LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty senior Julia DiMartino tossed a three-hit shutout and the Lady Flames scored twice each in the first and sixth innings, advancing to the NISC Regional final with a 4-0 shutout over Kent State, Friday at Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium.
The Lady Flames (39-20) have outscored opponents 5-0 so far at the NISC Regional, shutting out Rutgers 1-0 yesterday before posting a 4-0 shutout over Kent State today. Liberty will play in the championship game tomorrow at 1 p.m. against the winner of Game 9, which will take place tomorrow at 10 a.m. Kent State will face the winner of tonight's elimination game between George Washington and Marshall.
LIBERTY – 1st INNING – Erich singles to center, advances on the throw, Robertson advances, out at third, Via and Autumn Bishop score, 2-0
LIBERTY – 6th INNING – Via homers to right, Amber Bishop scores, 4-0
- Liberty outhit Kent State 6-3 for the game while the Golden Flashes committed one error. Kent State left five on base while Liberty stranded three.
- DiMartino (19-10) tossed her sixth shutout of the season, allowing three hits while striking out five and walking two.
- KSU's Andrea Scali allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits, walking two and fanning two.
- Madison Via went 2-for-2 with a homer, two RBI and two runs scored while Alexis Erich drove in two runs.
- Liberty loaded the bases in the bottom of the first on hits by Autumn Bishop, Via and Sarah Robertson. After two outs, Erich lined the first pitch she saw into center, scoring two for a 2-0 lead.
- In the sixth, Via crushed a two-run homer to right, doubling Liberty's advantage to 4-0.
Beyond the Box Score
- Liberty has tossed 18 shutouts this season, with 14 of them coming at home.
- Liberty is 16-0 this season when scoring at least one run in the first inning.
- The Lady Flames are 23-2 at Liberty Softball Stadium this season, and have won 10 straight home games. Overall, Liberty has outscored opponents 135-27 at Liberty Softball Stadium this year.
- Liberty has now tossed six postseason shutouts all-time. DiMartino has fashioned two of those, including the first NCAA shutout in program history, May 18, 2018 against Hofstra.
- Similarly to two years ago, Liberty has opened the NISC with back-to-back shutouts.
- The Lady Flames have won seven straight NISC tournament games, dating to the 2017 edition.
- Sarah Robertson recorded her 227th career hit, moving into sole possession of fourth place in program history.
- DiMartino has now pitched 30 career shutouts, making her the fourth active NCAA Division I pitcher with 30 or more career shutouts.
- Liberty is attempting to win its second NISC title, as the Lady Flames won the inaugural NISC crown in 2017.
- Liberty is 4-0 against Kent State during the 2018-19 athletic year, also including victories in men's basketball, field hockey and women's lacrosse.