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Lady Flames Travel to Take On Coastal Carolina in Weekend Series

March 23, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Lady Flames Travel to Take On Coastal Carolina in Weekend Series

Complete Game Notes

Off to a 3-0 start to conference play for the first time since 2006, Liberty (14-13, 3-0 Big South) heads on the road for 11 out of its next 13 games. The Lady Flames take on Coastal Carolina (15-14, 2-1) for a three-game series, starting with a doubleheader, Friday at 4 p.m.

Liberty opened Big South play with a three-game sweep of Winthrop, last weekend. During the series, Liberty outscored the Eagles, 23-7, while out-hitting Winthrop, .382-.195. After batting .500 with three doubles, two homers, five RBI and four runs scored against Winthrop, Madison Kotchey was named Big South Player of the Week, Monday.

Lady Flames at a Glance
The Lady Flames lead the Big South with five shutouts this season, ranking third with a 2.85 team ERA. Julia DiMartino (5-5) enters the week ranked second in the Big South in ERA (2.26) and opponents' batting average (.212), while tying for first with two shutouts. Chase Cassady (6-5) ranks second in the conference with 7.46 strikeouts per seven innings, while Chandler Ball (3-3, 2.95) is tied for the conference lead with two saves.

Liberty's .294 batting average is ranked second in the Big South. Mickey Loveridge (.500) has reached base in all 13 games played this season, totaling 12 RBI and 11 runs scored. Jaclyn Amader (.345) is tied for the Big South lead with eight doubles, while Rylee Reynolds (.333) and Alexia Taylor (.309) both hit better than .300.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow all of Liberty's games this weekend through live stats. Live stats for all three games will appear through CBS College Sports GameTracker. Additionally, Friday's games will be available for viewing, free of charge, on the Big South Network.

Quick Hits
- Liberty is 3-0 in Big South play for the first time since 2006.
- The Lady Flames batted .367 during eight-game homestand, also posting 1.21 ERA.
- Alexia Taylor has reached base in 16 straight games.
- Madison Kotchey was named Big South Player of the Week, Monday.
- Liberty Softball Stadium was voted second-best softball stadium by FloSoftball.com
- Jaclyn Amader is tied for the Big South lead with eight doubles this season.
- Julia DiMartino tossed her second career shutout, Friday vs. Winthrop.
- Tori Zavodny is tied for first in the nation with five triples heading into the week.
- Nine Liberty freshmen have started at least one game this season.
- Liberty's current 12-member freshman class is the largest in program history.

Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina (Coastal leads, 39-31) Series Streak: Coastal W1
Last Meeting: Coastal Carolina 7, Liberty 5 (5/8/15 - Buies Creek, N.C. - BSC Tourney)
Last Liberty Win: Liberty 5, Coastal Carolina 4 (10 inn.) (4/18/15 - Lynchburg, Va.)

Coastal Carolina (15-14, 2-1 Big South) went 2-1 during a conference-opening series at Presbyterian. The Chanticleers host North Carolina, Wednesday. The Chanticleers lead the Big South with a .320 batting average and 39 home runs. Taty Forbes paces the conference in both batting average (.457) and runs scored (27). Big South Preseason Player of the Year Morgan Noad leads the Big South in homers (11) and RBI (34). Two-time first team All-Big South player Bri Chiusano hits .333. Kelsey Dominik bats .322 with 10 homers and 27 RBI, while holding a 10-7 record with a 3.38 ERA in the circle.

The Chanticleers are 39-31 all-time against Liberty. Coastal Carolina was Liberty's first Big South softball opponent upon entering the league, meeting on March 12, 1994 in Conway. The Lady Flames' last win over Coastal Carolina in Conway was April 15, 2012, a 4-2 Liberty victory.

Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina - 2015 Recap 
Liberty and Coastal Carolina split four meetings last year.

After falling, 4-3, to Coastal Carolina in the series opener, the Lady Flames posted a doubleheader sweep of the Chanticleers (5-4, 5-4 (10)) the next day.

