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Conference-Leading Liberty Heads to Gardner-Webb for 3 Games

April 13, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Conference-Leading Liberty Heads to Gardner-Webb for 3 Games

Complete Game Notes

Big South-leading Liberty (28-16, 10-2 Big South), riding a nine-game winning streak, makes its first appearance at the Big South's newest stadium this weekend, Gardner-Webb's Brinkley Softball Stadium. Liberty will face Gardner-Webb (12-25, 5-7) in a single game, Friday at 5 p.m. before contesting a doubleheader beginning Saturday at 1 p.m.

Liberty holds a 27-8 lead in the all-time series against Gardner-Webb. The Lady Flames have won seven out of the last eight meetings, including a sweep in 2016.

Lady Flames at a Glance
The Lady Flames have tied a program record with five straight shutouts, holding opponents scoreless for the last 35 2/3 innings. In that same time, Liberty has scored 40 unanswered runs. Liberty has outscored opponents, 62-5, during its current nine-game winning streak overall.

Tori Zavodny leads the Big South with a .425 batting average. Autumn Bishop follows at .404, with a team-leading 11 doubles. Amber Bishop (.376) is in the top 20 in the nation in hits (55) and RBI (42), also hitting nine homers. Sarah Robertson (.354) has hit 11 doubles and is second on the team with 30 RBI, while Jasmeen Click (.330) paces the team in stolen bases (19). Alexia Taylor hits .337, while Emily Sweat bats .312.

Kenzie Friesen (11-1) leads the Big South with a 1.84 ERA, pitching three shutouts. Julia DiMartino (10-6) is second in the conference in ERA (2.30) while leading the Big South in shutouts (4) and strikeouts (110). Chase Cassady (4-7, 4.77 ERA) has tossed two shutouts this year.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow all three games of this weekend's series through live stats.  StatBroadcast live stats will be available courtesy of Gardner-Webb Athletic Media Relations. Also, periodic twitter updates will appear from LUGameday.

Quick Hits
- Dot Richardson needs one more win for 100 in her head coaching career.

- Liberty is nearing the program record of consecutive scoreless innings, 38, set in 1997

- Liberty's nine-game winning streak is its longest since a team-record 12 games in 2010.

- Liberty leads the Big South and ranks 18th in the nation with a .323 batting average.

- Amber Bishop tied a program freshman record with her ninth homer, Tuesday.

- Liberty Softball Stadium was voted sixth-best softball stadium by FloSoftball.com.

- This is the first time since 2011 that two Lady Flames have 10+ wins in the same year.

- Sarah Robertson recorded her 100th career hit, Tuesday against Virginia.

Liberty vs. Gardner-Webb (Liberty leads, 27-8) Current Series Streak: Liberty W4
Last Meeting: Liberty 4, Gardner-Webb 0 (4/30/16 - Lynchburg, Va.)
Last Gardner-Webb Win: Gardner-Webb 10, Liberty 8 (3/15/15 - Shelby, N.C.) 

Gardner-Webb (12-25, 5-7 Big South) finished a three-game series sweep of Winthrop, defeating the Eagles, 3-2, Wednesday in Boiling Springs, N.C. The Runnin' Bulldogs have had two conference honorees this season, as Olivia Benson was named Big South Pitcher of the Week on March 13 and Alia Booth was voted Freshman of the Week the same day.

Liberty holds a 27-8 record all-time against Gardner-Webb. The Lady Flames had won 11 straight games against the Runnin' Bulldogs before Gardner-Webb downed Liberty, 4-2, on April 12, 2013. Liberty has won seven out of the last eight meetings.

Liberty vs. Gardner-Webb - 2016 Recap
Liberty swept Gardner-Webb in a low-scoring, three-game series, April 29-30, 2016 at Liberty Softball Stadium. The Lady Flames outscored the Runnin' Bulldogs, 9-1 overall.

Game one on April 29 saw Julia DiMartino toss her second career no-hitter, as the freshman faced just one batter over the minimum in a 1-0 win.

Liberty took game two, 4-1, allowing just five hits.

Chandler Ball tossed a three-hit shutout in a 4-0 Liberty victory, sweeping the series.

In seven lifetime games against Gardner-Webb, Alexia Taylor has batted 9-for-24 (.375) with three doubles, one homer and 10 RBI.

Team Notes
- Since starting the season at 10-12, Liberty is 18-4 in its last 22 games.
- Liberty has held opponents scoreless for the last 35 2/3 innings, dating to the second inning against Hampton, April 4. The longest shutout streak in program history was 38 innings, from March 25-29, 1997.
- The Lady Flames have outscored opponents, 62-5, during their current nine-game winning streak. Liberty has allowed just two earned runs in the last nine games. The longest winning streak in program history was 12 games, in 2010.
- Liberty Head Coach Dot Richardson needs one win to become the third coach in program history with 100 career wins, and first since Paul Wetmore (1994-2013). Wetmore earned his 100th career win on April 18, 1997.

Player Notes
- Kenzie Friesen (11-1, 1.84 ERA) has not allowed a run in her last 20 innings pitched. She has won each of her last six starts. In 11 starts on the season, Friesen is 9-1 with a 0.74 ERA. Liberty has gone 10-1 in games that Friesen has started this year.
- Julia DiMartino (10-6, 2.30 ERA) has not allowed a run in her last 22 2/3 innings pitched, a stretch that includes three complete-game shutouts and 32 strikeouts.
- Tori Zavodny leads the Big South with a .425 batting average. She ranks fourth in program history in career runs (119) and walks (66), and third in triples (11).
- Amber Bishop (.374) tied Sammi Shivock's (2011) program freshman record with her ninth homer, Tuesday against Virginia. Bishop ranks 17th in the nation in hits (55), 20th in RBI (42) and 22nd in total bases (89).
- Autumn Bishop (.404) is tied for the team lead with 11 doubles and three triples, tying a program single-game record with two triples against Morgan State, Feb. 12.
- Sarah Robertson (.354) has recorded 11 doubles and 30 RBI. She recorded her 100th career hit, Tuesday against Virginia, becoming the fifth player in program history to reach 100 hits as a sophomore. Robertson had a team-best 13-game hitting streak in March.
- Alexia Taylor (.337) is currently on a career-best seven-game hitting streak. Last year, she became the fourth Liberty sophomore to reach 100 career hits.
- Jasmeen Click (.330) needs one more stolen base to become the seventh player in program history with 20 or more steals in a single season.
- Emily Sweat (.311) has Liberty's lone game-winning, walk-off hit so far this season, hitting a game-winning, two-run single to end a 6-5 win over Radford, March 25.
- Deidra See is batting .600 (9-for-15) with three doubles, one homer and seven RBI during her current six-game hitting streak, improving her batting average from .237 to .287.
- Kaitlin McFarland has started 13 out of the last 15 games at catcher, including the last nine in a row. She has thrown out 50 percent (5-for-10) of would-be basestealers.