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Lady Flames to Begin Louisiana Trip on Friday in Ruston

February 24, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Lady Flames to Begin Louisiana Trip on Friday in Ruston

Complete Game Notes

The Liberty softball team begins an 11-day, eight-game trip to Louisiana this week, competing in the Louisiana Tech Classic, Friday and Saturday. The Lady Flames (3-8) will look to get back on the winning track, having sustained four straight setbacks.

Liberty opened the Getterman Classic on Friday with a 1-0 shutout win over North Texas, as Chase Cassady (6.2 IP) and Chandler Ball (0.1 IP) combined to limit the Mean Green to three hits. The Lady Flames have posted two shutouts so far this season, with the first being a five-inning no-hitter by Julia DiMartino against Stetson, Feb. 13.

At the plate, Tori Zavodny leads the team with a .324 average, eight runs scored, two triples and five stolen bases. Freshman Jaclyn Amader
(.286) has recorded a team-high four doubles, while classmates Sarah Robertson (.286) and Deidra See (.280) are tied for the team lead with six RBI apiece.

The Games
While in Ruston, Liberty will face Grambling State (1-5), Louisiana Tech (8-2), Lamar (8-2) and Jacksonville State (5-5). Lamar earned a 10-6 win over the Lady Flames Feb. 7, 2015, and the Cardinals are currently on a seven-game winning streak. Jacksonville State is coming off of a 38-17 2015 season. The Lady Flames will face Louisiana Tech again next week at the LSU Invitational.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow all of Liberty's games this week through live stats. Additionally, live video for Friday's game against Louisiana Tech will be available through Louisiana Tech's multimedia page.

Quick Hits
- Chase Cassady and Chandler Ball combined for three-hit shutout of North Texas, Friday.
- The Lady Flames are making their first-ever trip to Louisiana.
- Three out of Liberty's last five games have been decided by one run each.
- Nine Liberty freshmen have started at least one game this season.
- Julia DiMartino's no-hitter against Stetson was Liberty's first since May 13, 2011.
- Liberty Softball Stadium was voted second-best softball stadium by FloSoftball.com
- Tori Zavodny and Blair Lawrence are both in top 10 in program history in career steals.
- Chandler Ball ranks in top 10 all-time at Liberty in five career pitching categories.
- Alexia Taylor was the 2015 Big South Softball Freshman of the Year.
- Jaclyn Amader is tied for second in the Big South with four doubles.
- Liberty's current 12-member freshman class is the largest in program history.

Liberty vs. Grambling State (First Meeting)     

The Grambling State Lady Tigers (1-5) picked up their first win of the season last Tuesday, splitting a doubleheader with Jarvis Christian. The team went 9-29 last season.

Grambling State is just the second team from the SWAC that Liberty will face. The Lady Flames lost to Jackson State, 7-6 on March 11, 2011 in DeLand, Fla.

Liberty vs. Louisiana Tech (First Meeting)

Off to an 8-2 start, Louisiana Tech has not allowed a run in the last 28 innings. Preslee Gallaway is 4-0 with a 1.42 ERA and two shutouts. Tori Charters lead the team with a .429 batting average, while Anna Cross (.379) has posted three homers, 12 RBI and 10 runs scored.

Louisiana Tech is the second of three Conference USA teams that the Lady Flames will face this season. Liberty went 1-1 against North Texas last weekend, splitting a pair of 1-0 games, and will host Marshall, April 12.

Liberty vs. Lamar
Series Record:
Lamar leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: Lamar 10, Liberty 6 (Feb. 7, 2015 - Gulf Shores, Ala.)

The Lamar Cardinals are currently on a seven-game winning streak, tying a program best. Ciara Luna is 4-0 with a 1.52 ERA and one shutout. Seven Cardinals bat .300 or better, led by Ashley McDowell (.423) and Brynn Baca (.400). Sable Hankins leads the team with two homers and 11 RBI.

Lamar won the only previous meeting between these two teams, 10-6, Feb. 7, 2015 in Gulf Shores, Ala. Current Lady Flames Alexia Taylor and Mickey Loveridge both had two-hit games. The Cardinals built a 10-0 lead, before Liberty rallied with a six-run sixth.

Liberty vs. Jacksonville State
Series Record:
First meeting

Jacksonville State is off to a 5-5 start, after posting a 38-17 record last season. Ella Denes leads the Gamecocks with a .424 batting average and two home runs, while Emiliy Church (.313) leads with eight RBI. Kirsten Titus is 1-1 with a 3.50 ERA.

Jacksonville State is the first of two OVC opponents on Liberty's 2016 schedule. The Lady Flames will face defending OVC Champion Tennessee Tech next Friday in Baton Rouge, La.

Close Calls
Five out of Liberty's 11 games this season have been decided by two or fewer runs. Liberty is 1-4 in those games, with their lone one-run win being a 1-0 victory over North Texas, last Friday.

Also, Liberty lost a nine-inning game to Northwestern State, on Saturday. That broke a three-game winning streak in extra-inning games, dating to the 2014 season.

Liberty Blanks North Texas, 1-0
Liberty opened the 2016 Getterman Classic with a three-hit, shutout win over eventual tournament champion North Texas on Friday.

Chase Cassady earned the win, pitching the first six and two-thirds innings of three-hit ball, before Chandler Ball came on to get the last out for the save. Deidra See hit an RBI single in the fifth, for the game's lone run. It was Liberty's first combined shutout since Ball and Alyssa DiMartino teamed up for a 4-0 blanking of Gardner-Webb, March 24, 2012.

Going Yard
Liberty received its first two homers of the 2016 season on Saturday against Northwestern State. Freshman Sarah Robertson went 2-for-4 and hit her first career home run. Tori Zavodny, who led the team with eight homers as a freshman last year, went deep during the third inning on Saturday.   

Double the Fun
The Lady Flames are ranked second in the Big South with 13 doubles so far. Entering the week, Jaclyn Amader's team-leading four doubles were listed second among the conference's leaders. Eight different Lady Flames have hit at least one double this year, including two each from Rylee Reynolds and Alexia Taylor.

(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 Feb. 13.

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). Nine 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.