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Liberty Blanks Fairleigh Dickinson in Season Opener, 6-0

February 9, 2018  Clermont, Fla.   RSS
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Julia DiMartino tossed a one-hitter on Friday against Fairleigh Dickinson.

Julia DiMartino tossed a one-hitter on Friday against Fairleigh Dickinson.

Julia DiMartino tossed a one-hitter, and Liberty posted a five-run third inning as the Lady Flames downed Fairleigh Dickinson, 6-0, in their season opener, Friday at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla.

Liberty (1-0) opened the Dot Richardson Invitational with its seventh season-opening shutout in program history, and first since 2005. Fairleigh Dickinson begins it season at 0-1.

The Lady Flames outhit FDU, 7-1, while the Knights recorded two errors.

DiMartino (1-0), the 2017 Big South Pitcher of the Year, struck out 10 batters, while allowing just one hit. She retired the final 17 batters she faced in the game, spanning the second through seventh innings. It was her 15th career shutout and first career one-hitter.

FDU's Baylee Ports (0-1) drew the loss, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits, walking one in five innings pitched. Abbey England finished the game with two innings of hitless relief.

Madison Via went 2-for-3 with a stolen base in her first career game. Sarah Robertson doubled, stole a base and drove in two runs. Tori Zavodny and Jaclyn Amader both tripled, while Alexia Taylor hit a double.

Summer Mendoza registered the Knights' lone hit of the game.

Zavodny tripled to center field with one out in the top of the first. Ports then hit Autumn Bishop with a pitch, before Zavodny scored the game's first run on a double-steal play. The FDU right-hander retired the next two batters, leaving the score at 1-0.

DiMartino struck out three batters in a scoreless Fairleigh Dickinson first inning. Mendoza reached on a one-out infield single in the bottom of the second, and she proved to be the last Knights' baserunner of the game.

The Lady Flames put the game out of reach, scoring five times in the third inning. Autumn Bishop singled and went to third on an error. She scored on a dropped fly ball. Taylor and Robertson then hit back-to-back doubles, with Robertson's hit driving in two runs. Via then bunted for a base hit, before Robertson scored on a double steal play. With two outs, Amader lined an RBI triple into the left-field corner, making it 6-0, Liberty.

Both teams' pitching shut it down from then on, as DiMartino retired the last 17 batters she faced.

Ports yielded just one hit over her last two innings pitched, before England allowed no hits in either the sixth or seventh inning.

Liberty will next play at 4 p.m., taking on Morgan State at the National Training Center.