Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Liberty’s Sarah Shevenell throws a pitch during Tuesday’s 9-2 win over Kerman. She allowed just two hits and struck out five for the victory.
With six seniors getting honored before the game, Liberty pitcher Sarah Shevenell did her part to send them home with a 9-2 victory.
Not only did the sophomore toss five innings of quality work, allowing two runs on just two hits with five strikes, she went 2-for-2 at the plate with a double.
“Sarah is getting there,” head coach Steve Uyeda said. “She has pitched in most of our important ball games. She’s coming around for being as young as she is. We have been battling against some good throwers in our league and she’s held her own. Next year, she’ll be a lot better.”
The Hawks banged out 13 hits in the victory while striking out just twice. Lead-off batter Brianna Burges was 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs with a double. Camile Vestal was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Jaclyn Smith and Shelby Ford also had two hits.
“They’ve bought into the idea of making contact.” Uyeda said. “This probably the best bunch of kids that I’ve had buying into the sticking the bat out and making contact.”
The Hawks scored three runs in the fourth and fifth innings to turn a close game into a nice victory.
“We didn’t want it to be a close game,” Uyeda said. “They beat us in the second game last year.”
Kerman led off the game with a single, groundout and sacrifice fly to score the first run.
Liberty tied the score in the first. With one out, Karli Fien reached on an error and then went to third with the throw went into right field. Kaylan May followed with a single to center to drive in Fien.
The Hawks took the lead for good in the second inning. With one out, Shevenell drew a walk. Karlie Sphar put down a bunt, but a wild throw allowed pinch-runner Brianna Melgoza to advance to third and Sphar to hit second. Brianna Burgess followed with a double to deep center to drive in Melgoza and Sphar for a 3-1 lead.
Kerman made things interesting in the third with a walk, a two-base wild pitch and a groundout to cut the lead to one.
Liberty responded in the bottom of the fourth by sending nine batters to the plate. Shevenell led off the inning with a single to left. After a strikeout, Burgess singled and Fien singled to load the bases.
May hit a grounder to short. The Kerman shortstop tried to get Burgess at third, but threw wide for an error to allow pinch-runner Melgoza to score.
With the bases still loaded, Cestal singled up the middle to score Burgess and Smith singled to left to drive in Fien for a 6-2 lead.
Liberty added three more runs in the fifth. Shevenell led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Sphar hit a grounder to short. Melgoza, heading to third, jumped over the ball and the shortstop misplayed the ball for an error. However, the umpires called Melgoza out for runner’s interference.
Burgess reached on a bunt single and Sphar scored from first base after the throw went into right field. Burgess advanced to third. Fien reached on an other error as Burgess scored.
After Isabella Perez reached on an error, Vestal singled to center to drive in Fien for a 9-2 lead.
Smith, in relief of Shevenell, retired the side in order in the sixth and got three ground balls back to her in the seventh to end the game.