Liberty head coach Paul Wetmore went down in the history books Wednesday afternoon earning his 500th career win as the Lady Flames defeated Norfolk State 7-1.
Wetmore becomes the third coach in Big South history to accomplish the feat. Coastal Carolina’s Jess Dannelly ended his career with 669 wins, and current Winthrop coach Mark Cooke sits at 610 victories.
Wetmore is also the first coach in any sport in Liberty history to amass 500 wins in his career.
The Lady Flames improve to 22-18 on the season, while Norfolk State drops to 10-23 overall.
The Spartans struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Danielle Wright led off by reaching when she was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a wild pitch by Alyssa DiMartino, and moved on to third on a passed ball. One out later, she scored when Melina Valles grounded out to third.
Liberty tied it up in the bottom of the second with one swing, when Meredith Crisante hit a solo homer down the left field line for a 1-1 score.
The Spartans recorded their first hit of the day in the top of the third, when Wright singled down the right field line with two outs. She never advanced though, as she was caught stealing with the next batter up.
Liberty tacked another run on the board in the bottom of the third for a 2-1 advantage. Ashley Bensinger led off with a walk, and moved to second when Jenny Law singled to left. Law moved to second when Bensinger was caught stealing at third, and scored when Crisante singled through the left side, and left fielder Jeannette Sauceda bobbled the ball.
The Lady Flames kept cruising in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Keely McMillon singled to center field, and Kelly Strickland drew a walk. Next up, Bensinger hammered a home run to left center to bring everyone home, extending Liberty’s lead to 5-1.
The Lady Flames moved the score to 7-1 in the bottom of the fifth, when Shivock singled and pinch hitter Grace Nordan hit her second homer of the season.
The Spartans never recovered, and Liberty walked away with the 7-1 win and the sweep of the non-conference doubleheader.
Crisante hit 2-for-4 for Liberty, driving in two runs, while Bensinger hit 1-for-2 with three RBIs.
The Spartans were led by Wright, who went 2-for-2 at the plate.
DiMartino picked up the win in the circle to improve to 3-3 on the year, giving up two hits and no runs in four complete innings.
Jamie Schulle took the loss, giving up nine hits and seven earned runs in 4.2 innings of work.