Official NFCA Release The Liberty softball team received a program-record five honors on the 2019 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NCAA Division I All-Mid-Atlantic Region Softball Team.
Junior second baseman Amber Bishop and senior pitcher Julia DiMartino were both named to the All-Region first team for the second year in a row, while seniors Chase Cassady (pitcher), Sarah Robertson (shortstop) and Jaclyn Amader (utility/non-pitcher) were voted to the second team.
This is the second time in program history that the Lady Flames have had more than one first team All-Region selection in a single season. Also, Liberty broke its previous program record of four All-Region players from 2017.
A total of 392 players from 163 different softball programs nationally have been selected to the 2019 NFCA Division I All-Region teams. The all-region teams were voted upon by NFCA member coaches from each region, and all honorees are now eligible to be chosen for one of the three 2019 NFCA Division I All-America teams. The NFCA All-America squads will be announced on May 29.
DiMartino and Bishop are the first players in program history to receive three All-Region awards during their careers, as both players have been honored in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Amader, Cassady and Robertson all receive their first All-Region honors.
DiMartino, a senior from Brockport, N.Y., has had her best season so far. A two-time Big South Pitcher of the Year, she is the first player in program history to be named a first-team all-conference selection four times. She enters the postseason with an 18-10 record, 1.19 ERA and .204 opponents' batting average. DiMartino ranks 12th nationally in ERA and leads the ASUN with six saves. The senior tossed a perfect game against Princeton and pitched in a combined no-hitter versus Quinnipiac. The right-hander holds 14 program records.
Bishop, a junior from Murrieta, Calif., is a three-time first-team all-conference selection at second base. She was named one of the top 100 players in Division I Softball by Softball America in a preseason listing. The junior bats .369 and leads the ASUN with 69 hits and 12 home runs this season. A clutch hitter, Bishop has hit two walk-off homers this season, including a walk-off grand slam that ended up on SportsCenter's Top 10 that night.
A native of Rocklin, Calif., Amader split time between third base and the outfield this season. She is a three-time all-conference selection, including once each as an outfielder, infielder and utility player. Amader led Liberty with a .393 batting average and .485 on base percentage in ASUN play this season. The senior went on a streak in April where she reached base in 21 straight games. She is third on the team with 12 multiple-hit games, including two three-hit games and one four-hit contest.
Cassady, hailing from Orlando, Fla., has been one of the top pitchers in the region this season. She holds a 13-3 record, 1.34 ERA and .208 opponents' batting average. Cassady currently ranks 21st in the nation in ERA. Her 0.69 ERA in conference play led all ASUN pitchers this spring. She has improved her ERA every season she has been at Liberty, lowering her ERA from 2.31 last year to 1.34 as a senior. Cassady has tossed three shutouts and a one-hitter this year.
Robertson, a three-time all-conference shortstop from Panama City, Fla., has been strong at the plate and in the field. She has batted .311 with seven doubles and 20 RBI this season and she is among the ASUN leaders with 104 assists. Her fielding was nearly flawless during conference play, where she posted a .987 fielding percentage. With one more game played, she will set the program's career records for games played and games started.
The Lady Flames (37-20) are hosting the 2019 Postseason NISC this week. Liberty will play at 4 p.m. today against the winner of this morning's game between Rutgers and Appalachian State. The Lady Flames are making their third straight postseason appearance, having won the 2017 NISC and made it to the 2018 NCAA Columbia Regional final.
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