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Liberty to Open Big South Tournament Against No. 8 Seed Gardner-Webb, Thursday

May 4, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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2014 Big South Softball Championship Bracket

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Liberty will serve as the No. 9 seed in the 2014 Big South Softball Championship, to be held Thursday through Sunday in Conway, S.C. The Lady Flames (10-44, 4-20 Big South) will open the tournament against No. 8 seed Gardner-Webb (16-35, 6-17) in a single-elimination game, Thursday at 9 a.m. at Coastal Carolina Softball Stadium.

The winner of Thursday's game between the Lady Flames and Runnin' Bulldogs will advance to the double-elmination portion of the tournament, facing No. 1 seed and host Coastal Carolina on Thursday at 2:30 p.m., while the losing team's 2014 season will come to an end.

Liberty has faced Gardner-Webb twice in postseason play, defeating the Runnin' Bulldogs both times on May 13, 2011 in the semifinal round of the 2011 Big South Softball Championship. The Lady Flames won the first game, 1-0, behind a home run by Sammi Shivock, before winning game two, 6-1 to advance to the final, where Liberty downed Radford for its second Big South softball title.

Gardner-Webb swept the regular-season series from the Lady Flames, winning all three games at Liberty Softball Field, April 11-12. The Runnin' Bulldogs scored a seventh-inning run to win game one, 6-5, before holding off Liberty, 13-10, during the nightcap. On April 12, a three-run home run keyed Gardner-Webb's 5-3 win.

Coastal Carolina went 20-4 against Big South competition this season to capture the No. 1 seed and regular-season championship for the second year in a row.

Defending conference tournament champion Longwood drew the second seed after sweeping Radford this weekend to finish at 17-6 in league games. Radford came in third, at 14-10, while Campbell (13-10) earned the No. 4 position.

Winthrop ended the season with a 12-12 conference record, good for the fifth seed, while Presbyterian College (10-13) claimed the No. 6 seed, edging out seventh-seeded Charleston Southern (9-13) by a half-game. Gardner-Webb (6-17) finished eighth, with Liberty (4-20) drawing the ninth spot in the tournament.

The 2014 Big South Softball Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting begins on
Thursday, with five games scheduled, and concludes with the championship contest on Sunday, at noon, live on ESPNU. The Big South's tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Division I Softball Championship. All games for the conference tournament will be video streamed live on the Big South Network presented by State Farm.  Saturday's semifinal contests will appear live on ESPN3.com

2014 Big South Softball Championship
presented by Musco Sports Lighting
Coastal Carolina Softball Stadium
Conway, S.C.
Thursday, May 8
Game 1: No. 8 Gardner-Webb vs. No. 9 Liberty (play-in game), 9 a.m.

Game 2: No. 4 Campbell vs. No. 5 Winthrop, Noon
Game 3: No. 1 Coastal Carolina vs. Game 1 Winner, 2:30 p.m.
Game 4: No. 2 Longwood vs. No. 7 Charleston Southern, 5 p.m.
Game 5: No. 3 Radford vs. No. 6 Presbyterian College, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 9
Game 6: Game 2 Loser vs. Game 3 Loser, 9 a.m.
Game 7: Game 4 Loser vs. Game 5 Loser, 11:30 a.m.
Game 8: Game 2 Winner vs. Game 3 Winner, 2 p.m.
Game 9: Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner, 4:30 p.m.
Game 10: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Loser, 7 p.m.
Game 11: Game 6 Winner vs. Game 9 Loser, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 10
Game 12: Game 9 Winner vs. Game 10 Winner, Noon (ESPN3.com)
Game 13: Game 8 Winner vs. Game 11 Winner, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN3.com)
Game 14: if necessary, 5 p.m. ** (ESPN3.com)
Game 15: if necessary, 7:30 p.m. ** (ESPN3.com)

Sunday, May 11
Championship Game: TBA vs. TBA (Winner-take-all), Noon (TV: ESPNU)

** - Game 14 will be necessary if the winner of Game 10 defeats the winner of Game 9. Game 15 will be necessary if the winner of Game 11 defeats the winner of Game 8. If both games are played, they will both be played on Saturday.