ATLANTA, Ga. -- The Liberty softball team will make its third postseason appearances in a row, as the Lady Flames have been selected to compete in the 2019 National Invitational Softball Championship (NISC). Liberty will host a four-team NISC Regional, Thursday through Saturday at Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium.
Liberty will serve as a host site for the NISC for the second time in the last three years. In 2017, Liberty hosted both the Regional and National levels of the tournament, capturing the title.
The Lynchburg Regional will include the host Lady Flames (37-20), along with Appalachian State (31-23), George Washington (42-16), Kent State (27-24), Marshall (39-20) and Rutgers (28-24).
The double-elimination Regional begins on Thursday at 10 a.m., with Appalachian State taking on Rutgers. At 1 p.m., George Washington and Marshall square off. Liberty will take on the winner of Appalachian State and Rutgers at 4 p.m. Kent State awaits the winner of Marshall and George Washington at 7 p.m.
The Lady Flames (37-20) went 16-5 in ASUN Conference play in their first year in the conference, finishing second in league standings. Liberty finished third at the 2019 ASUN Softball Championship. The Lady Flames hold a 21-2 record at Liberty Softball Stadium this season, outscoring opponents 130-27 at home. Liberty has pitched at an elite level, currently ranking four in the nation with a 1.55 team ERA.
Liberty received an ASUN-best six all-conference players this year, in first-teamers Jaclyn Amader (Sr. UTL), Amber Bishop (Jr. 2B), Autumn Bishop (Jr. 1B) and Julia DiMartino (Sr. P) and second-team choices Sarah Robertson (Sr. SS) and Madison Via (So. OF). DiMartino and Chase Cassady are both ranked in the top 25 nationally in ERA.
The 19-team tournament will feature four Regionals, hosted by Liberty, Iowa State, Nevada and Stephen F. Austin.
The Lady Flames went 2-1 against teams in the 2019 NISC, sweeping two meetings from Rutgers and going 0-1 versus McNeese State.
This will be a ticketed event. Ticket information will be released on LibertyFlames.com when it becomes available.
This will be Liberty's third straight postseason appearance, as the Lady Flames won the inaugural Postseason National Invitational Softball Championship in 2017. Liberty won five straight elimination games in the national round, including three on the final day, to claim the program's first postseason championship.
Last year, Liberty earned its first two NCAA Tournament wins in program history, advancing to the NCAA Columbia Regional Final. The Lady Flames downed No. 24 Hofstra 2-0 in 10 innings in the Regional opener before knocking off the host No. 10 South Carolina Gamecocks 3-1 the following day.
In total, Liberty has made four postseason appearances, including three times in the NCAA Softball Championship (2002, 2011, 2018) and once in the NISC (2017).
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