Complete Game Notes Liberty continues its 2016 campaign on the road at the Getterman Classic, where the Lady Flames will face their third nationally-ranked opponent of the season, No. 21/21 Baylor. The Lady Flames took on No. 17/17 UCF and No. 5/5 Alabama last weekend.
On Saturday in Clermont, Fla., Liberty picked up its first two wins of the season. Chase Cassady struck out nine batters and Liberty erupted for an eight-run seventh inning in an 11-1 win over Morgan State. In the nightcap, Julia DiMartino pitched a no-hitter, as the Lady Flames downed Stetson, 8-0, in five innings.
Alexia Taylor, named Big South Softball Player of the Week, is batting .400 during a six-game hitting streak, while Jaclyn Amader (.368) leads the team with three doubles and five RBI.
The Games While in Waco, Liberty will face North Texas (2-3), No. 21/21 Baylor (2-1) and Northwestern State (4-1). After Saturday's first game, the Lady Flames will take part in bracket play, before competing in either the championship or consolation game on Sunday. Baylor made the 2015 NCAA Regional final, while Northwestern State fell to Central Arkansas in the 2015 Southland Conference final after winning conference titles in 2013 and 2014.
How to Follow the Lady Flames Fans can follow all of Liberty's games this week through live stats. Additionally, live audio and live video for Friday's game against Baylor will be available through Baylor's multimedia page.
Quick Hits - Julia DiMartino's no-hitter against Stetson was Liberty's first since May 13, 2011. - Liberty started five freshmen in season-opener at UCF, Thursday. - The Lady Flames went 29-30 in 2015, making 18-win improvement over 2014. - Alexia Taylor was named Big South Softball Player of the Week, Monday. - The Lady Flames have stolen 10 bases so far this season, after 91 steals in 2015. - Liberty Softball Stadium was voted second-best softball stadium by FloSoftball.com - Tori Zavodny entered Liberty's top 10 in career stolen bases, triples over weekend. - Chandler Ball's 20 wins in 2015 were tied for the second most in program history. - Liberty is 1-2 against Baylor, including 4-0 win over No. 10 Baylor on March 16, 2007. - The Lady Flames scored eight runs in seventh inning during 11-1 win over Morgan State. - Liberty's current 12-member freshman class is the largest in program history.
Liberty vs. North Texas Series Record: First meeting
The Mean Green went 2-3 on the opening weekend, including wins over Omaha and Southern Utah. Kelli Schkade (.529) leads the team with three homers and seven RBI. North Texas is the first of three Conference USA teams that the Lady Flames will face this season, as they also meet Louisiana Tech and Marshall. Last season, Liberty went 1-1 against C-USA foes, downing Marshall while losing to Middle Tennessee.
Liberty vs. Baylor Series Record: Baylor leads, 2-1 Last Meeting: No. 15 Baylor 2, Liberty 1 (3/16/12 - Waco, Texas) Last Liberty Victory: Liberty 4, No. 10 Baylor 0 (3/16/07 - Honolulu, Hawai'i)
Baylor posted a 2-1 record during a home series with McNeese State to open the season. Shelby Friudenberg is on the USA Softball preseason Top 50 watch list, while Heather Stearns led the Big 12 in strikeouts in 2015.
The Lady Flames downed Baylor, 4-0, on March 16, 2007 in Hawai'i, behind a 3-for-3 performance from Jessica Moore. The Bears have won the last two meetings, including a 2-1 decision, March 16, 2012 at Getterman Stadium. Alyssa DiMartino, older sister of current Lady Flame Julia DiMartino, allowed two runs on six hits in the complete game loss.
Liberty vs. Northwestern State Series Record: First meeting
Northwestern State won its first three games of the year before falling to DePaul, 1-0, on Sunday. 2015 Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year Mikayla Brown is 2-0 with a 0.55 ERA, while Kellye Kincannon bats .471 and Natalie Landry (.400) has three homers and seven RBI.
Liberty went 1-1 against Southland opponents last season, downing Houston Baptist while falling to Lamar. The Lady Flames will face Lamar Feb. 27 in Ruston, La.
