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Smith Named Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Senior right-hander Tiffani Smith was named the 2011 Big South Preseason Pitcher of the Year, while the Lady Flames were picked to finish second in the annual softball preseason poll, voted on by league coaches.
Smith becomes the first Liberty pitcher to win the preseason honor, and was also the first Lady Flame in history to earn Big South Pitcher of the Year honors in 2010. After leading the Big South with 211 strikeouts last year, she now has amassed 478 career strikeouts, ranking second in program history behind Sarah Swor, who recorded 489 K's from 2004 to 2007. She was named to the all-region team in 2010, becoming the fifth player in program history named to that list, and was a three-time Big South Pitcher of the Week last season. The standout also became the third 20-game winner in Liberty single-season history with a 20-7 record in 2010.
Radford's Kristen Shifflett was voted the Big South Preseason Player of the Year.
The two-time defending champion Radford Highlanders were again picked to finish first in the Big South this season. Radford received six first-place votes, while third-place Winthrop earned one first-place vote. Liberty, which ended the 2010 season with a 39-19 overall record, received five second-place votes and two third-place votes.
The Lady Flames will kick off the 2011 season with an appearance in the College of Charleston tournament, Feb. 25-27, in Charleston, S.C.
2011 Big South Softball Preseason Poll
4. Charleston Southern
5. Coastal Carolina
7. Presbyterian College
2011 Preseason Player of the Year: Kristen Shifflett, Radford
2011 Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Tiffani Smith, Liberty