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Lady Flames Travel to Florida to Continue Spring Break Trip
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Liberty softball travels to Florida this week and will play six games in the Sunshine State, beginning with a 6:30 p.m. contest at UCF (14-12) on Wednesday. The Lady Flames will then play five games in Clearwater, Fla., at the USF Spring Invitational. Liberty will meet Iowa State (10-10), 2012 Women's College World Series participant USF (14-10), Temple (5-9), Maine (1-18) and Dartmouth (5-3) in Clearwater over the weekend.
Season at a Glance
Liberty (8-8) went 3-1 over the weekend at the NCCU Eagle Challenge to begin its 10-game Spring Break trip. The Lady Flames' bats came alive in the final game, a 16-3 win over NCCU that featured season highs in runs, hits, RBIs and doubles. Liberty's pitching staff has been strong lately, posting a 1.66 ERA over its last six games.
Sammi Shivock leads Liberty with a .400 batting average and 14 RBIs, while Amber Donovan hits .389 with five doubles. Katie Zavodny, currently on an eight-game hitting streak, bats .386 with 12 runs scored and leads the Big South with 17 stolen bases.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow all of Liberty's games this week through Gametracker, provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications office. Live stats can be accessed through the Live Stats link on LibertyFlames.com.
- Liberty will finish out its southern Spring Break trip with 6 games in Florida.
- The Lady Flames scored a season-high 16 runs on Sunday at N.C. Central (W, 16-3).
- Amber Donovan went 4-for-4 with two doubles, three runs scored and five RBIs at NCCU.
- Sophomore Chandler Ball pitched a complete-game four-hitter on Sunday at NCCU.
- Freshman Kenzie Friesen picked up her first two career pitching wins over the weekend.
- Katie Zavodny has tied her career-best hitting streak, at eight games.
- Zavodny leads the Big South with 17 stolen bases, and ranks third all-time at Liberty.
- Megan Robinson has had two hits in each of Liberty's last three games.
- The Lady Flames' roster includes 9 freshmen, 6 sophomores and 7 juniors.
Liberty went 3-1 at the NCCU Eagle Challenge in Durham, N.C., Saturday and Sunday. The Lady Flames swept the host Eagles in three games and fell to UNC Wilmington.
Liberty scored four runs in the sixth inning of an 8-4 win over N.C. Central on Friday, with Holly Seiz providing a key two-RBI hit in the sixth.
During game one of a doubleheader on Sunday, Chandler Ball pitched a complete-game four-hitter, allowing one unearned run. Amber Donovan hit a two-run homer in the seventh for insurance.
Liberty then erupted for a season-high 16 runs in a 16-3 win over NCCU in game two, scoring nine runs in the fourth inning. Amber Donovan went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and five RBIs, Katie Han had four RBIs, and 10 different Lady Flames scored runs.
Shutting the Door
Liberty's pitching has posted a 1.66 ERA in the team's last six games. That span has featured a two-hit shutout by freshman Annah Jo Brittingham vs. Manhattan and a pair of four-hitters by sophomore Chandler Ball. Additionally, freshman Kenzie Friesen picked up her first two wins of the season, Saturday and Sunday, not allowing a run to N.C. Central.
Liberty went 16 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run before N.C. Central scored four times in the fifth inning on Saturday. Then, the Lady Flames posted a 14-inning streak without allowing an earned run, spanning three games on Saturday and Sunday.
Friesen posted a victory in her first career start, becoming the first Liberty freshman pitcher since Alyssa DiMartino (March 4, 2011) to record a win in her first career start.
Liberty's Amber Donovan went 5-for-7 over the weekend, reaching base during each of her last six plate appearances. She hit two doubles and a homer, scoring four runs and driving in seven runs at the NCCU Eagle Challenge. Her five RBIs on Sunday were the most by a Lady Flame since Jenny Law had five RBIs against UNCG on April 4, 2012.
Sophomore Megan Robinson also had a big weekend, hitting 6-for-10 with seven runs scored. She posted three two-hit games to close the invitational, and is now tied for second on the team with 10 runs scored.
Freshman Katie Han had a triple and drove in a total of four runs on Sunday against NCCU. Her four RBIs were the most by a Liberty freshman since Kelby Allen drove in four runs during the Lady Flames' 2012 regular-season finale, a 14-6 win over Longwood.
