The Lady Flames will honor redshirt junor outfielder Jill Stephens and student manager Abbie Seale on Saturday before Liberty's game against Coastal Carolina.
Complete Game Notes Liberty (19-30, 8-13 Big South) closes out its 2013 Big South softball schedule with a three-game series against defending conference champion Coastal Carolina (31-20, 16-5 Big South), Friday and Saturday at Liberty Softball Field. Saturday will serve as Liberty's Senior Day, as seniors Abbie Seale and Jill Stephens will be honored prior to first pitch.
Season at a Glance The Lady Flames fell twice to the ACC's Virginia on Wednesday at Liberty Softball Field. Homers by Kelby Allen and Kassidy McCoy helped Liberty pull to within one run during the nightcap, which UVA won, 7-6. For the first time in program history, Liberty is playing its final seven regular-season games at home. Katie Zavodny hits .399 and set the program single-season record with her 40th stolen base on Wednesday. Sammi Shivock (.344) paces the team with 12 doubles and 38 RBIs, while Kelby Allen (.288) leads Liberty with eight homers. Amber Donovan (.314) has recorded seven homers, and Kassidy McCoy hits .305. Both Chandler Ball (8-13) and Annah Jo Brittingham (8-10) have recorded one shutout so far this season.
How to Follow the Lady Flames Fans can follow the weekend's games through Gametracker live stats, provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications office. Live stats can be accessed by clicking the live stats links on the softball schedule page on LibertyFlames.com.
Quick Hits - Liberty celebrates its Senior Day on Saturday (LF Jill Stephens, manager Abbie Seale). - The Lady Flames are looking to snap a nine-game winless streak (longest of season). - On Wednesday, Katie Zavodny set a new program single-season record for steals (40). - Sammi Shivock is tied for ninth in program history in both career HR (22) and RBIs (89). - Kelby Allen hits .388 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 15 home games this year. - Chandler Ball entered Liberty's all-time top 10 in career strikeouts, Wednesday (179). - Shivock, Hanna Nichols have both been named Big South Player of the Week in 2013. - The all-time series between Liberty and Coastal Carolina is tied at 29-29.
Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina Coastal Carolina (31-20, 16-5 Big South) won six games in a row before dropping a doubleheader to College of Charleston on Tuesday. The Chanticleers lead the Big South with a 2.41 team ERA, and are tied for second with 59 homers. Kiana Quolas, a 2012 first team all-conference pitcher, is 19-9 with a 1.95 ERA, while also batting .320 and hitting 10 home runs. Cacia Pierre paces Coastal in batting average at .346, and Bri Chiusano hits .337. Kory Hayden has hit 13 homers this season, while Morgan Noad has connected for 12 round trippers. The all-time series between Liberty and Coastal Carolina is tied at 29-29. The Chanticleers were Liberty's first Big South softball opponent upon entering the league, meeting on March 12, 1994 in Conway. The Lady Flames have won 12 out of their last 15 games against Coastal Carolina, dating to May 9, 2008.
Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina - 2012 Recap Coastal Carolina won the season series, 2-1, over the Lady Flames last year. The Chanticleers trailed, 2-1, after four innings of game one on April 14, 2012 at CCU Softball Field, before a Chelsea Pineda grand slam gave the hosts a 5-3 victory. Coastal swept the doubleheader with a 7-2 victory during the second contest. The Lady Flames claimed the series finale, 4-2, scoring four runs over the final two innings. Grace Nordan gave Liberty a 2-1 lead with a two-run single to center in the sixth. After Kiana Quolas hit a game-tying home run in the home half of the sixth, Shivock won the game for the Lady Flames on a two-run double in the top of the seventh. Champions Collide This weekend's series features the last two Big South softball champions, as Liberty won the title in 2011 and Coastal Carolina claimed the conference crown last year. All told, Liberty has won the Big South softball title twice (2002, 2011), while the Chanticleers are tied for the conference record (Winthrop) with six Big South championships.
Home Cooking The Lady Flames are 8-7 at Liberty Softball Field so far this season. Kassidy McCoy bats .448 during home games, while Hanna Nichols has a .409 average at home. Katie Zavodny (.393), Kelby Allen (.388, 6 HR, 20 RBIs) and Sammi Shivock (.300, 13 RBIs) have all scored 14 runs at Liberty Softball Field in 2013. Amber Donovan .344) has hit four home runs and added 12 RBIs in Lynchburg this year. Chandler Ball is 5-2 with a 3.29 ERA in home contests, including a five-hit shutout over Radford on April 3. Annah Jo Brittingham (3-3) tossed her first shutout, a two-hitter against Manhattan, on March 2 at Liberty Softball Field.
Senior Salute The Lady Flames will honor a pair of graduating seniors on Saturday, in redshirt-junior outfielder Jill Stephens and student manager Abbie Seale. Stephens has played in 132 games with 81 career starts after redshirting in 2010. She has posted a .252 career batting average with 46 runs scored, 15 doubles, six home runs and 27 RBIs. She hit a career-high two homers against N.C. A&T on April 10, 2012. Stephens, a biology/pre-med major from Kansas City, Mo., is set to graduate in May. Seale has served as Liberty's student manager for the last three years, putting in tremendous time and effort. A native of Lebanon, New Hampshire, Seale will graduate in May with a degree in health promotions - clinical.
Virginia Recap The Lady Flames fell twice to Virginia on Wednesday, despite outhitting the Cavaliers, 16-14, on the day. During game one, a 7-3 UVA win, Katie Zavodny stole her 40th base of the season, putting her in sole possession of first place in program history. Sammi Shivock hit her seventh homer of the season, and 22nd of her career. The Lady Flames battled back to within one run on three occasions during the nightcap, with the Cavaliers holding off Liberty, 7-6. Kassidy McCoy went 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs, while Kelby Allen hit her team-leading eighth home run. On Wednesday, sophomore Chandler Ball entered Liberty's all-time top 10 list for career strikeouts, as she has fanned 179 batters during her career.
Close Calls Although Liberty has dropped nine straight decisions, three out of the team's last five games have been decided by just one run each. During Liberty's last five contests, the Lady Flames have outhit opponents, 44-35. On the season, Liberty is 7-7 in one-run games, as the Lady Flames have posted their most one-run victories since 2008 (7-12). Record Setting Katie Zavodny set Liberty's program record for single-season stolen bases on Wednesday, stealing her 40th base and breaking Stacy Radulovich's (1996) record of 39. Zavodny has 78 career stolen bases, and needs three more steals to break Radulovich's career record of 80 (fourth all-time in Big South history), set from 1996-99. Earlier this season, Zavodny set the single-game record for hits (5, twice), and tied Alycia Stevens' (1995) record with a 23-game hitting streak from Feb. 24 through April 3. Zavodny leads the Big South and ranks fourth in NCAA Division I in stolen bases. Great 8 Sammi Shivock is currently on an eight-game hitting streak, tying the longest hitting streak of her career. During the last eight games, Shivock has hit .370 with two homers, six runs scored and five RBIs. Katie Zavodny hits .367 with seven stolen bases and five runs scored in the same span, while Kassidy McCoy has posted two homers and seven RBIs.
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