3 Lady Flames named to Big South Softball All-Decade Team
Throughout the month of June, the Big South is recognizing each sport’s top student-athletes and coaches from the recently completed decade. Liberty wrapped up its 27-year Big South Conference membership on June 30, 2018, departing for the ASUN Conference.
The Flames excelled during their final years of Big South competition, earning seven Sasser Cups and 62 Big South team championships between 2010-18.
A 15-person committee of Big South Conference administrators served as the official voting panel to determine the All-Decade Team, with fan voting comprising 20 percent of the overall total. The 2010-19 Softball All-Decade Team features 23 players and one head coach.
DiMartino (2016-18), a native of Brockport, N.Y., was a three-time Big South Conference first team selection, being named the Big South Pitcher of the Year as both a sophomore and junior. She led the Big South in victories in back-to-back years, and her program-record 29 wins in 2018 were the most by any Big South pitcher in a single season this decade. DiMartino went 39-9 with a 1.75 ERA and 13 shutouts all-time against Big South opponents. A three-time NFCA All-Region selection, the right-hander finished her career as the program record holder in most career pitching categories. She was a four-time all-conference selection, being named to the ASUN All-Conference first team as a senior.
One of the top power hitters in program history, Strickland (2009-12) was named the 2011 Big South Conference Co-Softball Player of the Year. She batted a career-best .324 with a career-high 16 homers during 2011, earning NFCA All-Region and Easton Fastpitch All-American third team honors as a junior. Hailing from Tabor City, N.C., Strickland is ranked third in program history and eighth all-time in Big South Conference history with 45 career home runs. She is tied for third all-time at Liberty with 149 career RBI and is one of just two Lady Flames with multiple seasons of 15 or more home runs (also Jessica Moore, 2005-07).
Hailing from Concord, N.C., Zavodny (2015-18) was the second player in program history (Ashley Williams, 2005-08) with four all-conference honors. A three-time VaSID All-State honoree, she was the first player in program history with 30 doubles, 15 triples and 15 homers in a career. She batted .322 for her career and ranked second in program history in career triples (15) and third in both runs scored (153) and stolen bases (76) upon graduation. As a junior, she was named to the NFCA All-Mid-Atlantic Region second team while also earning Postseason NISC Tournament MVP honors. Her 15 career triples were the most by any Big South softball player since the 2001 season.