Top 25 Challenge The Liberty softball team has competed against top 25 teams 51 times in program history, posting a 6-45 record versus nationally-ranked opponents.
This is the second year in a row that the Lady Flames have opened against a top 25 team, falling to No. 17/17 UCF on Feb. 11 in Orlando.
Liberty lost, 7-2, to No. 17/17 UCF on Feb. 11, before falling to No. 5/5 Alabama, 10-2 on Feb. 14.
No. 16/18 Baylor and No. 3/3 LSU are two remaining nationally-ranked opponents on Liberty's 2016 schedule.
In 2007, Liberty knocked off No. 23 Hawai'i, No. 10 Baylor and No. 6 Michigan. The Lady Flames' 2-0 win over No. 6 Michigan, March 24, 2007, marks the highest-ranked team that Liberty has beaten in softball, and the team's most recent victory over a nationally-ranked team.
Taylor Named Big South Player of the Week Sophomore catcher Alexia Taylor was named Big South Softball Player of the Week on Monday. She has posted a six-game hitting streak to start the season, batting .400 with two doubles and a team-leading six runs scored.
Taylor, the 2015 Big South Softball Freshman of the Year, is the first Lady Flame since Jamie Crisp (April 28, 2014) to be named Big South Softball Player of the Week.
She is the first Liberty player since Jessica Moore in 2005 (eight games) to hit safely in at least the first six games of a season.
(DiMarti)No-No Freshman Julia DiMartino tossed the 15th no-hitter in the program's NCAA Division I history, during an 8-0 win over Stetson on Saturday night. She struck out five and walked one, facing the minimum number of batters.
DiMartino and catcher Alexia Taylor are the first Liberty battery to complete a no-hitter since Tiffani Smith tossed a no-hitter to Keely McMillon at Winthrop, May 13, 2011. DiMartino is just the second Liberty freshman to pitch a no-hitter, joining Leslie Inge (1997).
Youth Abounds Liberty started five freshmen during its season opener at UCF, the most freshmen to start the first game of the season since six Lady Flames freshmen started Feb. 15, 2002.
Liberty's freshman opening-day starters included: Chase Cassady (P), Rylee Reynolds (2B), Sarah Robertson (SS), Jaclyn Amader (CF) and Kaitlin McFarland (DP). Eight freshmen and four sophomores have made at least one start this season.
Pitching, Big Inning Lead Lady Flames to First Win Chase Cassady tossed a four-hitter, striking out a season-high nine batters, as Liberty downed Morgan State, 11-1, on Saturday for the team's first win. Cassady's nine strikeouts were the most by a Liberty pitcher since Abby Tincher's nine strikeouts at Marshall, April 28, 2015. The Lady Flames pounded out a season-high 14 hits.
Liberty erupted for an eight-run seventh inning against the Bears, its most runs scored in a single inning since an eight-run fourth inning versus Houston Baptist, Feb. 7, 2015.
Tori Zavodny went 3-for-5 against Morgan State, while freshmen Jaclyn Amader, Kaitlin McFarland, Rylee Reynolds and Deidra See had two hits apiece.
The Race is On After leading the Big South with 91 stolen bases, Liberty has swiped 10 bags already this season, led by four by Tori Zavodny.
With her four stolen bases, Zavodny moved into a tie for ninth place in program history with 28 career steals. Blair Lawrence is tied for fourth all-time with 54 stolen bases.
Zavodny leads the team with two triples this season, and she moved into a tie for seventh all-time at Liberty with five career triples.
Fire Away The Lady Flames' pitching staff has struck out one batter per inning this year, with 35 strikeouts. Chase Cassady (13.2 IP) leads the team with 16 strikeouts, while Julia DiMartino (15.0 IP) has 13 strikeouts, and Chandler Ball (6 IP), six.
Ball, a redshirt senior, is ranked seventh in program history with 345 career strikeouts and 39 career wins. Her 20 victories last season are tied for the second most in a single season in program history.
RBI Time The Lady Flames' top four RBI totals so far this season have come by freshmen, led by Jaclyn Amader's five RBI. Amader also leads with three doubles. Sarah Robertson and Deidra See have driven in four runs apiece, while Rylee Reynolds has posted two RBI.
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