Liberty vs. UCF (UCF leads series, 3-0)
UCF (14-12) will look to get back on the winning track after losing its last four games, including all three games in its conference-opening series against UAB. The Knights went 39-19 last season, qualifying for the NCAA Regionals. Jasmine Acevedo paces UCF with a .340 average, while Maddy Schroeder (.333) has stolen 13 bases and Farrah Sullivan has a team-high 12 RBIs. In the circle, Shelby Turnier is 7-4 with a 2.28 ERA, and 2012 Conference USA Co-Pitcher of the Year Mackenzie Audas is 6-7 with a 3.25 ERA.
UCF holds a 3-0 advantage in the all-time series against Liberty. The Knights defeated the Lady Flames, 4-3, in eight innings on March 16, 2011 in Orlando, in the teams' most recent meeting. Jenny Law and Sammi Shivock both had two hits for Liberty.
Liberty vs. Iowa State (Iowa State leads series, 2-1)
Five out of Iowa State's (10-10) last eight games have come against nationally-ranked opponents, including a 2-1 win over No. 8 Oregon on Saturday. Two-time All-Big 12 player Erica Miller, at .397 with 21 RBIs, leads a strong ISU offense that hits .303 as a team. Sarah Hawryluk bats .358, and Tori Torrescano (.352) leads the team with six homers. Taylor Smith paces Iowa State with a 3.68 ERA and a 4-3 record.
Iowa State leads Liberty, 2-1, in the all-time series. The Lady Flames won the first meeting, 2-1, on March 18, 2006, in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Cyclones downed Liberty, 3-0, on Feb. 25, 2011, in Charleston, S.C., in the Lady Flames' 2011 season opener.
Liberty vs. USF (USF leads series, 1-0)
USF (14-10) opened its 2013 season ranked No. 10 after posting a 50-14 record and making a run to the Women's College World Series in 2012. The Bulls have won their most recent eight games. USF's pitching is strong, as the team holds a 1.65 ERA and a .177 opponents' batting average. 2012 All-Region pitcher Sara Nevins is 6-4 with a 1.30 ERA and 72 strikeouts, while Lindsey Richardson (4-3) has a 1.58 ERA. Stephanie Medina bats .339, and 2012 All-Region player Kourtney Salvarola hits .316.
USF defeated Liberty, 10-0, on March 16, 2010 in the only game played between these two programs to date. The game was held in Clearwater, Fla.
Liberty vs. Temple (Temple leads series, 1-0)
For the second weekend in a row, Temple (5-9) will compete in Clearwater, after going 3-2 in the USF Under Armour Showcase. Liberty and Temple have faced four common opponents this year, in Hampton, Fairfield, SIU Edwardsville and Tennessee Tech.
Annie Marcopolus hits .407, while 2012 All-Atlantic 10 first team selections Sarah Prezioso (.372) and Stephanie Pasquale (.356) are tied for the team lead with 17 RBIs apiece.
Liberty and Temple have only met once on the softball diamond, a 2-0 win for the Owls on Feb. 25, 2000, in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Liberty vs. Maine (Liberty leads series, 3-1)
Maine (1-18) has gone its last 18 games without a victory after winning its season opener against N.C. Central. The Black Bears, like Temple, will be spending the weekend in Clearwater for the second week in a row. Entering the week, Maine averaged two runs per game, hitting .218 as a team while also posting a 4.53 ERA. Jessica Burk leads Maine with a .288 average, while 2012 All-Region member EmJ Fogel bats .266.
Liberty leads the all-time series with Maine, 3-1. These two teams met each season from 2000 to 2002, with the Lady Flames winning the first three meetings. Maine then defeated Liberty, 13-1, on March 13, 2002 at the Rebel Spring Games in Orlando, Fla.
Liberty vs. Dartmouth (series tied, 1-1)
Darmouth enters the week at 5-3, and has not played a game since March 2. Kristen Rumley, an honorable mention selection to the 2012 All-Ivy League Team, is 4-1 with a 2.00 ERA. Hillary Hubert leads the Big Green with a .381 average and seven RBIs, and is the only Dartmouth player hitting .300 or better this season. Katie McEachern bats .294 on the season.
Liberty and Dartmouth have split their two meetings with each other. The Lady Flames downed the Big Green, 11-0, on March 5, 2010, in Woodstock, Ga., during the teams' last matchup. That game was capped by a seven-run second inning for Liberty.