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Lady Flames Host Longwood for Conference Series, Open 9-Game Homestand

March 30, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Lady Flames Host Longwood for Conference Series, Open 9-Game Homestand

Complete Game Notes

Liberty opens a nine-game homestand on Tuesday, playing host to Longwood in a doubleheader at 3 p.m. at Liberty Softball Stadium. The two teams will complete the series with a single game, Wednesday at 4 p.m. The Lady Flames (15-16, 4-2 Big South) and Lancers (12-18, 6-3) are in a virtual tie for second in the Big South standings.

Longwood leads the all-time series, 28-14, and the Lancers swept the season series last year, 3-0, in Farmville, Va.

Lady Flames at a Glance
Liberty won a weekend series at Campbell, 2-1, posting back-to-back shutouts on Saturday. The Lady Flames held the Camels to a .145 batting average and three total runs during the series. Liberty's pitching staff holds a 1.92 ERA in conference games.

Megan Robinson bats .344, and has reached base safely in each of the last 15 games. Kelby Allen bats .340, while Tori Zavodny (.340) paces Liberty in six offensive categories. Alexia Taylor (.322) is tied with Allen for the team lead with 17 RBI, while Mickey Loveridge (.314) has hit six doubles. Chandler Ball (10-6, 3.12 ERA) has tossed three shutouts, while Kenzie Friesen (4-6, 3.29) pitched her first career shutout, Saturday at Campbell.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow all three games of the series through live stats, live audio and live video. Each game will be broadcast on the Big South Network, with Alan York on play-by-play and former Liberty head softball coach Paul Wetmore providing analysis. Wednesday's game will also air on the Liberty Channel and ESPN3. Jamie Hall will have the call on radio, with the games airing on 90.9 FM The Light.

Quick Hits
- Liberty and Longwood are tied for second in the Big South, heading into this series.
- Chandler Ball and Kenzie Friesen tossed back-to-back shutouts at Campbell on Saturday, good for the first back-to-back shutouts by Liberty since May 13, 2011.
- Ball has tied her career high with 10 victories, and set a new high with three shutouts.
- Megan Robinson batted .435 during 14-game hitting streak (March 7-March 28)
- Tori Zavodny leads the team in homers (4), stolen bases (17) and runs scored (26)
- Alexia Taylor has seven two-hit games in Liberty's last 13 contests.
- Kelby Allen entered a tie for sixth in program history with her 25th career homer.
- Blair Lawrence is fifth all-time at Liberty with 44 career stolen bases.
- Six Lady Flames have recorded a three-hit game this season.
- Nearly half (8 out of 17) of the roster consists of newcomers (seven Fr., one JC transfer).

Liberty vs. Longwood (Longwood leads, 28-14) Series Streak: (Longwood W3)
Last Meeting: Longwood 3, Liberty 0 (3/27/14 - Farmville, Va.)
Last Liberty Win: Liberty 5, Longwood 3 (5/9/13 - Rock Hill, S.C. - BSC Tourney)

Longwood (12-18, 6-3 Big South) has gone 2-1 in each of its first three conference series (Coastal Carolina, Winthrop, Presbyterian). The Lancers have hit 16 home runs so far in conference play, including five each from 2014 Big South Player of the Year Megan Baltzell and Emily Murhpy. For the season, Baltzell leads the team with a .333 average, 12 homers, 29 RBI and 30 runs scored. Chelsea Sciacca (.298) has hit five homers and drive in 18 runs. Elizabeth McCarthy leads the pitching staff with an 8-8 record, 3.80 ERA and 92 strikeouts.

Longwood holds a 28-14 all-time lead against Liberty in softball. Last year, Longwood won all three meetings between these teams. In 2013, Liberty and Longwood went 2-2 against each other, including a 5-3 Lady Flames victory over the Lancers in the first game of the 2013 Big South Softball Championship. Liberty's Kelby Allen has found success against the Lancers, with two-homer games versus Longwood in both 2012 and 2013.

Liberty vs. Longwood - 2014 Recap
Longwood swept the season series from Liberty last season.

On March 20 in Farmville, Liberty took a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning, before Longwood rallied with two runs in the bottom of the eighth for a 3-2 win.

Longwood then won game two, 9-1, behind a 3-for-3 effort from Emily Murphy.

The Lancers shut out the Lady Flames, 3-0, on March 27 in Farmville, as Libby Morris tossed a three-hitter.

Last year against Longwood, Hanna Nichols bated .333, while Katie Zavodny hit .300. Kelby Allen drove in a pair of runs versus the Lancers.

Two for Me
Kelby Allen has posted three two-home run games in her career, with the first two of those games coming against Longwood (May 5, 2012, April 15, 2013). She also went deep twice against Gardner-Webb on May 9, 2014.