Madison Kotchey went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and a career-high four RBI during game one on May 8, while Alexia Taylor (2-for-3) also doubled and homered.

Game two lasted 10 innings. 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.

Coastal eliminated the Lady Flames from the Big South Tournament with a 7-5 win on May 8. Kotchey hit a grand slam for Liberty during a late rally.

Milestones Attained
On Friday, Liberty reached two program milestones. With their 11-4 win over Winthrop in game one, the Lady Flames posted their 750th win. By defeating the Eagles, 7-0, in the nightcap, Liberty earned its 600th victory as an NCAA Division I program.

Sweeping Away
Liberty went 3-0 during its Big South-opening series against Winthrop. The Lady Flames batted .382, averaging nearly eight runs per game, while holding the Eagles to a .195 batting average.

It was Liberty's first three-game sweep since March 22-23, 2013 against Presbyterian. Additionally, the Lady Flames are off to their best start in conference play since going 5-0 to begin Big South action in 2006. Liberty also started 5-0 in 1999.

Early Trends
Liberty is 13-1 when scoring five or more runs this season, and 1-12 when scoring three runs or less. The Lady Flames are 8-0 when leading after five innings and 8-0 when holding a lead going into the seventh.

Kotchey Named Big South Player of the Week
Madison Kotchey was named Big South Player of the Week, Monday. In three games against Winthrop, she batted .500 with three doubles, two homers, five RBI and four runs scored. In just four games played this season, she is batting .583 with seven RBI and six runs scored. She went 2-for-3 with a double and a homer in both games of Liberty's doubleheader, Friday.

Kotchey joins Chase Cassady (Pitcher of the Week - March 14) and Alexia Taylor (Player of the Week - Feb. 15) in earning weekly honors from the Big South this season.

Get on Board
Mickey Loveridge has reached base in all 13 games in which she has played this season, batting .500 with 12 RBI and 11 runs scored. She had an 11-game hitting streak, the longest by a Lady Flame since Megan Robinson's 14-game streak last season.

Alexia Taylor holds a current 16-game streak of reaching base. During that time, Taylor is batting .375 with three doubles, a triple, 15 RBI and 10 runs scored.

Blankings
Julia DiMartino tossed her second career shutout on Friday, a four-hitter during a 7 -0 win over Winthrop. She threw a no-hitter against Stetson earlier this season, while classmate Chase Cassady pitched a two-hit shutout versus La Salle, March 12.

The Lady Flames have thrown a Big South-leading five shutouts this season, just two away from last year's full-season total of seven blankings.

Triple the Fun
Tori Zavodny is tied for the national lead with five triples this season, and is ranked fifth in program history with eight career triples.

Zavodny leads the Lady Flames with 15 stolen bases this season, and is tied for seventh all-time in program history with 39 career steals.

K Zone
Julia DiMartino struck out a career-high 13 Sacred Heart batters on March 12, the most strikeouts by a Lady Flame since April 17, 2010 (14 by Tiffani Smith vs. Gardner-Webb). Chase Cassady then fanned a career-best 11 batters in a 9-0, two-hit shutout over La Salle, on March 12.

Everybody Hits
It was a total team effort at the plate during Liberty's three-game sweep of Winthrop. Seven different Lady Flames had at least one two-hit game on the weekend. Madison Kotchey and Sarah Robertson had two two-hit games apiece, while Jaclyn Amader, Cassie Gingerich, Mickey Loveridge, Kassidy McCoy and Tori Zavodny all recorded one two-hit contest.

What a Relief
After winning 20 games as the staff ace last season, Chandler Ball has thrived as a reliever this season. In 14 relief appearances this year, Ball is 3-2 with a 2.14 ERA, .241 opponents' batting average and two saves.

With 42 career wins, Ball is ranked seventh in program history. She needs two more wins to enter the top five, as Terra Lowe (2004-07) is ranked sixth with 43 wins, and Sarah Ellis (2006-09) is fifth with 44 victories.