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Lady Flames to Wrap Up Regular Season Against Virginia Tech

April 29, 2013
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty softball will host Virginia Tech on Tuesday to close out its 2013 regular-season schedule.

Complete Game Notes

Liberty (19-33) hosts Virginia Tech (31-15) on Tuesday, concluding its 2013 regular-season schedule. Tuesday's doubleheader is set to begin at 2 p.m. at Liberty Softball Field. The Lady Flames will be looking to break a 12-game winless streak, while the Hokies will be playing their fourth and fifth games in a three-day span.

Season at a Glance
Liberty honored its two graduating seniors, outfielder Jill Stephens and manager Abbie Seale, with a Senior Day ceremony prior to Saturday's game against Coastal Carolina. The Lady Flames rallied to tie the game, 5-5, in the second, before the Chanticleers pulled away for a 9-5 win, in both teams' conference finale.

Katie Zavodny hits .390 and set the program single-season record with her 40th stolen base, last Wednesday. Sammi Shivock (.335) paces the team with 13 doubles and 41 RBIs, while Kelby Allen (.293) leads Liberty with nine homers. Amber Donovan (.300) has recorded seven homers, and Kassidy McCoy hits .294.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow Tuesday's games through Gametracker live stats, provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications office. Also, a live radio broadcast will be available on 90.9 FM The Light and at TheLightOnline.com, with Nick Pierce calling the action. Fans can also access a live video stream, for a small charge, through the Big South Network.

Quick Hits
- Liberty is 10-9 all-time in regular-season finales (won the last five in a row).
- The Lady Flames are looking to snap a 12-game winless streak (longest of season).
- On April 24, Katie Zavodny set a new program single-season record for steals (40).
- Sammi Shivock is ninth in program history in both career home runs (22) and RBIs (92).
- Kelby Allen hits .386 with seven homers and 21 RBIs in 18 home games this year.
- Chandler Ball entered Liberty's all-time top 10 in career strikeouts, Wednesday (183).
- Shivock, Hanna Nichols have both been named Big South Player of the Week in 2013.
- Virginia Tech leads the all-time series against Liberty, 29-11, winning last 12 in a row.

Liberty vs. Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech (31-15, 8-8 ACC) swept Virginia on Sunday, and faces the Cavaliers, Monday night before playing at Liberty on Tuesday. The Hokies defeated No. 9 UCLA, No. 14 Michigan and No. 19 Arizona earlier this season. Longwood of the Big South swept Virginia Tech on April 17. Two-time first-team All-ACC player Courtney Liddle bats .394 with 14 doubles and 30 RBIs. Kylie McGoldrick (.353) has hit a team-high eight homers, while Lauren Gaskill (.293) leads the way with 16 stolen bases and 40 runs scored. Kelly Heinz (14-5, 2.42 ERA) and Jasmin Harrell (14-7, 3.18) split time in the circle.

The Lady Flames and Hokies have met 40 times in a series that dates back to 1996, with Virginia Tech leading, 29-11. Virginia Tech has won the last 12 meetings since Liberty swept a doubleheader from the No. 24 Hokies in Blacksburg, May 4, 2006. Liberty defeated Virginia Tech five times in 1996, the Hokies' first year of Division I softball.

Liberty vs. Virginia Tech - 2012 Recap
Virginia Tech swept the Lady Flames on May 1, 2012, at Tech Softball Park.

Hokie pitcher Jasmin Harrell tossed a perfect game during a 9-0, five-inning Virginia Tech win over the Lady Flames in game one.

During game two, Liberty led Virginia Tech, 3-1, after five innings, before the Hokies rallied to tie the game in the sixth. Virginia Tech's Kylie McGoldrick hit a walk-off RBI single in the seventh, giving the hosts a 4-3 win. Liberty starting pitcher Grace Nordan pitched her first career complete game, and Hanna Nichols went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Out With a Bang
Liberty softball is 10-9 in regular-season finales since 1994. The Lady Flames have won their final regular-season contest during each of the last five years. Last season, Liberty closed out the regular season with a 14-6 win over Longwood, as Kelby Allen hit two home runs during the Lady Flames' victory. Liberty and Virginia Tech met during the Lady Flames' 2004 season finale, May 4, with the Hokies posting a 7-1 win in Blacksburg, Va.

Connections
Liberty freshman infielder Kassidy McCoy and Virginia Tech junior outfielder Kat Banks were teammates at Beech High School in Hendersonville, Tenn. McCoy and Banks helped Beech qualify for the Tennessee Class AAA state championship game in 2009 and 2010. The following season, Banks' first year at Virginia Tech, McCoy was the catcher on Beech's state championship team, with Banks' sister, Alex serving as starting pitcher.

Also, both Liberty Head Coach Paul Wetmore (20 years) and Virginia Tech Head Coach Scot Thomas (18 years) built their respective programs since their first season at the Division I level.

Weekly Recap
The Lady Flames fell twice to Virginia, Wednesday, before sustaining three setbacks to Coastal Carolina on the weekend.

During game one on Wednesday, a 7-3 UVA win, Katie Zavodny stole her 40th base of the season, putting her in sole possession of first place in program history. Sammi Shivock hit her seventh homer of the season, and 22nd of her career.

The Lady Flames battled back to within one run on three occasions during the nightcap, with the Cavaliers holding off Liberty, 7-6. Kassidy McCoy went 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs.

During Saturday's contest between the Lady Flames and Chanticleers, Liberty faced a 5-0 second-inning deficit. The hosts then erupted for five runs in the second, including Kelby Allen's team-leading ninth homer of the season and a three-run double by Sammi Shivock. Coastal Carolina pulled away late for the 9-5 victory.

Double the Fun
The Lady Flames have registered 64 doubles this year, already surpassing last season's total of 60.

Sammi Shivock hit her team-best 13th double of the season on Saturday. She has recorded the most doubles by a Lady Flame since 2008, when Ashley Williams connected for 13 two-baggers.

Amber Donovan and Jill Stephens are both tied for second on the team with nine doubles, while Kelby Allen and Hanna Nichols have hit seven doubles each.
 
Record Setting
Katie Zavodny set Liberty's program record for single-season stolen bases last Wednesday, stealing her 40th base and breaking Stacy Radulovich's (1996) record of 39.

Zavodny has 78 career stolen bases, and needs three more steals to break Radulovich's career record of 80 (fourth all-time in Big South history), set from 1996-99.

Earlier this season, Zavodny set the single-game record for hits (5, twice), and tied Alycia Stevens' (1995) record with a 23-game hitting streak from Feb. 24 through April 3.

Zavodny leads the Big South and ranks fourth in NCAA Division I in stolen bases.

On the Home Stretch
Liberty is in the midst of a seven-game homestand to end the regular season schedule, setting a new program record for most home games in a row to close a regular season.

Kassidy McCoy bats .405 during home games, while Kelby Allen hits .386 with seven homers and 21 RBIs. Katie Zavodny (.369) has scored 15 runs and Hanna Nichols has a .365 average at home. Sammi Shivock has driven in 16 runs at Liberty Softball Field.

Chandler Ball is 5-3 in home contests, including a five-hit shutout over Radford on April 3. Annah Jo Brittingham tossed her first shutout, a two-hitter against Manhattan, on March 2 at Liberty Softball Field.

Moving On Up
Sammi Shivock and Chandler Ball have recently entered Liberty's program record books.

Shivock is now tied for ninth in program history with 22 career home runs (Dawn Jeffs, 2006-07), and holds ninth place in RBIs (92). She is ranked 10th in program history in runs scored (98).

Ball, a sophomore, ranks 10th all-time at Liberty with 183 career strikeouts.