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Lady Flames Set to Host UNCG in Wednesday Twin Bill
Complete Game Notes
Liberty steps outside of conference play for a Wednesday doubleheader against UNCG, with the twin bill beginning at 2 p.m. The Lady Flames (5-27, 1-8 Big South) will wrap up a five-game homestand on Wednesday, while the Spartans (14-17, 3-6 SoCon) are beginning a five-game road swing. Liberty picked up its first conference win, Monday against Charleston Southern, and UNCG went 1-2 against Chattanooga in its most recent series.
UNCG holds a 31-9 record in the all-time series, winning the last six meetings. Liberty's last win over the Spartans came April 7, 2010, a 10-2 victory in Lynchburg.
Lady Flames at a Glance
Liberty downed Charleston Southern, 4-2, in the final game of a three-game series, Monday, picking up the first Big South win in the Dot Richardson Era. The Lady Flames bat .275 as a team at home, averaging 4.2 runs and 1.2 home runs per game.
Katie Zavodny bats .333 with 20 runs scored, and is second in the Big South with 17 stolen bases. Hanna Nichols (.315) recently completed an eight-game hitting streak, while Sammi Shivock (.294, 3 HR) is currently on a six-game hit streak. Kelby Allen (.264) leads the team with 16 RBIs, while Megan Robinson (.222) has a team-best five homers.
Senior RHP Alyssa DiMartino (2-9) leads the team with a 4.30 ERA. Sophomore RHP Annah Jo Brittingham (2-16) picked up her first career save, Monday against CSU. Senior SS/P Grace Nordan earned her first win of the season, March 22 versus N.C. Central.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow Wednesday's doubleheader through live stats. Live stats can be accessed through the Live Stats link on LibertyFlames.com. Both games will also be available for viewing, free of charge, through the Big South Network, with Alan York serving as play-by-play announcer and Chierstin Susel providing color analysis.
Liberty vs. UNCG (UNCG leads, 31-9)
UNCG enters Wednesday's doubleheader with a 14-17 overall record, including 3-6 in Southern Conference play. The Spartans bat .297 as a team, and are ranked 10th in the nation with 1.74 doubles per contest. Katelyn Bedwell hits .411 with 12 doubles and 26 RBIs, while Nicole Thomas (.275) leads the team with eight homers and 32 RBIs. Dominique Madruga (.333), Tatiana Alcala (.322) and Danielle Vega (.318) all bat .300 or better. Reanne Hanks is the pitching staff leader, with a 7-10 record and 3.84 ERA.
The Spartans are 31-9 all-time versus the Lady Flames, with UNCG claiming each of the last six meetings. Liberty and UNCG met 10 times as Big South opponents from 1994-97, coinciding with the Lady Flames' first four seasons as a Division I softball program. These two teams have met at least twice per year during each of the last nine seasons, with UNCG leading, 14-5, during that span.
Liberty vs. UNCG - 2013 Recap
UNCG swept a doubleheader against Liberty, April 10, 2013 at UNCG Softball Stadium.
The Lady Flames battled back from a 5-2 deficit in game one, before falling, 5-4. Katie Zavodny went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and stole her 30th base of the 2013 campaign.
In game two, UNCG held Liberty to three hits in an 8-0, six-inning victory over the Lady Flames. The Spartans' Erica Navarette and Kelly Lupton combined for the shutout. Jamie Crisp made her only start of the 2013 season during game two against UNCG. Crisp has started nine games for Liberty in the outfield this year.
Lynchburg Launching Pad
Since the start of the 2005 season, the Lady Flames have hit 219 home runs in 173 games played at the Liberty Softball Field, an average of 1.27 homers per game. During the same span, opponents have hit 144 home runs (0.83 per game). Thanks in part to this stat, Liberty is 99-74 at home since 2005.
This year, the Lady Flames have connected for 11 home runs in nine home games, including a season-best four round trippers during the home opener, March 14 against Campbell.
This season, the Lady Flames face eight opponents which also appeared on their 1994 schedule, their first season as an NCAA Division I program. These opponents include UNCG, Charlotte, UMBC, along with current Big South foes Longwood, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Radford and Winthrop.
Shut the Door
With its 4-2 win over Charleston Southern on Monday, Liberty improved its record to 4-0 when holding an opponent to two runs or less this season. Conversely, the Lady Flames have not won a game in 2014 when being held to two or fewer runs.
Lady Flames Claim 1st Big South Victory, 4-2, Over Charleston Southern
Liberty earned its first conference win under first-year head coach Dot Richardson, downing Charleston Southern, 4-2, in the series finale, Monday at Liberty Softball Field.
Alyssa DiMartino gave up one unearned run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings, before Annah Jo Brittingham came on to get her first career save.
Kelby Allen went 2-for-3, her second two-hit game in a row, while Marybeth Sciolino stole a career-high two bases.
Sammi Shivock is currently on a six-game hitting streak, which began on March 21 against N.C. Central. During her six-game hit streak, Shivock is batting .438 with two homers and five RBIs.
Fellow senior Marybeth Sciolino has made an impact at the plate lately, batting .455 (5-for-11) with three stolen bases in Liberty's last 10 games played. For the season, she is hitting .292 with six runs scored, five stolen bases and three RBIs in 20 appearances.
What a Relief!
Senior Grace Nordan, who has started 25 games at shortstop in 2014, made her second pitching appearance of the season, March 22. She pitched six innings of two-hit relief, allowing two unearned runs while gaining the decision in Liberty's 7-5 win over NCCU.
Sophomore Annah Jo Brittingham then closed the door on Charleston Southern's comeback attempt in a 4-2 win on Monday, earning her first career save.
Annah Jo Brittingham tossed a two-hitter on March 21 versus N.C. Central, as the Lady Flames defeated the Eagles, 9-0, in five innings. It marked Brittingham's second career shutout, and first since a two-hitter against Manhattan, March 2, 2013.
Earlier this season, on Feb. 15 in Wilmington, N.C., Alyssa DiMartino scattered seven hits during a 12-0, five-inning shutout victory over UMBC. It was DiMartino's first career complete-game shutout.
Last year, Brittingham and current junior Chandler Ball both tossed one shutout, giving Liberty three players on this year's roster who have thrown at least one collegiate shutout.
After hitting four total home runs over the span of the team's first 20 games this year, Liberty hit a season-high four home runs in a 9-8 setback on March 14 against Campbell.
Over the last 12 games, the Lady Flames have averaged nearly one homer per game, going deep 11 times.
Megan Robinson leads the Lady Flames with a career-high five homers, after entering the season with one career home run. Sammi Shivock and Kelby Allen follow with three round trippers each in 2014.
Senior Sammi Shivock joined elite company on March 14 against Campbell, recording her 100th career RBI with a solo homer in the first inning. She is now ranked seventh all-time at Liberty with 110 runs scored, and is seventh with 106 RBIs.
She is the fourth Liberty player all-time to have recorded both 100 runs and 100 RBIs, joining program standouts Jessica Moore (2005-07), Ashley Williams (2005-08) and Shivock's former teammate, Kelly Strickland (2009-12).
Racing to the Front
Senior Katie Zavodny, Liberty's career record holder in stolen bases, is ranked third all-time in Big South history with 96 career steals. She is only two stolen bases behind Ashley Carlson of Radford (2005-08), and with four more steals would become just the second player in conference history with 100 or more stolen bases. Jessica Falca of Coastal Carolina (1996-99) holds the Big South record with 196.
At present, only seven active NCAA Division I softball players have stolen more career bases than Zavodny's 96.