The Liberty softball team opens its Big South Conference home schedule this weekend, hosting Presbyterian College on Friday and Saturday.
Complete Game Notes Liberty softball (11-12, 0-1 Big South) returns to Liberty Softball Field after playing its last 11 games away from Lynchburg. The Lady Flames host Presbyterian College (14-12, 0-0 Big South) for a three-game series, with a doubleheader on Friday at 2 p.m. and a single game on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Season at a Glance After going 6-4 on its southern Spring Break trip, Liberty played its Big South Conference opener at Radford on Wednesday. The Lady Flames built a 3-0 lead on RBI hits by Grace Nordan and Kelby Allen in the second inning before the Highlanders tallied six unanswered runs. Katie Zavodny went 2-for-4, extending her hitting streak to 15 games. The Lady Flames hit .271 as a team, scoring 4.7 runs per game. Katie Zavodny (.397)is on a 15-game hitting streak and is first in the nation, averaging one stolen base per game. Amber Donovan (.382) and Sammi Shivock (.351) are tied for the team lead with seven doubles, while Shivock has a team-leading 17 RBIs.
How to Follow the Lady Flames Fans can follow all three games this weekend through Gametracker, provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications office. Live stats can be accessed through the Live Stats link on LibertyFlames.com.
Quick Hits - Liberty opens the home portion of conference play this weekend against Presbyterian. - The Lady Flames began conference play with a 6-3 setback at Radford, Wednesday. - Liberty won twice in walk-off fashion last Saturday (GW: walk vs. Temple, error vs. Maine). - Katie Zavodny is on a career-best 15-game hitting streak, hitting .469 during that span. - Zavodny ranked No. 1 nationally with 1.05 stolen bases per game entering the week - Amber Donovan hit .480 with four doubles and nine RBIs over Liberty's last 10 games. - Kelby Allen has driven in five runs over the last two games for the Lady Flames. - Liberty is 11-8 all-time in conference home openers. - The Lady Flames' roster includes 9 freshmen, 6 sophomores and 7 juniors. Liberty vs. Presbyterian College All-Time Series: Liberty leads, 9-7 Presbyterian College begins conference play on Friday, and is the last Big South team yet to play a conference tilt in 2013. Most recently, PC (14-12) split a doubleheader with North Carolina A&T, Sunday. Shelby Petik has registered six homers and 24 RBIs, leading PC in both categories. Erin Ruff bats .338 with a team-leading 20 runs scored, while Cat Tarvin (.318) and Kirby Legacki (.295) have both hit seven doubles. Kensley Loudermelk paces the pitching staff with an 8-6 record and a 3.53 ERA. Liberty leads the all-time series against Presbyterian College, 9-7. The Lady Flames won four out of the first five meetings with the Blue Hose, including a three-game sweep in 2009. Starting with the 2010 season, PC holds a slight, 6-5 edge. These two teams have split two meetings in the Big South Softball Championship all-time.
Liberty vs. Presbyterian College - 2012 Recap Liberty and Presbyterian College split their season series last year, with the Lady Flames winning the first two meetings and PC taking the last two matchups. On April 20, Liberty swept a doubleheader at Presbyterian, 3-1 and 4-1, as Lady Flames Chandler Ball (three hits) and Alyssa DiMartnio (seven) both tossed complete games. The next day, Sammi Shivock hit a three-run homer to give Liberty a 3-2 lead, but PC rallied for two runs in the fifth inning, earning the 4-3 victory. The Lady Flames and Blue Hose met in an elimination game in the 2012 Big South Softball Championship, with Presbyterian College prevailing, 4-1, on the strength of a one-hitter by Leslie Hensley.
Conference Home Openers Liberty opens the home portion of the conference slate against Presbyterian for the first time, after facing Radford in its last three conference home openers. The Lady Flames are 11-8 all-time in their first conference home contest of a season. The team won six straight Big South home openers, from 2005 through 2010, winning by an average score of 6-2 in those contests. Liberty fell to Radford to begin home conference play in 2011 and 2012.
Lynchburg Launching Pad Since the start of the 2005 season, the Lady Flames have hit 192 home runs in 147 games played at the Liberty Softball Field, an average of 1.31 homers per game. During the same span, opponents have hit just 104 homers. Thanks in part to this stat, Liberty is 90-57 (.612) at home since 2005. Last season, Liberty hit 23 homers in 20 total home contests. In their last eight home games in 2013, the Lady Flames connected for 17 home runs, over two per game. Dating back to last season, Liberty has hit at least one homer in 10 out of its last 11 home games.
Lady Flames Open Conference Play With 6-3 Setback at Radford Liberty opened conference play at Radford on Wednesday, taking on the Highlanders in its conference opener for the fourth year in a row. The Lady Flames built a 3-0 lead with a three-run second inning that featured RBI hits by Grace Nordan and Kelby Allen. However, the Highlanders tallied the final six runs, good for the 6-3 win. It marked the second year in a row in which Liberty's first Big South game resulted in a 6-3 loss to Radford. Liberty is now 7-13 all-time in conference softball openers since beginning play in the Big South in 1994.
Zavodny Races Into National Lead in Stolen Bases Katie Zavodny is the conference and national leader in steals, having stolen 23 bases in 23 games played this season, already the fifth-most stolen bases by a Liberty softball player in a single season. Entering this week, she was ranked first in the NCAA Division I national stolen bases listing, at 1.05 steals per game. Zavodny is on pace to break Liberty's single-season program record for stolen bases, 39, set by Stacy Radulovich in 1996. Last 10 During the last 10 games, Amber Donovan is hitting .480 with four doubles, two homers, nine RBIs and nine runs scored, while Katie Zavodny is batting .400 with eight stolen bases and four runs scored. In that same span, Megan Robinson hit .360 with seven runs scored. Freshman pitcher Kenzie Friesen has made six appearances over the last 10 games, including two starts, posting a 3-0 record with a 1.70 ERA in 12 1/3 innings pitched. Weekly Recap Liberty posted a 3-3 record last week in Florida, falling to 2012 NCAA Tournament participant UCF before going 3-2 at the USF Spring Invitational. The Lady Flames' time in Clearwater, Fla., began with losses to Iowa State and 2012 Women's College World Series team USF, and ended with three straight wins over Temple, Maine and Dartmouth. On Saturday, Liberty defeated Temple, 6-5, in eight innings, scoring the final run on a bases-loaded walk to Grace Nordan. Later that same day, the Lady Flames scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Maine, 4-3. In Liberty's last game in Florida, on Sunday, the Lady Flames recorded a season-high 15 hits, including eight for extra bases, in a 10-4 win over Dartmouth.
15 in a Row Katie Zavodny is hitting .469 (23-for-49) with 17 stolen bases during her current 15-game hitting streak, the longest hitting streak by a Lady Flame since Ashley Bensinger's 15-game hitting streak in 2011. Amanda Maska had a 15-game hitting streak in 2004. The longest hitting streak in program history belongs to Alycia Stevens, who hit safely in 23 straight games in 1995. Beth Bennett had a 17-game hitting streak in 2008, while Libi Cook recorded a 16-game hitting streak in 1997.
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