Liberty freshman Amber Bishop hit a pair of homers and Liberty held Cal Poly in check, eliminating the Mustangs, 3-0, on Monday and advancing to the semifinal of the NISC Championship Round.
Liberty (43-24) won a pair of elimination games today, ushering Illinois State and Cal Poly from the tournament with a pair of 3-0 shutouts. The Mustangs end their season at 38-21. The Lady Flames will face the loser of tomorrow's 4 p.m. game between Kennesaw State and Lamar, tomorrow night at 7 p.m.
Julia DiMartino (20-10) pitched the final four innings of Liberty's combined shutout, allowing no hits while striking out two and walking one. DiMartino is the fifth player in program history, and first since Chandler Ball in 2015, to win 20 games in a single season. Kenzie Friesen pitched three innings, giving up three hits. Liberty has now tossed 18 shutouts this season, two shy of the program record of 20, set in 1999.
Cal Poly senior Sierra Hyland (24-13), a four-time NFCA All-Region player, finished her career with a loss, She allowed two runs on six hits, walking five and fanning five in 6 1/3 innings pitched. Lindsey Chalmers pitched 2/3 of an inning, allowing one run on one hit while walking one.
Amber Bishop went 2-for-2 with two homers, her 14th and 15th of the season, two RBI and two runs scored, good for her third two-homer game this season. In the process, she set a new program single-season record with 62 RBI. Tori Zavodny went 2-for-4, while Autumn Bishop went 2-for-4 with a double.
Hyland supported her own cause at the plate, getting two out of Cal Poly's three hits.
Amber Bishop launched a solo shot to left with one out in the top of the first, giving Liberty a quick 1-0 lead.
Hyland lined a two-out single to left in the bottom of the first, but was left there as Hailey Martin grounded out to short.
Jasmeen Click drew a leadoff walk in the third before going to second on a sac bunt by Autumn Bishop and to third on a groundout. Liberty stranded her there when Zavodny bounced out to second.
Chelsea Convissar led off the bottom of the fourth by singling to left. Hyland followed with an infield single. DiMartino then entered the circle in relief of Friesen. A sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out. Courtney Tyler hit a flare that shortstop Sarah Robertson tracked down, before throwing home. After an appeal, Convissar was called out for leaving third early in an effort to tag up and tie the game, ending the inning.
After two quick outs in the top of the fifth, Autumn Bishop ripped a double to left center. Hyland then walked Amber Bishop before a single by Zavodny loaded the bases. Alexia Taylor then grounded out to second, keeping the score at 1-0.
DiMartino hit Stephanie Heyward with a pitch to start the bottom of the sixth. A sacrifice bunt sent her to second before a pair of popouts ended the inning.
Liberty tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the seventh, beginning with a one-out, opposite-field blast off the bat of Amber Bishop. Chalmers entered the circle for Hyland, walking Taylor. A wild pitch sent her to second before Deidra See hit an infield single that scored Taylor from second.
DiMartino put the finishing touches on the win, getting a pair of flyouts and a groundout to complete the victory