LYNCHBURG, Va. – After helping the Liberty softball team get off to a 5-0 start for the first time since 2006, two Lady Flames freshmen were honored by the Big South today. Shortstop Amber Bishop was named Big South Player of the Week, while classmate Elizabeth Engler was voted Big South Pitcher of the Week.
This is the first time that Liberty has had both the Big South Player and Pitcher of the Week in the same week since May 10, 2010, when infielder J’Nae Jefferson and pitcher Katrina Johnson were honored. Engler joins teammates Chase Cassady and Julia DiMartino, who both received Pitcher of the Week honors as freshmen in 2016. Bishop is the first Liberty freshman since Kelly Strickland on May 4, 2009 to be named Big South Player of the Week.
Hailing from Murrieta, Calif., Bishop had a monster week, hitting .625 with a .938 slugging percentage, .647 on-base percentage, two doubles, one homer and nine RBI in five games played. She doubled during her first collegiate at bat, Friday against Chattanooga, going 2-for-3. Bishop went 3-for-4 with one RBI on Saturday against Chattanooga, and followed with a 2-for-3 game versus Fairleigh Dickinson during which she drove in three runs. To cap the weekend, she hit 2-for-3 with a homer, three RBI and two runs scored against Morgan State.
Bishop currently leads the Big South in batting average, on-base percentage, hits and RBI.
Engler, a Temecula, Calif., native, went 2-0 in her first two career appearances in the circle on the weekend. She is the first Liberty freshman to post pitching victories in her first two appearances since Katie Phillips in 1996. For the weekend, Engler posted a 0.00 ERA, allowing one unearned run on five hits in 10 innings pitched while posting five walks, seven strikeouts and a .147 opponents’ batting average.
She pitched the final four innings of an 11-2 win over Chattanooga on Saturday, allowing two hits while walking three and striking out three. Engler then yielded one unearned run on three hits in a complete game, striking out four in a 9-1 win over Morgan State. She is tied for the Big South lead in ERA, opponents’ batting average and wins.
The Lady Flames travel to California for the first time since 2009, competing in the prestigious Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, Calif., Friday through Sunday. While in California, Liberty will take on six teams, highlighted by nationally-ranked UCLA and Oregon.