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Lady Flames Set for 3 Games at Coastal Carolina
Complete Game Notes
The Liberty Lady Flames travel to Conway, S.C., where they will face Coastal Carolina in a weekend conference series, Saturday and Sunday at CCU Softball Field. Liberty recently completed a 10-game homestand, while the Chanticleers have played four straight games on the road.
Liberty (14-24, 5-7 Big South) has gone 3-1 so far this week, against North Carolina A&T and Hampton, batting .373 as a team while averaging 8.5 runs per game. The Chanticleers (30-14, 7-5 Big South) are in third place in the conference after dropping their last three games.
The Lady Flames hold a slim, 28-27 edge in the all-time series against Coastal Carolina, although Liberty is 11-1 versus the Chanticleers during the teams' last 12 meetings. These two teams closed out the 2011 Big South regular season schedule against each other, with Liberty earning a 2-1 series victory in Conway, S.C., May 7-8.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow the action for this weekend's games through Gametracker, provided by the Coastal Carolina Athletics Media Relations office. Live stats can be accessed through the Live Stats link on LibertyFlames.com.
- Liberty recorded walk-off wins during three recent victories, two by 9-8 scores.
- Jenny Law hit two walk-off singles, and Kelly Strickland hit one game-winner.
- Strickland is tied for third place at Liberty with 141 career RBIs, reached on Wednesday.
- Meredith Crisante is batting .563 with nine runs scored and eight RBIs in last five games.
- Liberty hit season-high four home runs on Tuesday against N.C. A&T.
- Jill Stephens hit two homers on Tuesday, Liberty's first two-home run game of 2012.
- Chandler Ball pitched four straight complete games, from April 6-10.
- The Lady Flames are 3-1 in Big South series finales this year.
- Liberty is the defending Big South champion, posting a 30-30 record in 2011.
Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina
All-Time Series: Liberty leads, 28-27
Current Streak: Liberty W2
Last Meeting: Liberty 5, Coastal Carolina 0 (5/8/11 in Conway, S.C.)
Last Coastal Carolina Win: Coastal Carolina 2, Liberty 1 (5/7/11 in Conway, S.C.)
All-Time Series in Conway: Liberty leads, 13-12
Coastal Carolina (30-14, 7-5 Big South) raced to a 7-2 conference record before losing its last three Big South games. Freshman Kory Hayden paces the Big South with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs. Classmate Kiana Quolas leads the league in ERA (1.47) and wins (18), and bats .303. Sarah Maples also hits over .300, at .311, with 27 runs scored.
The softball series between Liberty and Coastal Carolina has been close, with the Lady Flames holding a 28-27 edge. The Chanticleers were Liberty's first Big South opponent upon entering the league, meeting March 12, 1994 in Conway. The Lady Flames have won 11 out of their last 12 games against Coastal Carolina, dating to May 9, 2008.
Liberty Head Coach: Paul Wetmore
Record at Liberty (Seasons): 522-568-1 (19)
Record vs. Coastal Carolina: 28-27
Coastal Carolina Head Coach: Kelley Green
Record at Coastal Carolina (Seasons): 82-78 (3)
Record vs. Liberty: 1-6
The Lady Flames closed out the 2011 regular-season slate with a 5-0 win at Coastal Carolina, May 8. Liberty broke open a scoreless game, with a five-run rally in the sixth inning. Eight different Lady Flames recorded base hits, led by Keely McMillon's 2-for-3 outing. Katrina Johnson and Tiffani Smith combined for a two-hit shutout.
(South) Carolina in My Mind
The Lady Flames are 3-1 in games played in South Carolina this season, winning three out of four contests at the USC Upstate Tournament, Feb. 24-25.
Last season, Liberty went 10-5 in games contested in South Carolina. The Lady Flames claimed the 2011 Big South Softball Championship in Rock Hill, S.C. In fact, each of Liberty's two Big South softball titles has been won in Rock Hill.
Overall, Liberty is 81-67-1 (.547) in games played in South Carolina since the start of the 1994 season.
Liberty in NCAA Rankings (April 8 listing)
- 18th in double plays turned per game (0.44)
- 85th in doubles per game (1.21)
- The Lady Flames rank second in the Big South in both categories.
Liberty hit a season-high four home runs during a 13-5 win against North Carolina A&T, Tuesday. Jill Stephens slugged two homers, one in each of the first two innings, while Meredith Crisante and Sammi Shivock hit one home run each.
Stephens' two-homer game is the first by a Lady Flame since Meredith Crisante went deep twice in a 3-0 win over Winthrop in the Big South Championship, May 13, 2011.
Crisante homered in three games in row, starting with Saturday's game against Charleston Southern and continuing through both games against N.C. A&T. Last season, Crisante and Ashley Bensinger both hit homers in three straight games, April 19-20.
That's a Wrap
The Lady Flames are 3-1 in conference series finales this season, and each win has come in dramatic fashion.
On April 7, the Lady Flames trailed Charleston Southern 7-3, entering the bottom of the sixth. Kelly Strickland hit a game-tying grand slam in the sixth, and Hanna Nichols tied the game again at 8-8 with a seventh-inning double. Jenny Law then registered a walk-off single in the eighth, winning the game for Liberty for the second Saturday in a row.
The previous Saturday, March 31, saw Liberty erase a 3-2 deficit with two outs in the seventh inning, as Law came through with a walk-off single for a 4-3 win.
Amber Donovan belted a three-run homer with two outs in the top of the seventh, March 25 at Gardner-Webb, clinching the 7-5 win and series sweep for Liberty.
Go the Distance
Chandler Ball fashioned four straight complete games, stretching from April 6 until Tuesday's first game against North Carolina A&T.
She is the second Lady Flames pitcher this season to have pitched three complete games in a row. Alyssa DiMartino tossed three straight complete games, March 28-30.
The last time that two Lady Flames pitchers both tossed three or more consecutive complete games during the same year was 2009.
On April 7 against Charleston Southern, Kelly Strickland's name appeared in the starting lineup for the 200th time. She is the 12th Lady Flame since 1994 to make 200 career starts. Kaylee West made her 200th career start on Tuesday against North Carolina A&T. Jenny Law, a candidate to enter the 200-start club, has started 188 career games.
Liberty is 12-0 this season when registering 10 or more hits, recording 10+ base hits during each of its first eight victories of 2012. The Lady Flames then had nine hits in a 7-5 win over Gardner-Webb, March 25, to break the trend. Liberty has recorded 10 or more hits during each of its last four victories.
Moving on Up
Meredith Crisante hit home runs in three straight games, April 7-10, and has now connected for 20 career homers. She is tied for 10th on Liberty's all-time home run list.
Kelly Strickland registered her 141st career RBI on Wednesday against Hampton, tying Jessica Moore (2005-07) for third in program history. With 42 home runs, she is two away from second place in program history, held by Ashley Williams (2005-08).
Kaylee West doubled on April 4 against UNCG, moving her into sole possession of seventh place all-time at Liberty with 36 career doubles. She drove in a pair of runs on Wednesday versus Hampton, as now holds eighth place with 93 career RBIs.
Katie Zavodny and Meredith Crisante are currently tied for fifth place all-time at Liberty, as each have stolen 38 bases. Jessica Moore ranks fourth, with 39 career steals.
Meredith Crisante tied a program record by scoring four runs during a 9-8 win over North Carolina A&T, Tuesday. She became the fifth player in program history to score four runs in a game, a list that includes teammate Sammi Shivock. Shivock crossed the plate four times against Hampton on April 19, 2011.