In preparation of Liberty's annual Hall of Fame weekend in September, LFSN reporter Nick Pierce recently had a chance to talk with 2017 inductee Katie (Phillips) Bigham.
Five new members will be inducted into the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony in September. The Hall of Fame's Class of 2017 will include representatives from football, men's basketball, men's cross country/track & field and softball, as well as Liberty's strength and conditioning program.
The five-member class, the ninth to be inducted into the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame, will be honored during special ceremonies surrounding Liberty's football match-up with St. Francis, Pa., on Sept. 30 at Williams Stadium.
Bigham was one of the driving forces that helped Liberty's reinstated softball program quickly rise to be a power in the Big South Conference. Nearly two decades after her playing career finished, she still holds the program's career record for ERA (1.59), wins (62) and shutouts (23).
Two years prior to her freshman season, Liberty won eight games during its first season back as a varsity program (146-90). However, Bigham guided the Lady Flames to 146 wins (146-90) over her four-year career, including the team's first-ever 40 win season in 1999 (41-25).
A local product from Concord, Va., Bigham was twice named to the All-Big South second team (1996 and 1997) and twice selected to the VaSID All-State first team (1997 and 1998). She became the program's first-ever 20-game winner, posting a 20-12 record as a sophomore, while finishing her second year at Liberty with a 1.66 ERA, 26 complete games, seven shutouts and 137 strikeouts.
During her junior season, Bigham was named to the Big South Softball Championship All-Tournament team and shared co-MVP honors for the event. Bigham's efforts in the circle helped the Lady Flames make their first-ever Big South Softball Championship title game appearance in 1998.