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Lady Flames Close Out Regular-Season Road Schedule at JMU, Winthrop
Complete Game Notes
Liberty (19-23, 8-10 Big South) hits the road for the final time during the 2013 regular season, beginning with a doubleheader at James Madison (31-10, 12-0 Colonial) on Wednesday. The Lady Flames will then head to Rock Hill, S.C., to take on Winthrop (21-21, 9-7 Big South) in a weekend Big South series.
Season at a Glance
Liberty went 2-3 on its recently-completed homestand, including back-to-back wins over Gardner-Webb on Friday and Saturday. The Lady Flames downed the Runnin' Bulldogs, 3-1, on Friday before winning by run-rule, 13-5, on Saturday. Most recently, Longwood swept Liberty in a doubleheader on Monday at Liberty Softball Field.
Katie Zavodny bats .401 and is currently tied for third in the nation with 33 stolen bases. Sammi Shivock hits .338 with a team-high 10 doubles and 33 RBIs. Hanna Nichols and Amber Donovan both bat .317, while Kelby Allen (.300) paces the team with seven home runs.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow this week's games through Gametracker live stats, provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications office. On Wednesday, there will be a free live video web stream, through James Madison's MadiZone. The weekend series between Liberty and Winthrop will be available for viewing, for a small charge, via the Big South Network.
- Sammi Shivock was named Big South Player of the Week on Monday.
- The Lady Flames play five away games this week, closing out their 2013 road schedule.
- Kelby Allen tied her career high with two home runs on Monday against Longwood.
- Kassidy McCoy hit her first career homer during game two versus Longwood, Monday.
- Katie Zavodny is tied for third nationally in stolen bases per game (0.8)
- Hanna Nichols has hit .436 with 12 RBIs in conference play this year.
- Kelby Allen bats .421 with 17 RBIs against Big South opponents in 2013.
- Liberty is 9-10 all-time against James Madison, 28-28 versus Winthrop.
Liberty vs. James Madison
James Madison (31-10) sits atop the CAA standings with a 12-0 league mark. The Dukes, under the direction of first-year Head Coach Mickey Dean (formerly of Radford), is receiving votes in the latest NFCA national poll. JMU hits .316 as a team, while pacing the nation with 2.68 steals per game. The Dukes' ERA, 1.72, ranks 11th nationally. Jailyn Ford leads the Dukes with a .398 average and 11 home runs, while also going 16-2 with a 1.56 ERA. Sarah Mooney hits .375 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs, while Jasmine Butler (.338) has stolen 32 bases. Heather Kiefer (0.99 ERA) is 11-5 in the circle.
James Madison holds a 10-9 edge in the all-time series with Liberty, dating back to the Dukes' first season of collegiate softball, 2002. The teams split a doubleheader on April 13, 2011, with James Madison rallying for two sixth-inning runs to win game one, 4-3. The Lady Flames trailed, 6-4, through four innings of the nightcap, before coming back to win, 9-7. Kaylee West hit two homers and drove in five runs during game two.
Liberty vs. Winthrop
Winthrop (21-21, 9-7 Big South) hosts Campbell in a doubleheader on Tuesday before wrapping up an eight-game homestand with three games against Liberty. The Eagles bat .266 as a team, scoring an average of five runs per game while hitting 49 homers. McKenzi Corn bats .409 with 36 runs scored to pace Winthrop. Chelsey Schoenfeldt (.345) has hit 13 homers and driven in 50 runs. The Eagles' staff leader is Sutton Watson, who is 12-11 with a 3.29 ERA and 111 strikeouts.
The all-time series between Liberty and Winthrop is tied, 28-28, after Winthrop won two out of three games in Lynchburg last season. These two teams met twice during the 2011 Big South Softball Championship, with Winthrop winning game one on May 12, 5-1, before Tiffani Smith pitched a no-hitter to eliminate the Eagles in a 3-0 blanking, May 13.
Last season, Winthrop won both games of a doubleheader at Liberty, March 30. The Lady Flames responded with a 4-3, walk-off win in the series finale, with Jenny Law providing the winning hit in the bottom of the seventh.
Championship Venue Preview
This weekend, Liberty will get to preview the site of the 2013 Big South Softball Championship, which will be held at Winthrop's Terry Field in Rock Hill, S.C.
The Lady Flames have had a successful tournament history at Winthrop, capturing both of their conference titles (2002, 2011) in Rock Hill, S.C. Liberty also pocketed runner-up finishes in 1998 and 2008 when the championships were held in Rock Hill.
Sammi Shivock Named Big South Player of the Week
Junior designated player Sammi Shivock was named the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Softball Player of the Week, as announced Monday. She collected her first Player of the Week accolade, and is the second Lady Flame (Hanna Nichols, March 25) to be honored by the conference this season.
Shivock hit .538 with two doubles, one home run, seven RBIs and three runs scored during four games played last week. She played a pivotal role in Liberty's series victory over Gardner-Webb, driving in five runs over the span of the final two games, both wins.
During Monday's doubleheader between Liberty and Longwood, seven out of the Lady Flames' eight runs came via the long ball.
Kelby Allen went 3-for-3 with two home runs and three RBIs during game one, a 14-6 Longwood victory. Allen tied her career high for homers, previously set against Longwood, May 5, 2012, and she has recorded each of Liberty's last two multiple-homer contests. In the second inning, Amber Donovan hit a three-run home run for the second game in a row.
Kassidy McCoy slammed her first career homer during the nightcap and added a sacrifice fly, driving in both of Liberty's runs as the Lancers prevailed, 9-2.
During the Lady Flames' five-game homestand which concluded on Monday, Liberty hit .321 as a team with six home runs.
Kassidy McCoy batted .500, while Amber Donovan went 4-for-9 (.444) with two homers and six RBIs. Sammi Shivock and Kelby Allen both hit .438 with six RBIs. Katie Zavodny went .421 and scored four runs.
At present, Liberty has six batters who boast .300 batting averages, helping the Lady Flames hit .280 as a team.
Katie Zavodny leads the Lady Flames with a .401 average, while Sammi Shivock hits .338 and Kassidy McCoy checks in at .319. Hanna Nichols and Amber Donovan both bat .317, and Kelby Allen holds an even .300 average.
When Kassidy McCoy went 3-for-3 on April 12 against Gardner-Webb, she became the ninth Lady Flame this season with at least one three-hit game. She joins Kelby Allen, Amber Donovan, Hanna Nichols, Grace Nordan, Holly Seiz, Sammi Shivock, Jill Stephens and Katie Zavodny on the list of Liberty players with three hits in a game this year.
The last time that two Lady Flames freshmen had three-hit games during the same season was 2011, when current Liberty players Sammi Shivock and Katie Zavodny did so.
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 33 stolen bases, needs seven more to break Stacy Radulovich's single-season program record of 39, set in 1996. The junior outfielder has stolen 71 career bases, nine shy of Radulovich's (1996-99) program record for career stolen bases, 80.
Zavodny is the conference's leader in steals, and was tied for second in the nation in the latest NCAA Division I statistical rankings.