Liberty scored first, but a five-run Iowa State first inning sent the Cyclones on their way to a 7-2 victory over the Lady Flames in an elimination game at the 2019 NISC Championship Round, Saturday at TC Colorado Field.
Iowa State (36-24) advances to today's second elimination game at 6 p.m. Eastern time against the loser of UT Arlington and Loyola Marymount. Liberty (40-22) sees its season end, as the Lady Flames were attempting to win their second NISC title in the last three years.
Liberty junior infielders Amber Bishop and Autumn Bishop were named to the NISC Championship Round All-Tournament Team for their efforts this weekend. Both Bishops, along with Chase Cassady and Madison Via, had been named to the Lynchburg Regional All-Tournament Team last weekend.
Scoring Summary LIBERTY – 1st INNING – Robertson doubles to right center, Amader advances, Amber Bishop scores, 1-0
IOWA STATE – 1st INNING – Williams homers to center, 1-1
IOWA STATE – 1st INNING – Nearad homers to center, 2-1
IOWA STATE – 1st INNING – Ramos singles, advances to third on error, Stites and Lewis score, 4-1
IOWA STATE – 1st INNING – Schaben reaches on a fielder's choice, sacrifice bunt, 5-1
IOWA STATE – 4th INNING – Williams doubles to center, Ramos scores, 6-1
IOWA STATE – 4th INNING – Nearad grounds out, Williams scores, 7-1
LIBERTY – 7th INNING – Amader singles to left, advances to third on error, Amber Bishop scores, 7-2
Notable Numbers - Both teams registered eight hits, while Iowa State committed five out of the game's seven errors. Liberty left 11 on base, compared to five stranded for the Cyclones.
- Savannah Sanders (7-9) earned the win, allowing two runs on eight hits, walking three and fanning one in six innings. Emma Hylen pitched one hitless frame in relief, striking out two.
- Chase Cassady (15-4) drew the loss in her final career game, giving up three runs. Elizabeth Engler yielded four runs (two earned) on four hits in three innings before Julia DiMartino made her final appearance in a Liberty uniform. DiMartino gave up just one hit and struck out three in three innings.
- Sami Williams went 2-for-3 with a double, homer, two runs and two RBI, while Taylor Nearad batted 1-for-4 with a homer and two RBI and Talyn Lewis hit 2-for-3.
- Seniors Jaclyn Amader (3-for-4) and Sarah Robertson (2-for-4, double) drove in one run each, while Amber Bishop went 1-for-3 with two runs scored. Seniors Jasmeen Click and Kaitlin McFarland also had one hit each in their last career game.
Turning Point - Liberty struck first, as Amber Bishop walked and Amader singled with one out. Robertson then put Liberty on the board with an RBI double. However, the Flames left two on base to end the inning.
- Iowa State began the bottom of the first with back-to-back homers from Williams and Nearad. After a single by Talyn Lewis, Engler came on in relief of Cassady. The Cyclones tacked on three runs to make it 5-1. Two fourth-inning runs pushed ISU's lead to 7-1.
- Liberty put runners in scoring position in five out of the seven innings. In the seventh, the Lady Flames got a quick run, as Amber Bishop doubled and Amader drove her in with a single. However, Hylen came on for the final three outs.
Beyond the Box Score - Liberty is 17-2 this season when scoring at least one run in the first inning and 32-5 when scoring first in a game.
- This is Liberty's third straight 40-win season and fifth in program history.
- Liberty's eight-member senior class (Amader, Cassady, Click, DiMartino, McFarland, Reynolds, Robertson, See) is the winningest senior class in program history. The Lady Flames have won 166 games over the last four years. This class won two Big South regular-season titles, one Big South tournament championship, two NISC Regional titles, one NISC national title and two NCAA Regional games.
- Liberty is 6-1 all-time in NISC elimination games.
- Robertson ends her career ranked second in program history with 50 career doubles, third with 231 career hits, tied for sixth in career RBI (126) and tied for seventh in total bases (325). She moved up on all of those lists today.
- Amber Bishop moved into a tie for third in program history with Autumn Bishop with her 48th career double today. Amber Bishop is now second all-time at Liberty with 233 career hits.
- DiMartino holds 14 of Liberty's pitching records (seven single-season, seven career).