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Lady Flames Set to Open Big South Tournament Play, Wednesday

May 9, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Lady Flames Set to Open Big South Tournament Play, Wednesday

Complete Tournament Notes

Big South Softball Championship Central

No. 3 seed Liberty (30-26, 16-8 Big South) opens the 2016 Big South Softball Championship with a 7:30 p.m. game against sixth-seeded Presbyterian (24-26, 10-14), Wednesday at Terry Field in Rock Hill, S.C. The winner of Wednesday's game will face the winner of No. 2 seed Coastal Carolina and No. 7 seed Charleston Southern, Thursday at 4:30 p.m., while the losers will face off in an elimination game, Thursday at 11:30 a.m.

Liberty is 18-10 all-time against Presbyterian, with the Lady Flames and Blue Hose splitting two conference tournament meetings all-time.

Lady Flames at a Glance
Liberty posted a conference-best 11 shutouts this season, ranking third with a 2.96 team ERA. Julia DiMartino (16-11, 2.44 ERA) leads the Big South with a Liberty freshman-record 174 strikeouts, and is tied for first with six shutouts. Chandler Ball (5-6, 2.94) is tied for the Big South lead with three saves. Chase Cassady (8-8, 4.32) averages 8.02 strikeouts per seven innings, ranking in the top 40 in the nation.

Jaclyn Amader (.316) and Alexia Taylor (.309) are tied for third in the Big South with 12 doubles, while Taylor leads Liberty with 31 RBI. Rylee Reynolds is batting .310, while Sarah Robertson hits .302. Tori Zavodny (.261) ranks in the top five in the Big South in four categories, leading in triples, with five. Zavodny and Kassidy McCoy are tied for the team lead with five homers.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow all of Liberty's conference tournament games through live stats, provided by Winthrop. Each Lady Flames contest will also be broadcast on 90.9 FM The Light, with Alan York calling the action. A live video stream will be available for Wednesday and Thursday, free of charge, through the Big South Network. Friday's semifinals and Saturday's final will appear live on ESPN3.com.

Quick Hits
- Liberty is 39-41 all-time in Big South Softball Championship play, winning the title in 2002 and 2011 and placing second in 1998, 2000, 2008 and 2009.

- The Lady Flames set a new program record with 16 conference wins this season.

- Julia DiMartino has tossed a program-record-tying two no-hitters this season.

- Chandler Ball is tied for fourth in program history with 44 career wins.

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

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

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

Liberty vs. Presbyterian (Liberty leads series, 18-10) Current Series Streak: PC W1
Last Meeting: Presbyterian 6, Liberty 3 (4/10/16 - Clinton, S.C.)
Last Liberty Win: Liberty 10, Presbyterian 5 (4/9/16 - Clinton, S.C. - Game 2)
Last Big South Tournament Meeting: Presbyterian 4, Liberty 1 (5/10/12 - Radford, Va.)

Presbyterian (24-26, 10-14 Big South) wrapped up the sixth seed by taking two out of three games at Charleston Southern last weekend. Freshman Megan Anderson bats .350 with nine homers, and is tied for sixth in the Big South with 39 RBI. Kelsie Sanchez (.331) is tied for third in the league with 12 doubles, while Erin Ruff bats .322. Hope Rogers' 13 homers are tied for fourth in the conference. Sydney Seigler (3.44) and Katie Brown (3.70) have posted identical 11-12 records, while Seigler has tossed four shutouts.

Liberty leads the all-time series against Presbyterian, 18-10, with the Lady Flames winning 12 out of the last 16 meetings. The Lady Flames have earned series victories over Presbyterian five straight years. Liberty and Presbyterian have split two all-time conference tournament meetings, the most recent a 4-1 PC win, May 10, 2012 in Radford, Va.

Liberty vs. Presbyterian College - 2016 Recap
The Liberty bats caught fire during a 2-1 series victory at Presbyterian, batting .326 with six homers in three games, April 9-10. The Lady Flames outhit PC, 14-4, in a 7-1 win on April 9. Liberty then broke a 5-5 tie with a five-run seventh inning in game two, downing PC, 10-5. The team launched a season-high three homers during the second game. The Blue Hose salvaged the series finale, 6-3, April 10.

