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Big South-Leading Liberty Heads to Winthrop for Weekend Series
Complete Game Notes
Big South-leading Liberty (32-17, 13-2 Big South) closes out the road portion of its regular-season schedule with a three-game conference series at Winthrop, Friday and Saturday. Winthrop (22-25, 7-8) enters the weekend in a tie with Charleston Southern for third place in the Big South.
Winthrop leads the all-time series against Liberty, 36-32. The home team has swept the season series in three out of the last four years.
Lady Flames at a Glance
Liberty extended its winning streak to a program-record 13 games with a 6-0 win, Tuesday against Virginia Tech, before losing game two, 3-2. The Lady Flames outscored opponents, 80-6, during their 13-game winning streak, tossing nine shutouts. That stretch also featured a program-record six straight shutouts and 44 consecutive shutout innings.
Tori Zavodny leads the Big South with a .410 batting average. Autumn Bishop follows at .404. Amber Bishop (.367) has set a new program freshman record with 47 RBI. Sarah Robertson (.350) is tied for second in the conference with 13 doubles, while Alexia Taylor (.350) is currently on a 12-game hitting streak. Jasmeen Click (.345) stole her 20th base on Tuesday, while also making a catch that appeared on SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays.
Kenzie Friesen (11-1) leads the Big South with a 1.81 ERA, pitching three shutouts. Julia DiMartino (14-7) is second in the conference in ERA (2.00) while leading the Big South in shutouts (6) and strikeouts (130). DiMartino pitched 48 straight scoreless innings, from April 4-18. Chase Cassady (4-7, 4.55 ERA) has tossed two shutouts this year.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow this weekend's series through live stats. StatBroadcast live stats will appear courtesy of Winthrop Athletic Communications. Friday's game will be streamed live, free of charge, on the Big South Network. Saturday's first game will air live on ESPN3.com.
- Dot Richardson earned her 100th career victory, last Friday at Gardner-Webb.
- Amber Bishop was named a Top 25 finalist for NFCA National Freshman of the Year.
- Julia DiMartino was named Big South Pitcher of the Week on Monday, while Taylor Hoffman was named Big South Freshman of the Week.
- Liberty leads the Big South and ranks 20th in the nation with a .318 batting average.
- Liberty Softball Stadium was featured on NCAA.com this week.
- Kenzie Friesen is 9-1 with a 0.82 ERA in her 12 starts in the circle this season.
- Sarah Robertson recorded her 100th career hit, Tuesday against Virginia.
Liberty vs. Winthrop (Winthrop leads, 36-32) Current Series Streak: Liberty W3
Last Liberty Win: Liberty 5, Winthrop 3 (March 19, 2016 - Lynchburg, Va.)
Last Winthrop Win: Winthrop 3, Liberty 0 (April 26, 2015 - Rock Hill, S.C.)
Winthrop (22-25) earned an 8-7 win at North Carolina on Wednesday. Maddie Antone ranks third in the Big South with a .397 average, while also driving in a team-best 31 runs. Ashley Westbrooks hits .323 with five homers and 27 RBI. Leah Young (.241) leads the team with nine homers. Kiley Majette is 13-13 in the circle with a 3.76 ERA.
Winthrop leads the all-time series against Liberty, 36-32, despite Liberty sweeping a three-game series last year at Liberty Softball Stadium. Liberty picked up a key win over Winthrop on its way to the 2011 Big South Softball Championship title, as Tiffani Smith pitched a no-hitter to eliminate the Eagles in a 3-0 blanking, May 13, 2011.
Liberty vs. Winthrop - 2016 Recap
Liberty swept Winthrop in a three-game series, March 18-19, 2016. The Lady Flames hit .382 as a team, scoring nearly eight runs per game, while Winthrop hit .195.
Liberty swept a doubleheader, March 18, winning by 11-4 and 7-0 scores.
Game three saw Liberty prevail, 5-3.
- Liberty has posted a 13-2 record during the month of April, outscoring opponents, 86-14 this month.
- Liberty is currently on an eight-game Big South winning streak, one shy of a program -record nine-game conference winning streak, April 17, 2000 through April 7, 2001.
- Liberty tossed six straight shutouts, from April 7-14, and also held opponents scoreless for 44 straight innings. Both streaks set new program records.
- Liberty Head Coach Dot Richardson earned her 100th career victory, last Friday at Gardner-Webb. She is the third Liberty softball head coach with 100 wins, and first since Paul Wetmore (1994-2013). Wetmore earned his 100th career win on April 18, 1997.
- Liberty has defeated 10 opponents by the eight-run rule this season. The program record for run-rule victories is 12, set in 1997.
