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Lady Flames to Face ETSU and Virginia in Midweek Doubleheaders
Complete Game Notes
Liberty completes its 2014 home schedule on Tuesday, hosting ETSU for a doubleheader, starting at 2 p.m. The Lady Flames will then travel to Charlottesville, Va., Wednesday, to take on the Virginia Cavaliers.
Tuesday will mark the last home games for the Lady Flames at Liberty Softball Field, with a new softball stadium set to open in 2015. Liberty Softball Field has been the team's home since 1994, its first year as a Division I program. The facility has seen its share of highlights, including a 14-13, come-from-behind win over Tuesday's opponent, ETSU, on March 6, 2012.
Lady Flames at a Glance
Liberty snapped a 12-game winless streak on Friday, downing Winthrop 10-3 while recording a season-high 16 hits. The Lady Flames went 1-2 during the weekend series.
Katie Zavodny hits .346 with 32 runs scored and 26 stolen bases. On Saturday against Winthrop, Zavodny became the fifth player at Liberty with 200 or more career base hits. Hanna Nichols bats .304, while Megan Robinson (.291) leads the team with seven doubles, seven homers and a .530 slugging percentage. Kelby Allen (.268) has hit seven doubles and six homers, totaling 27 RBIs, while Blair Lawrence (.265) has 16 steals.
Sophomore RHP Annah Jo Brittingham pitched a five-hitter in her return to the circle on Friday, a 10-3 win over Winthrop. Brittingham and senior RHP Alyssa DiMartino are tied with three victories and 10 complete games on the season.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow all of this week's games through live stats. Live stats can be accessed through the Live Stats link on LibertyFlames.com. Tuesday's games between Liberty and ETSU will be streamed live, free of charge, through the Big South Network, with Alan York serving as play-by-play announcer and Jake Johnston providing color analysis.
Liberty vs. East Tennessee State (Liberty leads, 3-1)
ETSU (18-26, 6-13 Atlantic Sun) has won two games in a row, downing Furman and Jacksonville. The Buccaneers are 1-10 on the road this season. Katie Wolff leads the team with a .381 average, while Jackie Baird bats .327 with 16 homers and 42 RBIs. Nicole Fox (.289) has stolen a team-best 19 bases. Taylor Carter is 11-8 with a 3.54 ERA, and she also bats .276 with six home runs and 25 RBIs.
Liberty holds a 3-1 record all-time against East Tennessee State. Liberty swept ETSU in a doubleheader at Johnson City, Tenn., March 16, 2010, before the two teams split a twin bill on March 6, 2012 in Lynchburg.
What a Game!
The Lady Flames played the first home game under lights in program history on March 6, 2012, a 14-13 victory over East Tennessee State. Liberty trailed 12-2 during the fourth inning, but scored 10 runs on 11 hits in the bottom of the fourth to tie it at 12-all. Then freshman Hanna Nichols provided the game-winning sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.
Liberty's 10-run comeback was the largest deficit overcome in the team's NCAA Division I softball history. The Lady Flames set a Liberty Softball Field record with 18 base hits, and posted a 10-run inning for the first time since April 1, 2006.
Liberty vs. Virginia (Since 1994, Virginia leads, 26-6)
Virginia (6-38, 1-22 ACC) enters the week on a six-game winless streak and hosts James Madison on Tuesday. The Cavaliers' lone ACC win so far came against then No. 9 Florida State, 11-9, on March 8. Marcy Bowdren bats a team-best .305 with six homers and 20 RBIs. Lindsay Mayer hits .284, while Madison Labshere (.263) has recorded six home runs and 22 RBIs. Aimee Chapdelaine is 6-31 with a 7.70 ERA for Virginia.
Virginia is 26-6 against Liberty since the start of the 1994 season, and the Cavaliers have won the last five meetings overall. Last year, the Cavaliers swept the Lady Flames, 7-3 and 7-6, in a doubleheader on April 24 at Liberty Softball Field. Liberty's lone win at Virginia came on March 24, 2010, a 6-4 triumph by the Lady Flames.
