Clockwise from top left: Madison Via, Emily Kirby, Alexis Erich, Corryne Martin and Cassidy Young will join the Liberty softball team in the 2017-18 academic year.
Fourth-year Liberty softball Head Coach Dot Richardson has announced the addition of five student-athletes to the Lady Flames' softball program for the 2017-18 academic year. Alexis Erich, Emily Kirby, Corryne Martin, Madison Via and Cassidy Young will join the Lady Flames' roster starting in the Fall of 2017.
This year's incoming class includes two student-athletes from North Carolina and one each from California, Florida and Virginia. "We are blessed and very excited about our incoming 2017 class because each one brings their unique skills that complement our current team talent and culture," Richardson said.
Alexis Erich (OF, Manteca, Calif./East Union HS) Alexis Erich will join Liberty as an outfielder from East Union High School in Manteca, Calif. She is a two-time first team selection on the Manteca Bulletin All-Area, Modesto Bee All-District and Stockton Record All-Area teams. As a freshman, she was named her team's Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year, posting a 21-2 record, 2.04 ERA and 137 strikeouts. During her sophomore year, she was named Offensive Player of the Year while hitting .644 with 10 homers and 59 RBI. Erich returns to the field this season after missing her junior year due to injury.
"Alexis has a passion for the game which shows in her resiliency against adversity and the enjoyment of competition," Richardson said. "She has a strong work ethic and will bring her skills and commitment to the program. Her consistency and power at the plate will strengthen our offensive game. Lex will bring leadership to the team in all aspects of the game; offense, defense and in the pitching circle."
Emily Kirby (LHP, Greenville, N.C./DH Conley HS) Left-handed pitcher Emily Kirby joins the Lady Flames from DH Conley High School in Greenville, N.C. As a sophomore, she pitched a complete game shutout with eight strikeouts in the NCHSAA 4A State Championship game. Kirby is a two-time all-conference, all-district and Daily Reflector All-County team member. Last year, she was named the Daily Reflector Pitcher of the Year after posting a 1.28 ERA and 221 strikeouts in 163 2/3 innings pitched. She also made the 2016 all-state team. Kirby has competed for the Pitt County Heartbreakers for nine years.
"Emily is a left-handed pitcher who brings diversity and effectiveness to our pitching staff," Richardson said. "She will deliver a left-handed presence to the battery, working hard in all zones, and will give us the opportunity to use her in all facets of the game (starter, relief, etc.). Emily's success in the pitching circle comes from her desire to excel. She will be a strong addition to our pitching staff."
Corryne Martin (C, Venice, Fla/Venice HS) Corryne Martin, a catcher from Venice High School in Venice, Fla., has signed to play at Liberty. A two-time letterwinner, Martin was named to the FACA 7A All-State Team and FACA Academic All-State Team as a junior. During her junior season, she was also voted team MVP while hitting .451 with a .494 on base percentage. She earned an All-Academic Award as a sophomore. Martin has played travel softball with the Sarasota Heat.
"Corryne is a catcher who will be a steady addition to the squad," Richardson said. "She does a great job behind the plate with smooth transitions and has the ability to receive the ball really well. She's going to help our pitching staff get more calls and expand the look of the strike zone."
Madison Via (OF, Roanoke, Va./Northside HS) Madison Via comes to Liberty from nearby Northside High School in Roanoke, Va. She was named first team all-region and first team all-state as a junior in 2016 after batting .540 with 28 runs scored and 17 stolen bases in 18 games played. Via has twice been named first team all-conference, all-district and All-Timesland. As a freshman, Via batted .568 with 50 hits, 45 runs scored and 18 stolen bases in 23 games played. Via, a three-year letterwinner, served as team captain last season.
"Madison is a very talented athlete," Richardson said. "Her love for the game is reflected in her style of play. Her offensive ability to play both small ball and hit for extra bases will add a very exciting dimension to the team. Her speed on the base paths and on defense will generate results and be a treat for our fans watch and enjoy!"
Cassidy Young (INF, Raleigh, N.C./North Raleigh Christian Academy) Cassidy Young enters her senior year as an infielder for North Raleigh Christian Academy. She spent two years playing for Basalt High School in Colorado, where she helped her team to two district championships. While at Basalt, she was a two-time all-conference player, and led the state in doubles while being named the District Player of the Year as a sophomore. After moving to North Carolina mid-year, she batted .634 as a sophomore at North Raleigh Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C. In two seasons at North Raleigh Christian, she has twice been named all-conference and Offensive Player of the Year.
"Cassidy brings a steadiness to the team both on offense and defense," Richardson said. "She provides us with more athleticism on defense and can be utilized in multiple positions. Cassidy is a disciplined hitter on the right side of the plate and will add consistency to the offense."
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