Kettler, Ellis help softball knock off Liberty in tournament opener

Sophomore second baseman Nicky Dawson hits a ground ball toward the pitcher against Northwestern State. Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

Baylor softball opened the Liberty Spring Classic with an 8-3 win over host Liberty Thursday afternoon in Lynchburg, Va.

The Bears got three runs in the second and third innings to gain control of the game while pounding out 10 hits against the Flames’ ace, junior Julia DiMartino (8-4).

Sophomore outfielder Maddison Kettler led the attack, notching three hits, including two doubles, drove in a run and scored twice. Sophomore shortstop Taylor Ellis added two hits and drove in two runs.

Liberty took an early 1-0 lead when sophomore second baseman Amber Bishop tripled off the wall in left field and then senior outfielder Tori Zavodny dropped an RBI bloop single to right field, putting the Flames in front.

In the second, Ellis tied the game with an RBI single to left field. Senior third baseman Caitlin Charlton then laid down a squeeze bunt to bring in a second run. The Bears added a third run on a sacrifice fly from sophomore second baseman Nicky Dawson.

Kettler got things going in the fourth, drilling an RBI double to center field. Freshman outfielder Hannah Smith brought in another run on an infield single to second base and then Kettler’s aggressiveness on the bases paid off, as she swiped home putting Baylor in front 6-1.

Ellis drove in Baylor’s final run of the game with a single in the seventh inning.

Liberty was able to get two runs back in the sixth, scoring both on a Baylor error.

Junior Regan Green (4-0) pitched well to get the win for Baylor, tossing five innings, allowing just the one run on three hits with one walk and two strikeouts.

Sophomore Goose McGlaun came in for the final two innings for the Bears. She allowed two runs, but neither were earned on three hits with no walks and a strikeout.

No. 12 Baylor (13-3) has now won three straight games since dropping three of its first four at the Judi Garman Classic last weekend. The Bears continue play in the Liberty Spring Classic with a Saturday doubleheader. They battle Ohio University at 9 a.m. CT and Delaware at 11 a.m.