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Liberty to Host Hampton in Softball Home Opener, Wednesday
Complete Game Notes
The Liberty softball team (3-6) opens its 2013 home schedule on Wednesday, hosting the Hampton Lady Pirates for a twin bill, beginning at 2 p.m. The Lady Flames' home opener got pushed back one day, from its original date of Tuesday, due to threatening weather in the forecast. Also, Liberty's doubleheader at East Tennessee State, originally scheduled for Wednesday, will now be played next Tuesday, March 5, at 2 p.m.
Season at a Glance
Liberty posted a 2-3 record at the East Carolina Invitational this past weekend. The Lady Flames began by downing Fairfield, 9-8, on an eighth-inning walk-off homer by Grace Nordan on Friday. On Sunday, Liberty beat host ECU, 5-4, getting back-to-back home runs from Holly Seiz and Sammi Shivock while also holding off a late Pirates rally.
Liberty has been a strong hitting team so far this season, sporting a team batting average of .284 and registering two extra-base hits per game on average. Six Lady Flames bat .300 or better, while three Liberty players have two home runs apiece.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow Wednesday's doubleheader through Gametracker, provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications office. Live stats can be accessed through the Live Stats link on LibertyFlames.com.
- The Lady Flames went 2-3 at the ECU Pirate Invitational, posting a pair of one-run wins.
- Liberty is 19-8 all-time in home openers, including 14-5 during its NCAA Division I era.
- Holly Seiz hit .389 this past weekend, including a three-run triple in 2nd collegiate at bat.
- Grace Nordan hit a walk-off two-run homer in eighth inning of 9-8 win against Fairfield.
- Sammi Shivock batted .400 at ECU Invite, with two doubles, one homer and four RBIs.
- Freshman Annah Jo Brittingham has posted two complete-game victories so far.
- Katie Zavodny ranks fourth in program history with 44 career stolen bases.
- The Lady Flames' roster includes 9 freshmen, 6 sophomores and 7 juniors.
- Liberty is 38-8 all-time against Hampton, including 2-0 in home openers.
ECU Pirate Invitational Recap
Liberty went 2-3 at the ECU Pirate Invitational this past weekend.
The Lady Flames opened with a wild, 9-8, win in eight innings over Fairfield. Grace Nordan hit 3-for-5, including a game-winning walk-off homer. Freshman Holly Seiz hit a three-run triple, and joined Kelby Allen and Katie Zavodny as Lady Flames with two hits.
Following setbacks to ECU, Notre Dame and Fairfield, Liberty pounded out 13 hits in a 5-4 win over the host ECU Pirates on Sunday.
Liberty built a 4-0 lead, thanks in part to homers by Seiz and Sammi Shivock. Pitcher Annah Jo Brittingham and the Liberty defense held off a furious ECU rally to win, 5-4.
While in Greenville, Liberty hit .301 as a team, with five doubles, one triple and five homers.
Walk (Off) This Way
Liberty got a walk-off, 9-8, win on Friday against Fairfield, with Grace Nordan hitting a game-winning homer in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Curiously, Liberty's previous extra-innings win was also won by a 9-8 score in eight innings. On April 7, 2012, the Lady Flames erased two four-run deficits against Charleston Southern. Jenny Law registered a walk-off single in the eighth, winning the game, 9-8.
Law also recorded a walk-off base hit to down Winthrop, 4-3, one week earlier, on March 31, 2012.
During the first inning of Liberty's 5-4 win over East Carolina on Sunday, Liberty got back-to-back homers from Holly Seiz and Sammi Shivock.
Prior to Sunday, the last time that the Lady Flames hit back-to-back homers was Feb. 24, 2012, against Savannah State, when Meredith Crisante and Amber Donovan hit consecutive round trippers in the fourth inning.
Seiz Seizes the Oppotrunity
Freshman Holly Seiz, playing for the first time this season, made an immediate impact at the plate for the Lady Flames this past weekend in Greenville. She hit .389 with one double, one triple, one homer, five RBIs and three runs scored.
Seiz slugged a three-run triple in Liberty's 9-8 win over Fairfield on Friday, and hit her first career homer during the first inning of a 5-4 victory over East Carolina, Sunday.
Liberty's lineup currently features six .300 hitters, led by freshman Holly Seiz, at .389.
Sammi Shivock (.357) is tied with Seiz for the team lead with five RBIs, while Blair Lawrence hits .350. Amber Donovan bats .321 with a team-leading three doubles.
Katie Zavodny (.313) leads the team with six stolen bases, and Hanna Nichols, at .300, has hit two homers.
Liberty vs. Hampton
Hampton brings a 4-9 record into this week's doubleheader against Liberty. The Lady Pirates started off the season 1-8, but won three out of four games at the Elon Phoenix Softball Clash this past weekend. Bobbi Langlois leads Hampton with a .423 batting average, and also has 10 RBIs. Adrianna Scott hits .353 with three homers and 11 RBIs. Jailynn Jackson is 3-3 with a team-leading 3.05 ERA.
Liberty is 38-8 all-time against Hampton, including 18-4 at home. In Liberty's most recent home game versus the Pirates, April 19, 2011, the Lady Flames won, 16-3, tying a Liberty Softball Field and program record with six home runs.
Liberty vs. Hampton - 2012 Recap
The Lady Flames and Pirates split a doubleheader on April 11, 2012, in the teams' most recent meetings.
Liberty scored eight runs during the second inning of game one and held on for a 9-6 victory. The Lady Flames recorded 11 hits, including three each from Meredith Crisante and Kaylee West, while eight different Lady Flames scored runs.
In game two, Margaret Wilkins hit 3-for-3 to lead Hampton to a 5-3 win over the Lady Flames. The Lady Pirates built a 4-0 lead during the first inning on their way to victory.
Liberty is 19-8 all-time in home openers, and 14-5 when opening the home schedule under current head coach Paul Wetmore.
Last year, Liberty dropped its home opener, 10-7, to East Tennessee State on March 6. In the nightcap, history was made when Liberty played its first-ever home game under the lights, and the Lady Flames rallied from a 10-run deficit to defeat ETSU, 14-13.
The Lady Flames' last home-opening win came on March 23, 2010, a 9-1 win over Radford. That win over Radford was Liberty's fifth straight home-opening triumph.
Wednesday's game will tie for the earliest home opener in program history. Liberty began its 1998 home schedule on Feb. 27 with a 10-2 win over Hampton.
The Lady Flames have faced 24 different opponents in home openers, and this will be the third time (also 1997, 1998) to begin the home slate against Hampton.
Lynchburg Launching Pad
Since the start of the 2005 season, the Lady Flames have hit 189 home runs in 144 games played at the Liberty Softball Field, an average of 1.31 homers per game. During the same span, opponents have hit just 102 homers. Thanks in part to this stat, Liberty is 88-56 (.611) at home since 2005.
Last season, Liberty hit 23 homers in 20 total home contests. In their last eight home games in 2013, the Lady Flames connected for 17 home runs, over two per game.