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2011 Liberty Softball Schedule Announced
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Liberty Softball Head Coach Paul Wetmore has announced the 2011 schedule, as the Lady Flames will kick off the season on Feb. 25 with an appearance in the College of Charleston Tournament in Charleston, S.C.
During the season, Liberty will face 10 teams that participated in the 2010 NCAA Division I Softball Championships, and three squads that finished the 2010 season ranked in the top 25 in the country.
The highlight of the first event of the year will be a matchup against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who won the BIG EAST regular-season title last year before falling to No. 1 seed Michigan in the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional. The Fighting Irish finished the 2010 campaign ranked No. 24 nationally.
After four games at the UMBC Tournament in Baltimore, Md., March 4-6, the Lady Flames will travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on the Lady Vols of Tennessee for the ninth straight year. Last year's Tennessee squad's 49-15 season ended just one victory short of a berth in the Women's College World Series best-of-three title round.
The Lady Flames will next head south for a nine-day road trip, competing in tournaments at Stetson (five games, DeLand, Fla.) and South Florida (five games, Tampa, Fla.). Additionally, Liberty will meet 2010 NCAA Regional participants UCF and No. 20 Texas A&M for single games during the trip.
Upon returning to Lynchburg, the Lady Flames will jump right into conference play by traveling to Radford, Va. for a single game on March 23 against the defending conference champion and NCAA Regional participant Highlanders. The following day, Liberty will host Cornell, another NCAA Regional qualifier, in its 2011 home-opener, a doubleheader that will mark the first meetings between the two squads since 1998.
Non-conference matchups will be scattered amongst Big South contests for the remainder of the season, as the Lady Flames are scheduled to host NCAA Regional participant Virginia, as well as Virginia Tech, Hampton and Norfolk State, and will hit the road for contests against UNC Greensboro, James Madison and Longwood.
Other NCAA regional qualifiers scheduled for this season are Iona, Long Island and Texas Tech.
The Lady Flames will close out the regular season with a three-game series against Coastal Carolina, May 7-8, in Conway, S.C. The 2011 Big South Softball Championship is slated for May 12-14 in Rock Hill, S.C.