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Lady Flames Head to Radford for Key Big South Series

April 25, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Lady Flames Head to Radford for Key Big South Series

Complete Game Notes

Liberty (26-24, 12-6 Big South) enters the final week of the regular season in third in the Big South standings, just ahead of Radford (29-18, 10-5). The Lady Flames head to Radford for a key three-game series, Tuesday and Wednesday. Liberty posted a 2-1 series win over CSU last weekend, giving the Lady Flames five series wins this year. Radford has won six straight Big South games, sweeping Gardner-Webb and Presbyterian.

Liberty is looking for its first win at Radford since May 9, 2009, as the Highlanders have won 10 straight meetings with the Lady Flames in Radford, Va.

Lady Flames at a Glance
Liberty leads the Big South with eight shutouts, ranking third with a 3.18 team ERA. Julia DiMartino went 3-0 with a 0.32 ERA and two shutouts last week, earning Big South Pitcher of the Week honors. DiMartino (14-10) ranks second in the Big South in strikeouts (145) and shutouts (5). Chandler Ball (4-5, 3.29 ERA) is tied for the conference lead with three saves. Chase Cassady (7-7) averages 7.7 strikeouts per seven innings.     

Jaclyn Amader (.324) and Alexia Taylor (.321) are tied for fourth in the Big South with 11 doubles each, while Taylor leads Liberty with 30 RBI. Coming off a 3-for-3 game against CSU, Rylee Reynolds hits .318. Sarah Robertson (.315) is ranked second in the Big South with four triples. Tori Zavodny's five triples lead the league, while Zavodny is ranked third with 24 stolen bases. Kassidy McCoy has hit a team-high five homers.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow all of the action from this week's games through live stats. Live stats will appear courtesy of Radford's Athletics Communications department. Additionally, Wednesday's game will be live video streamed, free of charge, on the Big South Network.

Quick Hits
- Julia DiMartino was named Big South Pitcher of the Week, Monday.

- The Lady Flames enter the week third in the Big South with a 12-6 record.

- Deidra See hit walk-off single to win 1-0 game in eighth inning against CSU, Saturday.

- Julia DiMartino's five shutouts are tied for Liberty's freshman record (Leslie Inge, 1997).

- Liberty Softball Stadium was voted second-best softball stadium by

- With 43 career wins, Chandler Ball needs one more victory to enter Liberty's top five.

- Alexia Taylor is the fourth Liberty player all-time to reach 100 hits as a sophomore.

- Dot Richardson was named among 30 Most Influential Women in College Sports.

- Tori Zavodny is ranked fifth in program history with eight career triples.

- Liberty's current 12-member freshman class is the largest in program history.

Liberty vs. Radford (Radford leads, 49-28)
Current Series Streak: Radford W1
Last Meeting: Radford 4, Liberty 1 (4/8/15 - Lynchburg, Va.)
Last Liberty Win: Liberty 8, Radford 7 (4/7/15 - Lynchburg, Va. - Game 2)
Last Liberty Win at Radford: Liberty 5, Radford 3 (May 9, 2009 - Big South Tourney)

Radford (29-18, 10-5 Big South) had a nine-game winning streak snapped last week, and has lost three straight games. The Highlanders are ranked second in the Big South with a 2.56 team ERA. Abby Morrow (17-15) leads the league with six shutouts while ranking second with a 1.94 ERA. Lauren McIntyre (6-0, 2.26) and Kayla Huffman (6-2, 3.06) bolster a strong pitching staff. Marissa Gagliano bats .329 to lead Radford, while Casey Burns hits .321 and Nia Chiles, .300. Whitney Davis leads with eight homers and 30 RBI.

The Highlanders are 49-28 all-time against Liberty, winning 10 out of the last 12 meetings, dating to the 2012 season. One of Liberty's biggest wins in program history came on May 14, 2011, when the Lady Flames downed Radford in the 2011 Big South Softball Championship final. Radford has won 10 straight meetings at home against Liberty, starting with the 2009 Big South Championship final game.

Liberty vs. Radford - 2015 Recap
Liberty took two of three from Radford, April 7-8, 2015 at Liberty Softball Stadium. It was Liberty's first series victory over Radford since the 2007 season.

Madison Kotchey went 2-for-3 with two RBI in game one, while Tori Zavodny hit her team-leading sixth homer of the season. Liberty won the game, 5-3.

The Lady Flames then held off Radford, 8-7, in the nightcap, getting two hits each from Alexia Taylor, Megan Robinson, Kelby Allen and Blair Lawrence.

