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Program-Record 4 Liberty Players Honored on NFCA All-Region Teams
The Liberty softball team placed a program-record four players on the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Mid-Atlantic Softball Team.
Freshman Autumn Bishop was named to the first team at utility/non-pitcher. Sophomore pitcher Julia DiMartino and junior outfielder Tori Zavodny were both voted to the second team, while freshman second baseman Amber Bishop was tabbed to the third team.
All-Region honorees from all 10 regions are now eligible for selection to the 2017 NFCA Division I All-American teams.
Liberty's four All-Region players is double the program's previous high of two, set in 2011 (Ashley Bensiger and Kelly Strickland) and 2013 (Sammi Shivock and Katie Zavodny).
Autumn Bishop is the first Lady Flame to be named to the NFCA All-Region first team since Katie Zavodny in 2013. A native of Murrieta, Calif., Autumn Bishop was a first team all-conference selection. She hasn't missed a beat, despite missing a month with an injury. She batted .481 in 10 conference games, and currently bats .385 overall. Bishop is tied for fourth in the Big South triples (3) and is fifth in doubles (13) and tied for seventh in runs scored (39). She went on a 10-game hitting streak late in the season.
Hailing from Brockport, N.Y., 2017 Big South Pitcher of the Year and two-time first team all-conference selection Julia DiMartino has posted a 19-9 record with a 1.96 ERA, seven shutouts and 164 strikeouts. She pitched 48 consecutive scoreless innings during April, going over two weeks without allowing a single run. DiMartino leads the Big South in ERA, shutouts and strikeouts. In conference play, she went 11-3 with a 1.62 ERA and four shutouts. For her career, DiMartino has posted a 23-7 record with a 1.91 ERA and 171 strikeouts in Big South regular-season games.
A Concord, N.C., native, Tori Zavodny, a three-time all-conference outfielder, has had her best year yet, leading the Big South in batting average for a majority of the season. She currently ranks third in average (.388) and on-base percentage (.449), tied for third in runs (45) and triples (3) and fifth in total bases (91). Zavodny reached base safely in each of the last 17 games of the regular season, scoring 15 runs during that span. The Concord, N.C., native was named Big South Player of the Week on March 13. She has recorded 21 multiple-hit games.
A native of Murrieta, Calif., 2017 Big South Freshman of the Year Amber Bishop has been one of the nation's top freshmen this year. She was a Top 25 Finalist for the 2017 Schutt Sports/NFCA National Freshman of the Year. A .385 hitter, Bishop has set new program freshman records in both home runs (13) and RBI (59) this season. She leads the Big South in hits (72) and RBI (59) on the year. For the season, Bishop has posted a team-leading 22 multiple-hit games, including seven three-hit contests and one four-hit game.
The Lady Flames (40-22) will be competing in the 2017 NISC Regional Final at 1 p.m. this afternoon against Ohio at Liberty Softball Stadium. A win would send Liberty to the NISC Championship Round, set for Sunday through Wednesday at a site to be determined.