Jaclyn Amader (.583), Deidra See (.429) and Alexia Taylor (.400) all hit a double and a homer against PC this season. Kassidy McCoy hit two home runs against the Blue Hose.

Quick Conference Report
At 16-8 in conference play, Liberty set a program record for Big South victories, breaking the previous mark of 13-5 set in 2010.

Julia DiMartino went 12-4 with a 2.17 ERA, four shutouts and 96 strikeouts in league play. Chandler Ball (3-2) posted a 1.62 ERA and two shutouts against conference competition. Chase Cassady averaged 9.9 strikeouts per seven innings in Big South games.

Jaclyn Amader hit .345 with 11 RBI in conference games. Alexia Taylor (.286) led the Lady Flames with 16 RBI, while Tori Zavodny paced the team with 19 runs scored.

Out With a Bang
With its 4-0 win over Gardner-Webb on April 30, Liberty has won its final regular-season contest the last three years and eight out of the last nine seasons.

One-Run Success
Liberty is 10-4 in one-run games this year, including 6-1 in Big South games decided by one run. The Lady Flames have won eight out of their last nine one-run games.

One is the Loneliest Number
The Lady Flames held Gardner-Webb to just one run during their three-game sweep to close the regular season. It was the first time in program history that Liberty had allowed one run or less over the span of a complete three-game conference series.

Gardner-Webb Recap
Liberty closed out the regular season with a 3-0 home sweep over Gardner-Webb, April 29-30.

In game one, Julia DiMartino tossed her second career no-hitter, while Kassidy McCoy's RBI single was the only hit in a 1-0 win.

The Lady Flames then took game two, 4-1, behind two-hit games from McCoy and Sarah Robertson.

On Senior Day, redshirt-senior Chandler Ball pitched her second shutout of the season, while senior Katie Han went 2-for-3 in a 4-0 shutout win. Ball is now tied with Sarah Ellis (2006-09) for fifth in program history with 44 career wins. She won 20 games last season, one of just four players in program history to do so.

Chasing History
Julia DiMartino has set a new Liberty freshman record with 174 strikeouts and six shutouts this year. Her 174 K's are tied for the third most in a single season by a Lady Flames pitcher. She has tied Leslie Inge's (1997) program freshman records for wins (16) and no-hitters (2).

DiMartino was named Big South Pitcher of the Week each of the last two weeks of the regular season. She is the first Liberty pitcher since Tiffani Smith in 2010 to earn back-to-back Pitcher of the Week awards.

Over the last two weeks of the regular season, DiMartino went 5-1 with a 1.06 ERA, three shutouts, a .181 opponents' batting average and 53 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings.

Working Overtime
Liberty went 2-0 in extra-inning games against Big South teams this season, and 4-3 overall in games that went past regulation. The Lady Flames have won their last four conference extra-inning games, dating to 2014.

The Lady Flames downed Charleston Southern, 1-0, in eight innings on April 23, as Julia DiMartino pitched a five-hit shutout and Deidra See hit a walk-off single.

Liberty defeated Radford 4-3, in 10 innings on April 26, as Tori Zavodny went 2-for-3 with a double, homer and a career-high three runs scored. Julia DiMartino went the distance for the win, allowing just one earned run in 10 innings pitched.

Three for Me
Jaclyn Amader recorded her team-leading fifth three-hit game, April 10 at Presbyterian. 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.

McCoy is the only current Lady Flame with a four-hit game to her credit, going 4-for-4 against Louisiana Tech on March 4.

K Zone
The Lady Flames' 354 strikeouts this season are the second most in program history, and most since posting a program-record 373 K's in 2010.

Chase Cassady averages 8.03 strikeouts per seven innings, good for 38th in the nation. She struck out 11 batters in five innings pitched versus La Salle. Julia DiMartino strikes out 7.58 batters per game, good for 51st among all NCAA Division I pitchers.