Tiffany Brown threw a two-hitter in game three, a 4-1 Radford win.

Quick Conference Report
At 12-6 in conference play, Liberty needs one more win to tie the program record for Big South victories, set in 2010 when the Lady Flames went 13-5. Liberty is 6-0 in the first game of a Big South series, 4-2 in game two and 2-4 in series finales.

Julia DiMartino is 10-3 with a 2.33 ERA, three shutouts and 67 strikeouts in league play. Chandler Ball (2-1) has a 2.06 ERA, two saves and a .194 opponents' batting average against conference competition.

Jaclyn Amader hits .378 with 10 RBI in conference games, while Sarah Robertson bats .333. Alexia Taylor (.314) leads the Lady Flames with 15 RBI, while Tori Zavodny paces the team with 15 runs scored and nine stolen bases in Big South play.

It's Been A While
Liberty posted a 1-0, eight-inning win over Charleston Southern on Saturday. It was the first time since March 7, 2006 against Mount Saint Mary's that the Lady Flames won a 1-0 game in extra innings. That game also lasted eight innings.

How Does that Happen?
Liberty scores an average of 4.5 runs per game. However, through 50 games, the Lady Flames have not scored exactly four runs in any game.

DiMartino Named Big South Pitcher of the Week
Julia DiMartino was named Big South Pitcher of the Week, Monday. She joins Chase Cassady (March 14) as Lady Flames to earn Pitcher of the Week honors in 2016.

Last week, DiMartino posted a perfect 3-0 record, tossing three complete games and two shutouts. She registered a 0.32 ERA, striking out 24 batters in 22 innings pitched. She pitched back-to-back shutouts against Virginia and CSU.

As a result of last week's games, DiMartino (14-10) has tied Leslie Inge (1997) for the most shutouts ever by a Liberty freshman, with five. She is also the first Lady Flame since Katrina Johnson in 2010 to earn complete-game shutout wins in back-to-back starts.

CSU Recap
Liberty went 2-1 against CSU last weekend, picking up its fifth Big South series win this year.

In game one on Saturday, Julia DiMartino tossed a two-hit shutout, and Deidra See hit a walk-off single in the 1-0 Liberty win. Liberty now leads the Big South with nine shutouts this season, eclipsing the team's total of seven from last year.

After CSU evened the series, 5-1, in game two, Liberty took Sunday's series finale, 3-2. Rylee Reynolds went 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI on Sunday.

First Time for Everything
Liberty split a doubleheader at Virginia last Wednesday. In game one, Kassidy McCoy hit her team-leading fifth homer of the season, and Julia DiMartino tossed her fourth career shutout in a 1-0 win. It marked Liberty's first shutout victory at Virginia since becoming an NCAA Division I program in 1994.

K Zone
The Lady Flames' 304 strikeouts this season are their most since posting a program-record 373 K's in 2010.

Chase Cassady (7.7 strikeouts per seven innings) is ranked 49th in the nation in strikeouts per game and Julia DiMartino (7.4) is 63rd. DiMartino has recorded 145 strikeouts so far, just 10 shy of Ali Thompson's freshman program record of 155 K's, set in 2001.

Power Surge
After hitting just 14 homers during the team's first 36 games (0.39 per game), Liberty has averaged 0.79 home runs per game over their last 14 games played.

During that span, Kassidy McCoy has hit three homers, boosting her team lead to five home runs with a game-winning blast at Virginia, Wednesday.

Additional Lady Flames to homer during that stretch are: Jaclyn Amader, Madison Kotchey, Rylee Reynolds (2), Deidra See, Alexia Taylor and Tori Zavodny (2).

Last 10
In the last 10 games, Rylee Reynolds has batted .333 with two doubles, two homers and 10 RBI. She is one of five Lady Flames hitting .300 during that span.

Julia DiMartino is 5-1 with a 0.85 ERA in the last 10 games, giving her 14 wins this year. Her 14 wins are the most by a Liberty freshman since Jennifer Hurley's 12 in 2002. The freshman record for wins is 16, set by Leslie Inge in 1997.

Three for Me
Jaclyn Amader leads the team with five three-hit games. Her five three-hit games are the most by a Liberty freshman since Ashley Williams' six in 2005.

Nine Lady Flames have recorded a three-hit contest this season. Following Amader are: Mickey Loveridge (2), Rylee Reynolds (2), Alexia Taylor (2), Tori Zavodny (2), Katie Han, Kassidy McCoy, Sarah Robertson and Deidra See.