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Lady Flames to Close Out Home Schedule With Hampton, UVA

April 20, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Lady Flames to Close Out Home Schedule With Hampton, UVA

Complete Game Notes

Liberty finishes its regular-season home schedule with a pair of non-conference doubleheaders this week. The Lady Flames (24-24, 12-9 Big South) host Hampton (15-20, 7-4 MEAC) at 4 p.m. on Tuesday at Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium. Liberty then welcomes Virginia (15-36, 4-17 ACC) to Lynchburg for a 2 p.m. twin bill, Wednesday.

Wednesday's doubleheader will serve as Liberty's "Strikeout Cancer" day, as the Lady Flames will raise funds and awareness about breast cancer.

Lady Flames at a Glance
Liberty went 3-2 last week, splitting a doubleheader with Virginia Tech on Thursday before winning a Big South home series over Coastal Carolina, 2-1. Abby Tincher tossed a two-hit shutout on Thursday, as Liberty downed Virginia Tech, 1-0. The Lady Flames picked up two 5-4 wins over the Chanticleers on Saturday, including a dramatic, 10-inning game on Saturday night.

Alexia Taylor leads Liberty with a .351 average, 10 doubles and 24 RBI. Kelby Allen bats .320 while Megan Robinson is at .319.  Tori Zavodny (.304) paces the Lady Flames in six offensive categories. Chandler Ball (17-8, 3.17 ERA), tied for the Big South lead in victories, has thrown four shutouts this season. Kenzie Friesen (5-11, 4.14) has fashioned two shutouts, while Abby Tincher (2-5) has one shutout to her credit.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow both doubleheaders this week through live stats and live video. Live stats will be provided courtesy of Liberty Athletics Communications. All four contests will air on the Liberty Channel, Big South Network and ESPN3, with Alan York calling play-by-play and former Liberty head softball coach Paul Wetmore providing analysis. Wednesday's games will air on 90.9 FM The Light, with Kevin Keys as play-by-play announcer.

Quick Hits
- Liberty swept Coastal Carolina on Saturday, its fifth doubleheader sweep this season.
- The Lady Flames have posted a 13-win improvement over last year.
- Chandler Ball (17-8) has won the fourth-most games in a season in program history.
- Abby Tincher shut out Virginia Tech last Thursday, tossing a two-hitter.
- Chandler Ball (4) and Kenzie Friesen (2) have both thrown multiple shutouts in 2015.
- In 20 games as the leadoff hitter, Alexia Taylor has batted .375 with 14 runs scored.
- Cassie Gingerich drove in the winning run with a squeeze bunt in 10th inning, Saturday.
- Blair Lawrence has posted back-to-back seasons with 20 stolen bases.
- Katie Han and Kassidy McCoy both had three-hit games against Coastal.

Liberty vs. Hampton (Liberty leads, 40-10) Series Streak: Hampton W1
Last Meeting: Hampton 2, Liberty 1 (3/24/15 - Hampton, Va. - Game 2)
Last Liberty Win: Liberty 6, Hampton 2 (3/24/15 - Hampton, Va. - Game 1)

Hampton (15-20, 7-4 MEAC) went 1-2 in a MEAC series at Maryland Eastern Shore over the weekend. The Lady Pirates bat .269 as a team, while holding a 3.84 team ERA. Two-time All-MEAC selection Margaret Wilkins leads Hampton with a .384 batting average and 28 runs, while Taylor McCoy bats .356 with 25 RBI. Allyson Babinsack hits .391 with four homers and 31 RBI, while also leading the pitching staff with a 12-7 record and 2.99 ERA. Two-time MEAC pitcher of the Year Jailynn Jackson is 3-10 with a 4.53 ERa.

Liberty holds a 40-10 all-time record against Hampton, while the two teams have split each of their last three doubleheaders. This year, the Lady Flames won game one, 6-2, on March 24 at Hampton, with Kelby Allen, Blair Lawrence and Alexia Taylor posting two hits apiece. The Lady Pirates won the nigthcap, 2-1, as Allyson Babinsack struck out eight batters for Hampton.

Liberty vs. Virginia (Since 1994, Virginia leads, 28-6) Current Series Streak: UVA W7
Last Meeting: Virginia 13, Liberty 3 (4/23/14 - Lynchburg, Va.)
Last Liberty Win: Liberty 8, Virginia 0 (5 inn.) (5/1/11 - Lynchburg, Va.)

Virginia (15-36, 4-17 ACC) lost all three games at No. 10 Florida State on the weekend. The Cavaliers have hit 57 doubles and 51 homers this season. Kaitlin Fitzgerald leads UVA with a .372 average and 38 RBI, while Allison Davis bats .318 with 14 doubles, nine homers and 31 RBI. Danni Ingraham has batted .298 with seven homers. Aimee Chapdelaine is 4-3 with a 4.25 ERA, while twins Andie (8-17, 5.56) and Alex (3-13, 6.56) Formby tossed a combined no-hitter against Virginia Tech, April 9.     

