Liberty claimed its second NISC Regional title in the last three seasons, shutting down the Marshall Thundering Herd 7-0 in Saturday's championship game of the Lynchburg Regional at Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium.
The Lady Flames (40-20) did not allow a single run in three games this weekend, outscoring opponents 12-0. Liberty claims a spot in the four-team Postseason NISC Championship Round, held next Friday through Sunday in Fort Collins, Colo. Marshall (42-22) finished its season with a program-record-tying 42 wins.
Liberty senior Chase Cassady was voted the Regional MVP, while juniors Amber Bishop and Autumn Bishop joined sophomore Madison Via on the all-tournament team. Marshall's Aly Harrell, Sierra Huerta and Abigail Tolbert were also named to the all-tournament team.
Scoring Summary LIBERTY – 1st INNING – Robertson out at first, sacrifice bunt, Amader advances, Autumn Bishop scores, 1-0
LIBERTY – 4th INNING – Autumn Bishop singles to right, Click advances, Via scores, 2-0
LIBERTY – 4th INNING – Autumn Bishop steals second, goes to third on error, Click scores on error, 3-0
LIBERTY – 5th INNING – McFarland flies out to left, sac fly, Robertson scores, 4-0
LIBERTY – 5th INNING – Griffin singles to right, Kriby scores, 5-0
LIBERTY – 5th INNING – Via singles to right, Griffin scores, 6-0
LIBERTY – 5th INNING – Autumn Bishop singles to right, Via scores
Notable Numbers - Liberty outhit Marshall 10-3 for the game, while the Herd committed three errors. The Lady Flames left eight on base compared to two stranded for Marshall. Liberty tied a season high with six stolen bases.
- Cassady (15-3) tossed her second shutout of this week's Regional and fifth for the season, walking two and striking out four.
- Marshall's Kailee Williamson (12-4) allowed six runs (five earned) on seven ihts, walking two and striking out one in 4 2/3 innings. Ali Brudette pitched 2 2/3 innings, yielding one run on three hits and striking out one.
- Autumn Bishop, Denay Griffin and Madison Via all recorded two hits, with Autumn Bishop driving in two runs and Via stealing two bases and scoring twice. Sarah Robertson had a double and an RBI, while Alexis Erich stole two bases.
Turning Point - Liberty, the visitor on the scoreboard, struck first on a squeeze bunt by Robertson in the top of the first. The Lady Flames continued to threaten before scoring twice in the fourth and breaking the game open with a four-run fifth.
- Liberty's defense made several fine plays on the afternoon to shut down Marshall's momentum. Jasmeen Click fired to second for an outfield assist in the third inning, while Amber Bishop started inning-ending double plays in the fourth and seventh innings.
Beyond the Box Score - Liberty has tossed 19 shutouts this season, with 15 of them coming at home.
- Liberty is 17-0 this season when scoring at least one run in the first inning.
- The Lady Flames are a program-record 24-2 at Liberty Softball Stadium this season, and have won 11 straight home games. Overall, Liberty has outscored opponents 142-27 at Liberty Softball Stadium this year.
- Liberty has now tossed seven postseason shutouts all-time. Cassady has pitched three of those.
- Today's championship came two years to the day when Liberty won the 2017 NISC Lynchburg Regional.
- The Lady Flames have won eight straight NISC tournament games, dating to the 2017 edition.
- Liberty pitching has not allowed a single run in the last 23 2/3 innings pitched.
- The Lady Flames have now won 40 or more games in three straight seasons, giving the program five total 40-win seasons.
- Sarah Robertson moved into fourth place in program history with 227 career hits, while Cassady is now fourth all-time at Liberty with 14 career shutouts.
Up Next Liberty has qualified for the NISC Championship Round, which will be held next Friday through Sunday at Triple Crown Sports Complex in Fort Collins, Colo. The Lady Flames will open play on Friday against UT Arlington at 6 p.m. Eastern time.