Thursday, August 28, 2014

National recognition

Dot Richardson to coach Central Virginia All-Stars

Liberty’s Lady Flames softball Head Coach Dot Richardson has represented USA softball as a player often, from her first time making a national team at 17 years old to five world championships and the Pan American Games, but she has never gone against her country — until this summer.

When USA softball sets out on a trial tour this summer to finalize its World Championships roster, the team’s first stop will be Lynchburg, Va., Richardson will be coaching against them in a showcase game June 13 at City Stadium.

“I get to select 15 players for what they’re calling the Central Virginia All-Stars,” Richardson said. “So what I did was look at colleges within Virginia, though some of the players may not be (from in-state).”

Due to NCAA regulations, Richardson cannot select any current Liberty University softball players for the team to face the United States. Graduates, on the other hand, are fair game.

The five graduating seniors on this season’s Flames softball squad — pitcher Alyssa DiMartino, outfielder Katie Zavodny, utility player Marybeth Sciolino and infielders Grace Nordan and Sammi Shivock — will have spots on Richardson’s roster, while assistant coach Paige Cassady is looking to pitch and graduate assistant Morgan Price hopes to catch for the team.
Richardson mentioned additional player possibilities from Longwood University and Radford University and expected the roster to be finalized within the next month.

The national team will also be practicing on Liberty’s campus from June 9-12, either at the Lady Flames new stadium or on their current field.

“It’s extremely exciting, because … I feel that Lynchburg is starting to get some recognition and some commitment in the sport of softball,” Richardson said. “There’s discussion about building additional ball fields in the community, and I think that Liberty is interested in being a part of that in some way.”

Richardson’s own experience with USA softball in itself is a major factor in Lynchburg’s growth into a softball city, and this summer, she will get a chance to further it from a whole
new angle.

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