Complete Game Notes The Liberty softball team (6-34, 1-14 Big South) hosts Gardner-Webb (11-29, 1-11) for three games, Friday and Saturday at Liberty Softball Field. On Friday, the Lady Flames and Runnin' Bulldogs will compete in a doubleheader, beginning at 2 p.m. Friday will be Liberty's "End It" game, as the Lady Flames will be raising funds and awareness to help stop modern-day slavery. Prior to Saturday's 1 p.m. first pitch, Liberty will honor its five senior players: Alyssa DiMartino, Grace Nordan, Marybeth Sciolino, Sammi Shivock and Katie Zavodny. Liberty went 2-1 in a home series against Gardner-Webb last April.
Lady Flames at a Glance The Lady Flames will look to end a seven-game winless streak. Liberty is 4-7 at home this season, averaging 5.2 runs and 1.2 home runs per game at Liberty Softball Field. Katie Zavodny hits .339 with a team-best 27 runs scored and 19 stolen bases, while Hanna Nichols bats .278. Megan Robinson (.271) paces the team with seven homers and a .521 slugging percentage. Kelby Allen (.270) is Liberty's team leader with 22 RBIs, and Blair Lawrence (.253) has swiped 10 bases this year. Sammi Shivock bats .244 with 14 RBIs. Senior RHP Alyssa DiMartino leads the team in wins (3) and ERA (6.42). Sophomore RHP Annah Jo Brittingham (2-18) picked up saves in back-to-back games last week. Senior SS/P Grace Nordan earned her first win of the season, March 22 versus N.C. Central. How to Follow the Lady Flames Fans can follow all of this weekend's games through live stats and live video. Live stats can be accessed through the Live Stats link on LibertyFlames.com. All three games will be streamed live, free of charge, through the Big South Network, with Rett McGibbon serving as play-by-play announcer and Chierstin Susel providing analysis.
Liberty vs. Gardner-Webb (Liberty leads, 20-4) Current Series Streak: Liberty W2 Gardner-Webb (11-29, 1-11 Big South) is in the midst of an eight-game winless streak, with its last victory coming on March 29 against Campbell. The Runnin' Bulldogs are led by three-time first team All-Big South infielder Samantha Meenaghan, who bats .430 with three triples, 10 stolen bases and 15 RBIs. Taylar Pridgen hits .275, while Megan Champion has posted 14 RBIs and Kellie Beres has driven in 15 runs. Jessica Childers leads Gardner-Webb's pitching staff with seven wins, a 3.40 ERA and 100 strikeouts. Liberty holds a 20-4 record all-time against Gardner-Webb. The Lady Flames had won 11 straight games against the Runnin' Bulldogs before Gardner-Webb downed Liberty, 4-2, on April 12, 2013 in Lynchburg. Liberty defeated Gardner-Webb twice on May 13, 2011, to advance to the Big South final, which the Lady Flames won over Radford.
Liberty vs. Gardner-Webb - 2013 Recap Liberty took two out of three from Gardner-Webb last year in Lynchburg, with the Lady Flames batting .358 during the series. During game one on April 12, Gardner-Webb scored four runs over the final two innings, posting a 4-2 come-from-behind win. Kassidy McCoy went 3-for-3 for Liberty. Chandler Ball then allowed one unearned run on six hits in game two, as Liberty won, 3-1. Hanna Nichols and Kelby Allen both batted 2-for-3 during game two. Facing an early 3-1 deficit, Liberty posted a pair of six-run innings to down Gardner-Webb, 13-5, April 13. Sammi Shivock went 3-for-3 with a double and a three-run homer.
Lynchburg Launching Pad Since the start of the 2005 season, the Lady Flames have hit 221 home runs in 175 games played at the Liberty Softball Field, an average of 1.26 homers per game. During the same span, opponents have hit 147 home runs (0.84 per game). Thanks in part to this stat, Liberty is 100-75 at home since 2005. This year, the Lady Flames have connected for 13 home runs in 11 home games, including a season-best four round trippers on March 14 against Campbell. Quick Conference Report The Lady Flames have already faced the top four teams in league standings. Liberty's remaining three conference opponents have a combined 15-27 (.357) Big South record, while the Lady Flames' first five league foes are a combined 45-20 (.692). Katie Zavodny bats .348 with a team-high eight runs scored during conference play. Megan Robinson (.273) leads the team in doubles (3), homers (4), RBIs (11) and slugging percentage (.614). Grace Nordan hits .263 with two doubles, while Blair Lawrence is at .257. Kelby Allen (.244) has driven in seven runs against Big South opponents.
2-for-2 On Wednesday, Grace Nordan went 2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored at Radford, becoming the 12th Lady Flame with at least one multiple-hit game this year.
Senior Salute Prior to Saturday's game, Liberty will honor its five seniors - Alyssa DiMartino, Grace Nordan, Marybeth Sciolino, Sammi Shivock and Katie Zavodny, with a pregame ceremony. These five student-athletes helped the Lady Flames win their most recent Big South title, claiming the conference championship as freshmen in 2011.
Rounding the Bases The Lady Flames scored a season-high 14 runs in a 14-10 win during game one against UNCG, last Wednesday. All nine players in the batting order scored at least one run, led by three from Hanna Nichols and two runs each by Katie Zavodny, Megan Robinson and Blair Lawrence. It marked the second time this season that every starter scored at least one run, as everyone in the batting order scored in a 12-0 win over UMBC, Feb. 15.
Racing to the Front Senior Katie Zavodny, Liberty's career record holder in stolen bases, is ranked second all-time in Big South history with 98 career steals. On Tuesday at Radford, she tied Ashley Carlson of Radford (2005-08), and with two more steals would become just the second player in conference history with 100 or more stolen bases. Jessica Falca of Coastal Carolina (1996-99) holds the Big South record with 196.
200 Club When she was written into the starting lineup on Wednesday at Radford, Sammi Shivock became the 15th player in Liberty's NCAA Division I softball history to make 200 or more career starts. She is the first Lady Flame to draw her 200th starting assignment since former teammates Kelly Strickland, Kaylee West and Jenny Law all did so in 2012.
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