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Lady Flames to Open Home Series Against Gardner-Webb, Friday
Complete Game Notes
Liberty softball (17-20, 6-7 Big South) opens a brief, five-game homestand this weekend, hosting Gardner-Webb (6-25, 3-12 Big South) on Friday and Saturday. Friday's doubleheader is set to begin at 2 p.m., with Saturday's contest starting at 1 p.m. The Lady Flames will look to continue recent success over the Runnin' Bulldogs, as Liberty has beaten Gardner-Webb in each of the last 11 meetings.
Season at a Glance
Liberty is coming off of a six-game, five-day road swing that included games at Charleston Southern, Longwood and UNCG. The Lady Flames posted a 15-4 win over CSU on Sunday, before downing Longwood, 8-7, on Monday night. Liberty dropped both games at UNCG on Wednesday in its most recent action.
Katie Zavodny paces Liberty with a .398 batting average and is ranked No. 2 in the nation with 31 stolen bases. Sammi Shivock hits .325 with a team-high 27 RBIs. Hanna Nichols bats .318, and is tied with Kelby Allen (.281) for the team lead with five home runs.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow this weekend's games via Gametracker, provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications office. Also, for Saturday's game only, a live video stream will be available, for a small charge, via the Big South Network.
- The Lady Flames open a five-game homestand this weekend.
- Liberty pounded out a program-record-tying 19 hits at CSU on Sunday (W/15-4).
- Katie Zavodny tied her own program record with five hits against CSU, Sunday.
- Holly Seiz drove in a career-high six runs on Sunday at CSU.
- Liberty snapped Longwood's eight-game winning streak, 8-7, on Monday night.
- Zavodny was ranked No. 2 nationally in stolen bases per game entering the week (0.85).
- Hanna Nichols has hit .487 with 11 RBIs in conference play so far this season.
- Kelby Allen bats .415 with 11 RBIs during Big South games this year.
- Liberty is 18-3 all-time against Gardner-Webb, winning last 11 meetings in a row.
Liberty vs. Gardner-Webb
Gardner-Webb (6-25, 3-12 Big South) swept Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C., on Tuesday, posting an 11-8, comeback victory and a 2-0 shutout of the Blue Hose. The Runnin' Bulldogs had won just one out of their previous 22 games entering this week. Two-time first team all-confrence selection Samantha Meenaghan paces Gardner-Webb with a .430 batting average and 19 runs scored, while Kellie Beres (.389) leads the team with seven stolen bases. Morgan Baker, a two-time member of the Big South All-Conference first team, hits .337 with team highs of nine doubles, seven homers and 28 RBIs.
Liberty holds an 18-3 record in the all-time series against Gardner-Webb, and the Lady Flames have won each of the last 11 meetings between the two schools. Gardner-Webb's last softball win over Liberty came on April 11, 2009, a 6-5 Runnin' Bulldogs victory in Boiling Springs, N.C. The Runnin' Bulldogs have not won a game at Liberty Softball Field, a span of seven games.
Liberty vs. Gardner-Webb - 2012 Recap
The Lady Flames swept the Runnin' Bulldogs in a weekend series in Boiling Springs, N.C., March 24-25, 2012.
In game one, Chandler Ball and Alyssa DiMartino combined to pitch a six-hit shutout during a 4-0 Lady Flames win.
Game two saw the Lady Flames hit four doubles, one triple and one home run, as Liberty posted an 8-3 victory.
During the series finale, Liberty trailed, 5-4, with two outs in the top of the seventh, before Amber Donovan hit a three-run homer, providing the final score in a 7-5 win.
The Lady Flames are 6-2 at Liberty Softball Field so far this season.
The team scores over six runs per game at home. Hanna Nichos is batting .500 during home games, while Katie Zavodny hits .448 with 10 stolen bases. Kelby Allen (.385) has hit four doubles and three homers, while driving in 11 runs at Liberty Softball Field.
Liberty's pitching staff has recorded a 3.56 ERA in home contests, allowing opponents to bat .268. Chandler Ball is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA at home, while Annah Jo Brittingham boasts a 3-0 home record and 3.82 ERA.
The Lady Flames have shown the ability to make big comebacks in recent years.
On April 16, 2011, Liberty trailed Gardner-Webb, 8-1, with two outs in the top of the seventh. The Lady Flames rallied to tie the score before winning, 11-8, in eight innings.
The Lady Flames erased a 12-2 deficit with a 10-run fourth inning on March 6, 2012 against East Tennessee State, a game Liberty went on to win, 14-13.
Lady Flames Snap Longwood's 8-Game Winning Streak, 8-7, on Monday
Liberty built a 6-1 lead through 5 1/2 innings on Monday night at Longwood, before the host Lancers rallied to tie the game, 6-6, in the bottom of the sixth. The Lady Flames scored twice in the seventh, and held on for the 8-7 win, ending Longwood's eight-game winning streak. Liberty capitalized on six Longwood errors on the evening. Half of Liberty's six conference wins so far this season have been decided by one run each.
Katie Zavodny went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, while Hanna Nichols continued her hot hitting as well, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Record Hitting Sends Liberty Past CSU, 15-4
The Lady Flames opened a three-game conference series at Charleston Southern with two losses last Saturday. However, Liberty bounced back on Sunday, scoring 11 unanswered runs and registering a program-record-tying 19 hits in a 15-4 win over the Buccaneers.
Liberty's 15 runs were its most against a conference opponent since a 15-6 win over CSU on April 22, 2005.
On Sunday at CSU, Katie Zavodny tied her own program record with five hits (also Feb. 27 versus Hampton), and she is the only Lady Flame ever to record a five-hit game.
Holly Seiz drove in six runs on Sunday 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.
Katie Zavodny has made a run at several records so far this season.
She has set the single-game record for hits (5, two times), and also tied Alycia Stevens' (1995) record with a 23-game hitting streak from Feb. 24 through April 3.
Zavodny, with 31 stolen bases, needs nine more to break Stacy Radulovich's single-season program record of 39, set in 1996. The junior outfielder has stolen 69 career bases, 11 shy of Radulovich's (1996-99) program record for career stolen bases, 80.
Seiz-ing the Opportunity
Freshman Holly Seiz had a strong showing during Liberty's recently-completed six-game, five-day road swing. During the span of those six games, she hit .316 with one double, two home runs and nine RBIs. She now has driven in 17 runs so far this season.
Seiz made a splash during her first five games played this year, hitting .389 with one double, one triple, one homer, five RBIs and three runs scored at the East Carolina Pirate Invitational, Feb. 22-24.
Quick Conference Report
The Lady Flames played 13 straight conference games before competing in a non-conference doubleheader at UNCG on Wednesday.
Liberty is 4-1 in Big South home games this season, and is 2-6 in conference away contests. All four of the Lady Flames' conference games played on Friday have been decided by one run each. The Lady Flames have won one conference game in walk-off fashion (March 22 - PC), and lost one on a walk-off base hit (March 29 - Campbell). Liberty has pitched one shutout in conference play (W, 7-0 vs. Radford), and has been shut out by one Big South opponent (L, 0-11 at Charleston Southern).
The sophomore duo of Hanna Nichols and Kelby Allen has been very effective in conference play, as Nichols is batting .487 and Allen has hit .415, and both players have registered 11 RBIs. Allen and Nichols are two of five Lady Flames with two home runs in conference play, joined by Amber Donovan, Holly Seiz and Sammi Shivock.