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Lady Flames to Open Home Schedule With ETSU

March 5, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Senior Kaylee West is hitting .417 with two doubles so far this season.

Complete Game Notes

Liberty opens the home portion of its 2012 schedule on Tuesday, playing host to East Tennessee State for a doubleheader, with game one starting at 2 p.m. The Lady Flames downed the Buccaneers twice on March 16, 2010, in the only previous meetings between these two programs.

Season Update
Liberty brings a 5-3 record into Tuesday's doubleheader. The Lady Flames split four games at the Elon Invitational to open the season, and then placed second with a 3-1 record at the USC Upstate Tournament. East Tennessee State is 4-11 after a 2-1 showing in Knoxville, Tenn., over the weekend, where the Bucs faced the Dutch National Team, Boston University and No. 8 Tennessee.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow the action on Tuesday through Gametracker, provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications Department. Live stats can be accessed through the Live Stats link on LibertyFlames.com.

Quick Hits
- Liberty is 19-7 all-time in home openers, including 14-4 under head coach Paul Wetmore.

- The Lady Flames are 2-0 against East Tennessee State, winning twice, March 16, 2010.

- Meredith Crisante was named Big South Softball Player of the Week, Feb. 27.

- Crisante, Kelby Allen and Amber Donovan named to USC Upstate all-tournament team.

- Donovan tied an NCAA Division I record with three doubles, Feb. 24, vs. Savannah St.

- Liberty posted five-game winning streak, Feb. 11-25, averaging 9.2 runs and 13 hits.

- Liberty hits .322 so far this season, averaging one home run and 6.1 runs per contest.

- The Lady Flames went 30-30 in 2011, winning the Big South Championship.

- Liberty went 10-7 at Liberty Softball Field last season, and is 185-139 all-time.

- The Lady Flames paced the Big South in eight offensive categories as a team last year.

- ETSU is Liberty's second straight opponent from the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Liberty vs. ETSU
All-Time Series:
Liberty leads, 2-0
Current Streak: Liberty W2
Last Meeting: Liberty 6, ETSU 4 (3/6/2010 in Johnson City, Tenn.)

East Tennessee State holds a 4-11 record this season. The Buccaneers competed in the Tennessee Softball Classic over the weekend, defeating Boston University, 7-3 before falling to No. 8 Tennessee by an 8-0 score. ETSU also beat the Dutch National Team in Knoxville. Three Buccaneers bat .300 or better, led by Sam Lower, at .394, while Casey Horner (.381) leads the team with three homers and 11 RBIs. Katie Wolf paces the Buccaneers' pitchers with a 3-3 record, 2.15 ERA and 25 strikeouts.

Liberty is 2-0 in the all-time series against ETSU. The Lady Flames downed the Bucs, 6-3 and 6-4, on March 16, 2010 in Johnson City, Tenn. Kaylee West went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in game one, while Kelly Strickland added two RBIs in game two.

The Lady Flames are 11-10 against teams from the Atlantic Sun, including 0-1 this year. Liberty last fell to conference-leading USC Upstate on Feb. 25.

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Paul Wetmore
Record at Liberty (Seasons): 513-547-1 (19)
Record vs. East Tennessee State: 2-0

East Tennessee State Head Coach: Brad Irwin
Record at East Tennessee State (Seasons): 19-44 (2)
Record vs. Liberty: First meeting

Home Openers
Liberty is 19-7 all-time in home openers, and 14-4 when opening the home schedule under current head coach Paul Wetmore.

Prior to last year's 10-6 loss to Cornell, March 24, 2011, the Lady Flames had won the previous  five home openers.

Tuesday's first game is Liberty's ninth contest on the season. It will mark the earliest that Liberty begins the home schedule since 2004, when the Lady Flames played the home opener on March 4. That game was Liberty's eighth tilt of the 2004 campaign.

The Lady Flames have faced 23 different opponents in home openers, including twice each against Mount St. Mary's, Hampton, Longwood and Norfolk State.

Commonwealth of Success
The Lady Flames will play at least 31 games in the Commonwealth of Virginia this season, including 21 home games. Liberty went 11-12 in games played in Virginia last season, and is 271-234 (.537) when playing in its home state since 1994.

Liberty holds a 185-139 (.571) all-time record at Liberty Softball Field, including 10-7 last season. The Lady Flames set a program record with 16 home wins in 1999, and tied that mark in 2010.

Crisante Named Big South Player of the Week
Senior outfielder Meredith Crisante was named Big South Softball Player of the Week on Feb. 27, after hitting .538 with a home run and four RBIs in the USC Upstate Tournament. Crisante, who also earned all-tournament honors in Spartanburg, has reached base in all eight of Liberty's games this year. She brings a seven game hitting streak into this week's contests.

Crisante is the first Lady Flame to be named Big South Softball Player of the Week since Ashley Bensinger was honored on April 25, 2011.

That's a Record
Amber Donovan tied an NCAA Division I single-game record with three doubles on Feb. 24 versus Savannah State. Six Lady Flames have a three-double game to their credit, most recently Jessica Moore versus Bethune-Cookman, April 3, 2006.

Donovan also tied a program record with four hits during that contest, making her the third Lady Flame with a four-hit game so far this season. The only other time in program history that three Liberty players had a four-hit game in the same year was 2000, when Meredith Hollyfield, Cheryl Wyrick and Lisa Jones all posted a four-hit contest.

On the Winning Streak
Liberty recently completed a five-game winning streak, one which started with a win against North Carolina Central on Feb. 11 and ended at USC Upstate, Feb. 25. The Lady Flames averaged 9.2 runs and 13 hits per game during the five-game streak, reaching double digits in hits in all five contests.

The last time Liberty recorded 10 or more hits in five straight games was April 13-19, 2011, when the Lady Flames had 10+ hits in six consecutive victories.

The Lady Flames have recorded 24 winning streaks of five games or longer since 1994, with the longest, 12 games, spanning from April 10 through April 21, 2010.

Hit Parade
Against North Carolina Central, Feb. 11, the Lady Flames tied a program record with 19 base hits, winning 14-5 in six innings. The record had been set against North Carolina A&T, March 31, 2003. 

The Lady Flames recorded 14 hits in the next game, a 7-2 win over Georgetown. Liberty's 33 combined hits were the most in back-to-back games in program history.

Going Yard
Liberty has hit eight home runs so far this season, an average of one per game. The Lady Flames hit a season-high three home runs on Feb. 24 against Savannah State, including back-to-back homers by Meredith Crisante and Amber Donovan.

Last season, Liberty launched 61 homers in 60 games, and the Lady Flames recorded two or more home runs on 14 occasions.

Senior Bridgett Woods leads the Lady Flames with three home runs in eight games this season, after hitting two home runs in 96 career games entering 2012.