Home Sweet Home
The Lady Flames hit .298 as a team in 17 home games so far this year, scoring 5.2 runs per game while hitting 19 home runs and stealing 39 bases.
Katie Zavodny bats .417 with 14 runs, 10 RBIs and 10 stolen bases at home, while Hanna Nichols hits .391 and Marybeth Sciolino, .367. Megan Robinson (.353) has hit five homers with 13 RBIs. Kelby Allen (.281) has driven in 15 runs and hit four homers during that span, while Blair Lawrence leads the team with 11 steals at Liberty Softball Field.
Tuesday's doubleheader will serve as Liberty's last games at Liberty Softball Field, the Lady Flames' home since the reinstatement of the program in 1994. The new softball stadium is slated to be ready for the 2015 season.
Liberty is 205-177 all-time at the facility, which opened on March 4, 1994 with a 9-5 George Mason win over the Lady Flames. Liberty's first win at Liberty Softball Field came on March 14, 1994, downing UMBC, 4-3.
The team went 16-2 at home in the 1999 and 2010 seasons. The Lady Flames went 84-74 in Big South home games, including 10-0 home league marks in 1997 and 2010.
Liberty's first-ever home games against a nationally-ranked opponent were March 22, 2005, when the Lady Flames hosted No. 5 Tennessee. Tennessee pitcher Monica Abbott, a 2008 Olympian, pitched the first three innings of game one.
On April 20, 2011 at Liberty Softball Field, former head coach Paul Wetmore picked up his 500th career coaching victory, a 7-1 win over Norfolk State.
Since 1994, when Liberty Softball Field opened, Liberty has won two Big South titles (2002, 2011) and three conference regular-season crowns (1999, 2000, 2007).
Liberty Softball Field has served as the home field for five Big South Players of the Year, one Big South Pitcher of the Year, nine NFCA All-Region players, two All-Americans and 60 all-conference selections.
Lady Flames' Season-High 16 Hits Fuel 10-3 Win Over Winthrop
Last Friday at Liberty Softball Field, Liberty won game two of a doubleheader, 10-3 over Winthrop, while recording a season-high 16 base hits. With the win, the Lady Flames snapped a 12-game winless streak.
Three different Lady Flames had three hits, in Katie Han, Megan Robinson and Katie Zavodny. Zavodny hit her third homer of the season, while Kelby Allen and Holly Seiz both went 2-for-4 and scored twice.
Sophomore RHP Annah Jo Brittingham, making her first start since April 5 at Coastal Carolina, went the distance in a 10-3 win over Winthrop, last Friday. Brittingham had missed nearly two weeks due to injury. She allowed just five hits to the Eagles, surrendering three runs while posting her 10th complete game of the season.
On Saturday against Winthrop, Katie Zavodny went 2-for-4, and tied her career high with three stolen bases. She is now the fifth player in program history with 200 or more career base hits.
During Liberty's last 10 games, the Lady Flames are 23-for-24 in stolen base attempts. The team leads the Big South with 77 stolen bases on the season, good for fourth all-time in program history. The program record of 93 was set in 1996.
Katie Zavodny leads the team, and ranks second in the Big South, with 26 stolen bases, while Blair Lawrence is fourth in the conference with 16 steals. Megan Robinson and Marybeth Sciolino have both stolen seven bases.
During the last five games, Megan Robinson hit 7-for-14 with three doubles and three runs scored, while Katie Han went 4-for-8. Hanna Nichols batted .357 with three RBIs, while Katie Zavodny (.353, one homer) and Blair Lawrence (.333) both went 5-for-5 in stolen-base attempts. Holly Seiz hit .333 with a pair of doubles, while Kelby Allen (.267) scored four runs and drove in a pair.