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Lady Flames to Host CSU in Big South Series
Complete Game Notes
Liberty hosts Charleston Southern in a three-game, Big South Conference series, Friday and Saturday at Liberty Softball Field. Friday's doubleheader begins at 4 p.m., with Saturday's game set to start at 1 p.m. The Lady Flames are halfway through their 10-game homestand, and finish the extended stay on Tuesday, against North Carolina A&T.
Liberty (10-21, 4-5 Big South) fell twice to UNCG on Wednesday, after posting a dramatic, 4-3 win over Winthrop on Saturday. Charleston Southern brings a 20-17 overall record, and 5-3 mark in Big South play. Most recently, the Buccaneers fell, 1-0, to USC Upstate on Wednesday.
The Lady Flames have posted a 37-11 record in 48 all-time meetings against the Buccaneers. CSU won game one of the teams' 2011 series at Liberty Softball Field, 6-2, before Liberty closed out the weekend with wins in the final two games. Liberty holds a distinct 16-4 record against the Buccaneers at home all-time.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow this weekend's action through Gametracker, provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications Department. Live stats can be accessed through the Live Stats link on LibertyFlames.com. Friday's games will be available for viewing, for a nominal fee, through the Big South Network, with Jamie Hall calling the action.
- Liberty continues a 10-game homestand, its longest since April 3-17, 2002.
- Jenny Law batted 16-for-32 during her 10-game hitting streak, which ended Wednesday.
- Law doubled, homered and set a career high with five RBIs, Wednesday versus UNCG.
- Meredith Crisante leads the Big South with 4 doubles and 10 RBIs in conference play.
- Each of Liberty's last two victories has been secured by 7th-inning hits.
- Liberty is 37-11 all-time against CSU, including 16-4 at Liberty Softball Field.
- The Lady Flames rank 12th in NCAA Division 1 in double plays turned per game (0.48).
- Liberty is the defending Big South Champion, posting a 30-30 record in 2011.
Liberty vs. Charleston Southern
All-Time Series: Liberty leads, 37-11
Current Streak: Liberty W2
Last Meeting: Liberty 4, Charleston Southern 1 (4/9/11 in Lynchburg)
Last Charleston Southern Win: Charleston Southern 6, Liberty 2 (4/8/11 in Lynchburg)
All-Time Series in Lynchburg: Liberty 16, Charleston Southern 4
Charleston Southern (20-17, 5-3 Big South) swept Winthrop in a conference series, and also has Big South wins over Coastal Carolina and Presbyterian College. Jana Matthews leads the Buccaneers with a .314 average, while Megan Lombard (.269) has scored 26 runs. Morgan Dowdy (12-9) boasts a 1.86 ERA in a league-leading 143.1 innings.
Liberty is 37-11 all-time against Charleston Southern, and has dominated the series in Lynchburg. The Lady Flames had won 10 straight home games against CSU, before the Buccaneers won game one of the 2011 series in Lynchburg, 6-2, April 8. Before that, CSU had not won at Liberty Softball Field since April 21, 2001, nearly a 10-year span.
Liberty Head Coach: Paul Wetmore
Record at Liberty (Seasons): 518-565-1 (19)
Record vs. Charleston Southern: 37-11
Charleston Southern Head Coach: Shane Winkler
Record at Charleston Southern (Seasons): 101-111-1 (4)
Record vs. Liberty: 2-8
Liberty downed Charleston Southern, 4-1, on April 9, 2011 to close out a 2-1 series win over the Buccaneers. Three Lady Flames (Keely McMillon, Ashley Bensinger and Jenny Law) posted two hits apiece. Bensinger became just the second player in program history with two triples in a game, driving in three runs with her two three-baggers.
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 273-244 (.528) when playing in its home state since 1994.
Liberty holds a 187-148 (.558) all-time record at Liberty Softball Field. The Lady Flames are 83-51 (.619) at home since the start of the 2005 season.
Liberty's Grace Nordan and Charleston Southern's Hayes Holdsworth have a couple things in common. Nordan and Holdsworth both homered during their first career at bat as freshmen in 2011. Also, both players pitched 5+ relief innings last season. Nordan pitched the last three innings of a no-hitter against Norfolk State, April 20, while Holdsworth pitched in relief during CSU's last game in the Big South Softball Championship.
On Wednesday against UNCG, Jenny Law went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and a career-high five RBIs. Her five RBIs are the most in a game by a Lady Flame since Kelly Strickland drove in six against Norfolk State, April 20, 2011.
Law extended her hitting streak to 10 games before it ended in Wednesday's second game. She is the first Lady Flame with a 10-game hitting streak since Ashley Bensinger's 15-game streak, April 28-May 14, 2011. In total, 18 different Liberty softball players have registered a hitting streak of 10 games or more in the NCAA Division I era (since 1994).
Moving on Up
Kaylee West doubled on Wednesday against UNCG, moving her into sole possession of seventh place all-time at Liberty with 36 career doubles. She drove in a run against UNCG on Wednesday, and is now tied for eighth with 89 RBIs in her career.
Meredith Crisante hit her 17th career home run on March 31 against Winthrop, and is now tied with current Liberty Associate Athletics Director Meredith (Hollyfield) Eaker for 11th on the Lady Flames' career home run list.
Katie Zavodny stole her 35th career base on Wednesday, and is fifth in program history. Crisante collected her 33rd steal, Wednesday, and is in seventh place. 2011 graduate Amber DePasquale holds sixth place, with 34 steals during her career.
In the most recent NCAA Division I softball statistical rankings (April 2):
- Liberty is rated 12th in double plays turned per game, at 0.48
- The Lady Flames are 90th in doubles per game as a team (1.21)
Big South Contributions
Liberty has seen strong play during Big South competition this season. Jenny Law has batted .464 in nine conference games and leads the league with 13 hits during that time. Meredith Crisante paces the Big South with four doubles and 10 RBIs in conference play, batting .393.
Alyssa DiMartino has pitched quite effectively against Big South foes, going 3-4 with a 1.94 ERA in 43 1/3 innings pitched.
We'll Be Here For Awhile
The Lady Flames continue their 10-game homestand this week. It will tie the record for the longest homestand in the program's NCAA Division I history (since 1994).
The Lady Flames' last 10-game homestand took place April 3-17, 2002, during the same season in which Liberty captured its first Big South softball title. Liberty faced Longwood, Winthrop, Hampton, Elon and UNCG during its extended homestand in 2002, and met two of those same teams, Winthrop and UNCG, in this year's 10-game stand.
Down to the Wire
Each of Liberty's most recent two victories have come on game-winning hits in the seventh inning. Jenny Law cashed in with a walk-off, two-run single in a 4-3 win over Winthrop, March 31. She drove in Megan Robinson and Marybeth Sciolino with the winning runs. Jill Stephens hit a two-out single on a 3-2 count, loading the bases and setting up Law's base hit.
Previously, Amber Donovan belted a three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning, March 25 at Gardner-Webb, clinching the 7-5 win and series sweep of the Runnin' Bulldogs. Donovan faced a 1-2 count, as Liberty was down to its last strike.
Home Run Parade
The Lady Flames have hit 18 home runs this season. Jenny Law slugged a three-run homer, her first of the season, on Wednesday, and she became the 10th Liberty player to hit a homer this year. Liberty has had the most different players contribute at least one home run of any softball team in the Big South in 2012.
Last season, 11 Lady Flames went yard, on the way to 61 homers as a team.
Four out of Liberty's last six homers have been three-run bombs, including one each from Law, Sammi Shivock, Bridgett Woods and Amber Donovan.