a fielding error by the LU outfielder. Three batters later, Jazmine Moreno added two more to the lead with a double to the wall in right center, scoring Kavel and Kyla Morris to make it 5-1 heading into the seventh.
A trio of Blue Devils turned in two-hit performances on the day, as Duke accumulated 11 hits. Foreman, Jacobsen and Moreno each went 2-for-4 at the plate, with Moreno driving in two runs and Jacobsen pushing home one. Jacobsen also set a career high with two doubles in the contest.
Brianna Butler earned the start for the Blue Devils, going 6.1 innings and striking out four while walking two. Amelia Wiercioch tossed 1.0 inning in relief, while Shelby Walters (4-9) retired two batters, both on strikeouts. Peyton St. George closed out the final inning of play, striking out one.
Duke returns to action this weekend, returning to the road as it heads to Atlanta, Ga., for a series against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The series opens Friday, March 29 at 4 p.m. ET, with both Saturday and Sunday set for 1 p.m., starts. All three contests will be live streamed on ACC Network Extra, which fans can access through WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app.
For more information on Duke softball, follow the Blue Devils on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for “DukeSoftball”. You can also find all-access coverage of all Duke athletic programs on SnapChat by searching for “dukeathletics”.
- Duke is now 2-3 this season in extra-inning games, including a 2-2 mark in games that reach the ninth inning.
- Wednesday’s game went three hours and 15 minutes, tying for the longest game in Duke Softball Stadium history.
- Going 2-for-4 on the day, Caroline Jacobsen is now tied with Deja Davis for the team lead with seven multi-hit games this season.
- Jacobsen has now hit safely in six of her last seven games, with three of those contests being two-hit showings.
- With her single in the fourth, Kristina Foreman upped her career-high hitting streak to three-straight games.
- Rachel Abboud upped her career-high reached base safely streak to 20-straight games with her RBI single in the ninth.