Virginia is 28-6 against Liberty since the start of the 1994 season, and the Cavaliers have won the last seven meetings overall. Last year, the Cavaliers swept the Lady Flames, 3-1 and 13-3, in a doubleheader on April 23 at The Park. Liberty set a new single-game program record with three double plays in game two at UVA, April 23, 2014.

No Place Like Home
In 19 home games so far, Alexia Taylor has batted .369 with three homers, 10 RBI and 12 runs scored. Katie Han bats .300 at home, while Mickey Loveridge is at .296. Madison Kotchey (.293) has driven in 13 runs, while Tori Zavodny has hit four homers, scored 12 runs and posted 10 RBI. Chandler Ball is 7-2 with a 2.31 ERA and .219 opponents' batting average at home. Kenzie Friesen and Abby Tincher have each tossed one shutout at Liberty Softball Stadium.

Season Trends
Liberty is 18-4 when allowing six or fewer hits and 6-20 when opponents record seven or more hits. The team is 23-11 when its starting pitcher throws five or more innings and 1-13 when the starter does not last five innings. The Lady Flames have gone 15-1 when holding opponents to two runs or less and 9-23 when allowing three or more runs.

Lady Flames Post Senior-Day Sweep of First-Place Chanticleers
After falling, 4-3, to Coastal Carolina on Friday, the Lady Flames posted a doubleheader sweep of the Chanticleers (5-4, 5-4 (10)) on Saturday.

Madison Kotchey went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and a career-high four RBI during game one on Saturday, while Alexia Taylor (2-for-3) also doubled and homered.

Game two lasted 10 innings, Liberty's longest game since a 10-inning setback at Radford, March 28, 2012. Cassie Gingerich, who went 2-for-5 on her birthday, laid down a squeeze bunt to send Mickey Loveridge home with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th. Kassidy McCoy went 3-for-5 with two RBI.

17 For Ball
At 17-8, Chandler Ball is tied with Longwood's Elizabeth McCarthy for the most victories among Big South pitchers this year. Ball's 17 wins are the fourth-most in a single season in program history. Leslie Inge holds the program record with 22 wins in 2000. Katie Phillips (1997) and Tiffani Smith (2010) are tied for second at 20 victories.

3X9
Katie Han went 3-for-4 with two doubles on Friday against Coastal Carolina, while Kassidy McCoy batted 3-for-5 with two RBI during game two, Saturday. The Lady Flames have had nine different players with a three-hit game this year, led by Tori Zavodny (four times). Megan Robinson has posted three three-hit games in 2015 and Kelby Allen, two. Jamie Crisp, Blair Lawrence and Mickey Loveridge have posted one three-hit game each.

Allen leads current Lady Flames with eight career three-hit games. The other current Lady Flames to post a three-hit game at Liberty are: Robinson (6), Zavodny (4), Crisp (2), Han (3), Kassidy McCoy (3), Lawrence (2), Loveridge (1) and Alexia Taylor (1).

Virginia Tech Highlights
Freshman Abby Tincher shut down Virginia Tech on Thursday night, fashioning a two-hit shutout during a 1-0 win over the Hokies. The win over Virginia Tech was Liberty's first win in the series since May 4, 2006. Tincher, whose sister, Angela Tincher O'Brien, was a three-time All-American pitcher at Virginia Tech and is currently on the Hokies' coaching staff, recorded a career-high eight strikeouts in her first career shutout.

Home Runs Fuel 10-7, Comeback Win at CSU, April 12
Liberty launched a season-high four home runs during a 10-7, comeback win at Charleston Southern on April 12. Jamie Crisp hit Liberty's first grand slam of the season, while Kassidy McCoy hit two home runs. Liberty trailed, 7-5, entering the seventh, before McCoy's second blast tied the game at 7-7. Megan Robinson hit a game-winning three-run bomb to left later in the inning.

McCoy is the third current Lady Flame to hit two homers in a game, joining Crisp (April 24, 2014 vs. ETSU) and Kelby Allen (three times, mr vs. Gardner-Webb, May 8, 2014).

Crisp is the first Lady Flame to hit a grand slam since Grace Nordan on May 8, 2014 in the Big South Softball Championship first round against Gardner-Webb.

Ball Tosses Fourth Shutout of Season, April 11 at CSU
Chandler Ball tossed a three-hit shutout on April 11, as Liberty downed CSU, 9-0. It was her fourth shutout of the season. Teammate Kenzie Friesen has thrown two shutouts this year, while Abby Tincher tossed her first shutout on Thursday against Virginia Tech. The last time three Lady Flames pitched shutouts in the same year was 2010, when Tiffani Smith (5), Katrina Johnson (3) and Katie Warrington (1) did so.

Earlier this year, Ball was named Big South Pitcher of the Week, Feb. 17. Ball has gone 14-3 with a 2.11 ERA in her last 26 appearances.

Ball (four hits) and Friesen (two) posted back-to-back shutouts over Campbell, March 28, the first time since May 13, 2011 that Liberty had recorded two consecutive shutouts.

Double-Double
Katie Han registered her first career two-double game, Friday against Coastal Carolina. She joins Kelby Allen (April 27, 2014 at Presbyterian) as the only two current Lady Flames with a two-double game to their credit.