Liberty extended several impressive streaks on Tuesday, shutting out the visiting Virginia Cavaliers, 4-0, in front of a stadium-record 954 fans at Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium.
With the win, the Lady Flames (27-16) extend their winning streak to eight games overall, tying a season high. Liberty has also won six straight games at home. The Cavaliers fall to 14-27 on the season.
Liberty has posted four straight shutouts, holding opponents without a run for the last 28 2/3 innings, dating to last Tuesday against Hampton.
Virginia outhit Liberty, 8-6, but the Cavaliers left 10 runners on base, compared to four for the Lady Flames.
Julia DiMartino (10-6) tossed an eight-hit shutout, her third clean sheet in a row, fourth shutout of the season and 11th of her career. She has pitched 22 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings.
Lacy Smith (1-5) drew the loss, allowing four runs on six hits, striking out one and walking one in five innings pitched. Lexi Mettler pitched a hitless sixth inning.
For Liberty, Tori Zavodny went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and one RBI. Amber Bishop batted 1-for-2 with a homer and two RBI. Bishop is now tied with Sammi Shivock (2011) for the program freshman record, nine homers. Sarah Robertson went 1-for-3, becoming the fifth Liberty player all-time to reach 100 career hits as a sophomore. Alexia Taylor and Deidra See both doubled.
Allison Davis went 3-for-4 for the Cavaliers, while McKall Miller batted 2-for-4. Kaitlin Fitzgerald and Madison Labshere both hit one double each.
Virginia loaded the bases in the top the first, as Davis and Danni Ingraham both singled and Fitzgerald reached on a fielding error. DiMartino then struck out Iyana Hughes to escape the jam.
Aggressive baserunning gave Liberty a quick 1-0 lead in the first. Zavodny drew a leadoff walk. Bishop was then hit by a pitch. Robertson then reached on a fielder's choice, and Zavodny sprinted home from second, narrowly beating the throw from shortstop Labshere.
The Cavaliers threatened to score in the third, getting back-to-back singles from Davis and Miller to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt sent each runner ahead 60 feet. However, Fitzgerald lined out and Hughes struck out, keeping the score 1-0, Liberty.
Liberty added to its lead with a three-run fifth. See lined a leadoff double to left center. With two outs, Zavodny beat out an infield single, plating pinch runner Jessica Cicerchia. Bishop followed with a two-run shot to left center, making it 4-0.
Fitzgerald doubled to start the sixth inning, but was left at second base, as DiMartino retired the next three batters.
Mettler entered the circle in relief of Smith to start the bottom of the sixth. After hitting Emily Sweat with a pitch, she set down the side.
Katie Park drew a one-out walk in the top of the seventh, and Davis followed with a single. After a fielder's choice, Ingraham flied out to deep left to end the game.
The Lady Flames and Cavaliers will complete their home-and-home series tomorrow, competing in a single game at 6 p.m. at The Park in Charlottesville, Va.