- The Lady Flames' 13 shutouts this season are their most since a program-record 20 shutouts in 1999, and tied with the 1997 Liberty team for second most in program history.
- Liberty needs three more Big South wins to tie last year's program-record total of 16 conference victories.
- Liberty's 32 wins are its most since going 39-18 in 2010. The program record for single-season wins is 41, set in 1999 (41-25) and 2006 (41-23).
- The Lady Flames have set a program record with 10 double-digit scoring games in 2017.
Liberty (13-2) leads the Big South standings by two games over Campbell (11-4) with six games to play. Liberty's magic number to clinch the No. 1 seed is four.
The Lady Flames lead the conference in batting average, scoring, doubles, triples, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and sacrifice flies. In the circle, Liberty has a Big South-best 24 complete games, 13 shutouts and 249 strikeouts.
Amber Bishop and Tori Zavodny are tied for the conference lead in runs scored, while Bishop is tied for first in hits and Zavodny is first in batting average. Kenzie Friesen leads the league in ERA (1.81), while Julia DiMartino leads in shutouts (6) and strikeouts (130).
Amber Bishop Named a Top 25 Finalist for NFCA National Freshman of the Year
Infielder Amber Bishop was named a Top 25 finalist for the Schutt Sports/NFCA National Freshman of the Year. The Top 10 finalists will be revealed on May 11, with the field narrowed to three on May 24. The National Freshman of the Year will be released May 30.
She ranks 16th nationally, and fourth among all NCAA Division I freshmen, in RBI. Her 58 hits rank 19th overall in the nation, and tied for third among Division I freshmen.
Season highlights include a two-homer, six RBI game at Charleston Southern, on March 17 and a two-out, game-winning home run at Campbell on April 2.
Cue the Theme Music
With two runners on and two outs and Liberty trailing Virginia Tech, 3-2, in the top of the seventh on Tuesday, Liberty's Jasmeen Click robbed the Hokies of extra bases with a sensational diving catch. Her catch was featured on ESPN's SportsCenter Top 10 Plays that night. She is the second player in program history to have a play make the Top 10, joining Rylee Reynolds' diving catch against Gardner-Webb, April 29, 2016.
More Weekly Honors
Julia DiMartino was named Big South Pitcher of the Week on Monday, joining teammates Elizabeth Engler and Kenzie Friesen, who were honored earlier this season.
Taylor Hoffman was tabbed Big South Freshman of the Week on Monday, joining Amber Bishop and Autumn Bishop as Freshman of the Week honorees this year.
Amber Bishop, Alexia Taylor and Tori Zavodny have all received Big South Player of the Week honors in 2017, giving Liberty eight different weekly honorees this season.
On a Tear/100 Club
Alexia Taylor enters the weekend on a 12-game hitting streak, during which she has batted .405 (15-for-37). Her hitting streak is Liberty's second-longest this season, as Sarah Robertson went on a 13-game hitting streak, March 4-25.
Also, Taylor became Liberty's fourth player in program history to reach 100 career hits as a sophomore last year. Robertson, a sophomore, reached the 100-hit mark last Tuesday against Virginia.
No Runs Allowed
Julia DiMartino pitched 48 straight scoreless innings, going over two weeks without allowing a single run. Starting on April 4, DiMartino is 7-1 with a 0.43 ERA, tossing five shutouts and 52 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings pitched, holding opponents to a .167 average.
Kenzie Friesen went 23 innings without allowing a run, from April 4-15. In the month of April, Friesen is 6-0 with a 0.52 ERA and two shutouts in 40 1/3 innings pitched.
Stingy in Conference Play
Kenzie Friesen is 5-0 with a 0.46 ERA in Big South play this year, while Julia DiMartino is 8-1 with a 1.76 ERA and three shutouts in conference games.
For her career, DiMartino is 20-5 with a 2.02 ERA all-time in Big South play.
Zavodny Zooming up the Charts
Tori Zavodny is ranked fourth in program history in career runs scored (123) and walks (70), third in triples (11), fifth in stolen bases (58) and tied for fifth in sac flies (5).
She joins Jessica Moore (2005-07) as the only Lady Flames to record double figures in career doubles, triples and home runs.
For the (Freshman) Record
Amber Bishop has tied a program freshman record with nine homers, while setting a new Liberty freshman standard with 47 RBI.
Last year, Julia DiMartino set Liberty freshman records in wins (17), strikeouts (187), shutouts (7) and no-hitters (2 - tied).
Blazing the Basepaths
Jasmeen Click stole her 20th base on Tuesday against Virginia Tech, becoming the seventh player in program history with a 20-steal season. Junior Tori Zavodny stole 24 bases as a freshman in 2015 before swiping 29 bags last year.