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Lady Flames Begin Texas Trip at Aggie Invitational

March 7, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Freshman Kelby Allen hits .550 for the season, and returns to her home state of Texas this week.

Complete Game Notes

Liberty softball travels to Texas for the first time in program history, beginning with five games in the Aggie Invitational, Friday through Sunday.  The Lady Flames will face a pair of 2011 NCAA Division I Softball Championship participants in College Station, North Dakota State and the host, No. 21 Texas A&M.

The Field
Liberty (6-4) will face North Dakota State (12-8) of the Summit League and Monmouth (3-1) of the NEC on Friday. Saturday will see the Lady Flames play Monmouth and Texas A&M (14-7), before Liberty and North Dakota State close out the invitational on Sunday. Liberty is 1-0 all-time against NDSU, 0-1 versus Monmouth, and 0-2 against Texas A&M.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow this weekend's games through Gametracker, provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications Department. Live stats can be accessed through the Live Stats link on LibertyFlames.com. A live video stream of Liberty's game against Texas A&M will be available through Texas A&M's 12th Man TV.

Quick Hits
- Liberty plays in Texas for the first time in program history. Six out of the 10 contests are against teams that competed in the 2011 NCAA Division I Softball Championship.

- The Lady Flames split a doubleheader, Tuesday against East Tennessee State.

- Liberty overcame a 10-run deficit with a 10-run inning in its 10th game of 2012, winning game two, 14-13. The game was Liberty's first home night game in program history.

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

- Liberty has hit a Big South-leading .344 so far this season, averaging 7.0 runs per game.

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

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

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

- Texas A&M is one of two nationally-ranked foes for Liberty on this trip (No. 15 Baylor).

Liberty vs. North Dakota State
All-Time Series:
North Dakota State leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: North Dakota State 3, Liberty 1 (03/12/2005 in Charlotte, N.C.)

Three-time defending Summit League champion North Dakota State brings a 12-8 record to Texas. The Bison hold wins over 2011 NCAA Softball Championship participants East Carolina and Fresno State this season. Taylor Mortenson leads NDSU with a .339 average, while Amanda Gable paces the team with three homers and 15 RBIs. Whitney Johnson has posted an 8-5 record with a 2.29 ERA and 113 strikeouts.

Liberty has met North Dakata State once before, with the Bison defeating the Lady Flames, 3-1, on March 12, 2005 in Charlotte, N.C.

The Lady Flames hold a 1-2 record all-time against current members of the Summit League, winning, 8-4, over IUPUI, March 19, 2004.

Liberty vs. Monmouth
All-Time Series:
Liberty leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: Liberty 8, Monmouth 5 (03/15/2002 in Orlando, Fla.)

Monmouth has opened its season with a 3-1 record, winning games over Norfolk St. and Delaware. The Hawks have batted .359 as a team, with six starters hitting .300 or better.  Monmouth's pitching staff has posted a 3.00 ERA, led by Lauren Sulick's (2-0) 2.62.

Liberty and Monmouth meet for the second time, with the Lady Flames claiming the first matchup, 8-5, on March 15, 2002 in Orlando, Fla. Liberty went on to win its first Big South Championship that season.

Liberty is 18-5 all-time against NEC opponents, including 10-0 versus Mount St. Mary's. Last year, the Lady Flames defeated Mount St. Mary's, 2-1, on March 4 in Baltimore, Md., and downed Long Island, 6-4, on March 18 in Clearwater, Fla.

Liberty vs. No. 21 Texas A&M
All-Time Series:
Texas A&M leads, 2-0
Current Streak: Texas A&M W2
Last Meeting: No. 22 Texas A&M 4, Liberty 0 (03/17/2011 in Clearwater, Fla.)

Texas A&M is currently ranked No. 21 in the NCAA Division I national poll, with a 14-7 record. The Aggies have won 36 out of their last 37 home games, and head coach Jo Evans recently earned her 600th win at Texas A&M. Mel Dumezich, a 2011 All-American, is 9-4 with a 2.54 ERA and 103 strikeouts, and also has hit seven homers and 22 RBIs.

Texas A&M has won both meetings between the Aggies and Lady Flames, including a 4-0 win on March 17, 2011 in Clearwater, Fla., and a 1-0 victory, March 14, 2009 in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Lady Flames hold a 3-8 record all-time against current Big 12 opponents, including one win each against Baylor, Iowa State and Texas Tech. Additionally, Liberty is 6-38 against nationally-ranked opponents. Most recently, the Lady Flames downed No. 23 Hawai'i, No. 10 Baylor and No. 6 Michigan during the 2007 season.

Off to Texas
Liberty makes its first trip to the state of Texas. Freshman catcher Kelby Allen, a three-time all-state catcher from Amarillo, Texas, returns to her home state.

The Lady Flames are 8-13 all-time against teams from Texas, including 5-6 versus former Big South associate member Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Liberty has one win each against Baylor, Texas Tech and UTEP. 

What a Comeback!
The Lady Flames battled back from a 12-2 deficit during Tuesday's 14-13 victory over East Tennessee State. Liberty scored 10 runs on 11 hits in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 12-all, and won on a sixth-inning sacrifice fly by Hanna Nichols.

Tuesday's win:
  - Marked the largest deficit overcome in Liberty's NCAA Division I softball history.
  - Was the first game ever played under lights at Liberty Softball Field.
  - Saw the Lady Flames post a 10-run inning for the first time since April 1, 2006.
  - Included a Liberty Softball Field-record 18 base hits by the Lady Flames.
  - Tied Liberty's season high for runs scored in a single game.

Hit Parade
Liberty batted .422 (27-for-64) over the span of Tuesday's doubleheader against East Tennessee State. Sammi Shivock and Kelby Allen both went 5-for-8 (.625) on the day, with Allen hitting a single, double, triple and home run over the two games and Shivock slugging her first homer of the season. Amber Donovan, Kaylee West and Amber Donovan all hit .500 or better against ETSU.

The Lady Flames have now registered six 10-hit games this season, in addition to one nine-hit contest.

Going Yard
Liberty has hit 10 home runs so far this season, an average of one per game. The team hit one home run in each game on Tuesday, with Kelby Allen hitting her first career home run and Sammi Shivock going deep for the first time this season.

This year, seven different Lady Flames have hit at least one home run, led by Bridgett Woods' three round trippers.

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

Conference Leading
Liberty led the Big South in eight offensive categories as a team in 2011, including batting average (.281), slugging percentage (.432), runs scored (289), hits (462), RBIs (266), home runs (61), total bases (711) and sacrifice flies (14).

This season, the Lady Flames pace the conference with a .344 batting average, .510 slugging percentage and .384 on base percentage.

Comeback Kids
The Lady Flames are no strangers to come-from-behind victories, a trend that continued with their 10-run comeback on Tuesday.

On April 16, 2011, Liberty trailed Gardner-Webb, 8-1, with two outs and nobody on in the top of the seventh inning. The Lady Flames scored seven runs to tie the game and then won, 11-8, with three tallies in the eighth inning.