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Lady Flames to Compete at Longwood, Host CSU
Complete Game Notes
Liberty softball will compete in four Big South games in a three-day span this week. The Lady Flames (4-24, 0-5 Big South) will travel to Farmville, Va., for a single game at defending conference champion Longwood (17-6, 6-1) on Thursday before hosting Charleston Southern (17-18-1, 3-5) in a three-game home series, Friday and Saturday.
The Lady Flames are now 14-27 all-time against Longwood, after the Lancers swept a doubleheader from Liberty at Lancer Field last Thursday. Liberty leads the all-time series against CSU, 39-16, despite the Buccaneers winning five out of the last seven meetings.
Longwood was predicted to finish third in the Big South Preseason Coaches' Poll, while CSU was listed fifth and Liberty was voted seventh.
Flames at a Glance
Liberty snapped an 18-game winless streak with a 9-0 win over N.C. Central Friday, and the Lady Flames took the series, 2-1. The Lady Flames are 2-4 at home this year, where they average 1.5 home runs and 5.0 runs scored per game in 2014.
Hanna Nichols, who is on a team-best eight-game hitting streak, leads the Lady Flames with a .386 batting average. Katie Zavodny hits .341 with a team-high 18 runs and 17 steals. Nichols and Sammi Shivock (.263) have both driven in 10 runs, while Kelby Allen (.253) has 15 RBIs and Megan Robinson (.242) leads the team with four homers.
Senior RHP Alyssa DiMartino leads the team with a 4.74 ERA. Sophomore RHP Annah Jo Brittingham (2-14) tossed her second career shutout, a two-hitter, on Friday against NCCU. Senior SS/P Grace Nordan earned her first win of the season, Saturday.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow all of this week's games through live stats. Live stats can be accessed through the Live Stats link on LibertyFlames.com.
Liberty vs. Longwood (Longwood leads, 27-14)
Defending Big South champion Longwood (17-6, 6-1 Big South), went 2-1 during a weekend series against Winthrop. Longwood bats .298 to lead the Big South, while also sitting second in the conference with a 2.38 team ERA. 2013 NFCA All-American Megan Baltzell bats .433 with 21 runs scored and 18 RBIs, while Emily Murphy hits .394 with 27 runs scored. Elizabeth McCarthy is 6-3 with a 1.94 ERA, while Libby Morris was named Big South Pitcher of the Week after going 3-0 with a 1.11 ERA and 25 strikeouts last week.
Longwood holds a 27-14 all-time lead against Liberty in softball, including a 4-2 Lancer edge as Big South opponents. Liberty's Kelby Allen has found success against Longwood, with two-homer games in both 2012 and 2013.
Last Time Out (Liberty at Longwood)
Last Thursday at Lancer Field, Longwood swept the Lady Flames in a doubleheader.
The Lady Flames took a 2-1 lead with a run in the eighth inning of game one, before Longwood rallied for two in the bottom of the eighth for the 3-2 win. It marked the first extra-innings game during the Dot Richardson Era.
Longwood scored four times in the bottom of the second during game two, on the way to a 9-1, five-inning win over the Lady Flames.
Liberty vs. CSU (Liberty leads, 39-16)
Charleston Southern enters the week with a 17-18-1 record, including 3-5 in Big South play. The Buccaneers lead the league with 51 doubles, including a Big South-best 10 doubles by Jessica Brock (.330) and nine each by Georgi DeLio (.237) and Stephanie Sbardella (.284). CSU is third in the conference with a 2.57 team ERA, led by Jennifer Giles (8-5, 1.86 ERA). Cheyenne Gandara (6-6, 2.52) has recorded 93 strikeouts, good for third in the Big South.
Liberty leads CSU, 39-16, all-time, although the Buccaneers are 5-2 against the Lady Flames since the start of the 2012 campaign. The Lady Flames are 17-6 versus the Buccaneers at Liberty Softball Field, including a 10-game home winning streak that lasted from April 21, 2001 until April 8, 2011.
Liberty vs. CSU - 2013 Season Recap
Last season, CSU won the first two games of a weekend series in Charleston, 6-4 and 11-0. However, Liberty bounced back on April 8, scoring 11 unanswered runs and registering a program-record-tying 19 hits in a 15-4 win over the Buccaneers.
On April 8 at CSU, Katie Zavodny tied her own program record with five hits (also Feb. 27 versus Hampton), and is the only Lady Flame ever to record a five-hit game.
Holly Seiz drove in six runs at CSU, one shy of a school record. Seiz is the first Lady Flame since Kelly Strickland (April 20, 2011) to record six RBIs in a single game.
Brittingham Tosses Two-Hit Gem, Lady Flames Snap Skid
On Friday against N.C. Central, Annah Jo Brittingham tossed a two-hitter, as the Lady Flames defeated the Eagles, 9-0, in five innings. It marked Brittingham's second career shutout, and first since a two-hitter against Manhattan, March 2, 2013.
Megan Robinson went 3-for-3 with her team-best fourth home run, posting career highs of three runs scored and three RBIs.
Also on Friday, Sammi Shivock hit her 25th career home run, putting her in a four-way tie for fifth place in program history. The other three Lady Flames to hit 25 home runs were Shannon McKain (2005-08), Amanda Maska (2002-04) and Beth Bennett (2006-09).
On a Roll
Junior Hanna Nichols is on a team-best and career-high eight-game hitting streak. She is hitting .478 with two doubles, two homers, five runs and five RBIs during the streak, which began during the Big South opener against Campbell, March 14.
During Big South play, Nichols is batting .467 (7-for-15) with a 1.000 slugging percentage, while Katie Zavodny hits .444 (8-for-18) in league contests.
What a Relief!
Senior Grace Nordan, who has started 22 games at shortstop in 2014, made her second pitching appearance of the season, Saturday. She pitched six innings of two-hit relief, allowing two unearned runs while gaining the decision in Liberty's 7-5 win over NCCU.
Nordan is now 2-4 in 11 career pitching appearances, which includes tossing the final three innings of a combined no-hitter, April 20, 2011 versus Norfolk State. She also threw a complete game in a 4-3 setback at Virginia Tech of the ACC, May 1, 2012.
Katie Han hit her first career home run during game two on Saturday against N.C. Central, making her the ninth active Lady Flame with at least one career home run.
Jamie Crisp and Marybeth Sciolino both went 2-for-3 with one RBI versus N.C. Central on Saturday, as both players recorded their first career multiple-hit game.
Earlier on the day, Crisp went 1-for-3, registering her first career hit in game one.