Jamie Crisp also has one two-homer contest to her credit, going 3-for-3 with two home runs and five RBI and three runs scored against ETSU, April 24, 2014.

No Place Like Home
After opening the season with 26 out of its first 31 games away from home, the Lady Flames play 18 out of their next 21 games at Liberty Softball Stadium. This includes a pair of nine-game homestands, including Big South series against Longwood (March 31-April 1), Presbyterian (April 3-4), Radford (April 7-8) and Coastal Carolina (April 18-19) and doubleheaders against Virginia Tech (April 14), Hampton (April 21) and Virginia (April 22).

Early Trends
Liberty is 12-3 when allowing six or fewer hits, and 3-13 when opponents record seven or more hits. The team is 15-6 when its starting pitcher throws five or more innings, and 0-10 when the starter does not last five innings.

Weekly Recap
Liberty went 3-2 this past week, splitting a doubleheader at Hampton and winning a series at Campbell, 2-1.

The Lady Flames posted back-to-back shutouts over Campbell on Saturday, the first time since May 13, 2011 that Liberty had recorded two consecutive shutouts.

During game one on Saturday, Chandler Ball tossed a four-hitter in a 4-0 win at Campbell. Mickey Loveridge and Blair Lawrence both went 3-for-4.

Kenzie Friesen then fashioned a two-hit shutout of Campbell during game two, and got support by homers from Kelby Allen and Tori Zavodny in a 3-0 win.

For the week, Liberty went 3-2 with a 1.48 ERA and .165 opponents' average.

Liberty allowed just three runs in three games at Campbell, the fewest runs allowed by the Lady Flames in a conference series since holding Coastal Carolina to three total runs in a three-game set, May 7-8, 2011.

Shutting Down Opponents
Liberty has gone 11-6 over its last 17 contests, due in part to a strong showing from the pitching staff. During that span, Liberty's ERA is 1.87 and opponents have hit .211.

Chandler Ball is 7-1 with a 1.14 ERA and .225 opponents' batting average in her last 13 appearances. Kenzie Friesen has gone 4-4 with a 2.95 ERA and .200 opponents' average since March 6, pitching two three-hitters and a two-hitter in the process.

Earlier this year, Ball was named Big South Pitcher of the Week, Feb. 17. With three shutouts this year, Ball is the first Liberty pitcher to throw multiple shutouts in a season since 2011, when Tiffani Smith threw three shutouts and Katrina Johnson had two.

RBI Time
Alexia Taylor leads the Lady Flames with 17 RBI this season, including a career-high five RBI on March 14 at Gardner-Webb. Taylor's five RBI were the most by a Lady Flame since Jamie Crisp drove in five runs against East Tennessee State, April 24, 2014.

Off and Running
Liberty is off and running again this season, stealing 52 bases in 31 games. The Lady Flames lead the Big South and rank 34th nationally with 1.68 stolen bases per game. Tori Zavodny is second in the conference with 17 stolen bases, while Blair Lawrence has swiped 14 bases, tying for fourth in the Big South.

The Lady Flames led the Big South and ranked 23rd nationally with 92 stolen bases last season. The program record of 93 was set in 1996.

3-Hit Club
So far this year, six different Lady Flames have posted at least one three-hit game.

Tori Zavodny has had four three-hit games. Megan Robinson and Kelby Allen have registered two three-hit games apiece, while Jamie Crisp, Blair Lawrence and Mickey Loveridge have one apiece.

Allen leads current Lady Flames with eight career three-hit games. The other current Lady Flames to post a three-hit game during their time at Liberty are: Robinson (5), Zavodny (4), Crisp (2), Katie Han (2), Kassidy McCoy (2), Lawrence (2) and Loveridge (1).

Heating Up
Megan Robinson has reached base safely in 15 straight games, and saw her 14-game hitting streak end on Sunday. Hers was the longest hitting streak since Katie Zavodny tied the program record with a 23-game hitting streak, from Feb. 24 through April 3, 2013.

Last 10
In the last 10 games, Megan Robinson has batted .433 with four doubles. Mickey Loveridge hit .400, while Alexia Taylor batted .353 with eight runs scored, posting five two-hit games during that stretch. Blair Lawrence hit .333, while Kelby Allen drove in six runs and Tori Zavodny hit three homers and scored nine runs.

Also during the last 10 games, Liberty's ERA is 1.65, with opponents batting .186. Chandler Ball is 4-1 with a 1.12 ERA, while Kenzie Friesen is 2-3 with a 2.73 ERA. Abby Tincher has not allowed a hit or a run in three appearances over the last 10-game span.