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Lady Flames Travel to Face ACC Foe Virginia

April 24, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Kelly Strickland hit her 43rd career home run on Friday at Presbyterian college.

Complete Game Notes

The Liberty softball team concludes its stretch of 10 straight road games on Wednesday, when the Lady Flames travel to Charlottesville to compete against Virginia. Game one of Wednesday's doubleheader will begin at 5 p.m. Following its twin bill against the Cavaliers, five out of Liberty's remaining seven games will be at home.

Storylines
Liberty (17-27, 8-10 Big South), claimed a two-games-to-one Big South series victory over Presbyterian College, hitting four home runs while also posting a 2.10 ERA. Virginia (21-23, 6-12 ACC) won game one against Virginia Tech, before the Hokies rallied to claim the series.

Virginia is 22-6 against the Lady Flames since 1994. However, the Cavaliers hold just a 5-3 edge over Liberty in the last four seasons. These two teams have split head-to-head doubleheaders in 2008, 2010 and last season.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow Wednesday's games through Gametracker, provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications office. Live stats can be accessed through the Live Stats link on LibertyFlames.com. The games will also be available through a free live audio stream, provided by Flames Sports Network, with Nick Pierce calling the action.

Quick Hits
- The Lady Flames earned a 2-1 series victory at Presbyterian with a pair of wins, Friday.
- Chandler Ball tossed a three-hitter on Friday at PC, and fanned eight batters, Saturday.
- Sammi Shivock hit two doubles and two homers during the Presbyterian College series.
- Amber Donovan hit her team-leading 10th double on Friday.
- Ball is the first Liberty freshman pitcher since 2004 (Sarah Swor) with 100 strikeouts.
- Kelly Strickland ranks third all-time at Liberty in home runs (43) and RBIs (143)
- Liberty and Virginia have split the season series in each of the last two seasons.
- The Lady Flames close out the conference slate, Friday and Saturday against Campbell.
- Liberty is the defending Big South Champion, posting a 30-30 record in 2011.

Liberty vs. Virginia
Series (Since 1994):
Virginia leads, 22-6
Last Meeting: Virginia 3, Liberty 2 (10 innings) (5/1/11 in Lynchburg)
Last Liberty Win: Liberty 8, Virginia 0 (5 innings) (5/1/11 in Lynchburg)
Series in Charlottesville: Virginia 12, Liberty 1
Last Liberty Win in Charlottesville: Liberty 6, Virginia 4 (3/24/10)

Virginia (21-23, 6-12 ACC) is coming off of a 2-1 series loss at Virginia Tech this past weekend. Erica (.292) and Giannina Cipolloni (.271) are UVA's top two hitters, with Giannina leading the team with 26 stolen bases. 2010 NFCA All-Region first team pitcher Melanie Mitchell paces Virginia with a 1.57 ERA and 233 strikeouts.

Virginia leads the series with Liberty, 22-6 since 1994, but holds just a 5-3 advantage during the last five seasons. Last season, the Lady Flames and Cavaliers split a twin bill, May 1. Current Lady Flames Kelly Strickland, Kaylee West, Meredith Crisante and Jenny Law all have posted one multiple-hit contest against Virginia during their careers.

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Paul Wetmore
Record at Liberty (Seasons): 525-571-1 (19)
Record vs. Virginia: 6-22

Virginia Head Coach: Eileen Schmidt
Record at Virginia (Seasons): 119-138 (5)
Record vs. Liberty: 5-3

Last Meeting
Liberty won by run-rule, 8-0, in five innings against Virginia during game one of a doubleheader, May 1, 2011 in Lynchburg. Jenny Law went 3-for-3, and Tiffani Smith held the Cavaliers to one hit. During the nightcap, UVA edged the Lady Flames, 3-2, in 10 innings. The visitors scored once in the top of the 10th, and held off a bases-loaded rally by the Lady Flames in the bottom of the frame.

On the Road Again
Liberty closes out its 10-game road trip on Wednesday at Virginia. The Lady Flames are 4-4 so far on this road trip. Earlier this season, the team staged a 10-game homestand, March 30-April 10.

This is the first year since 2002 that the Lady Flames have had a homestand and road swing of at least 10 games during the same season.

Tight Race
The Big South standings have been tight all season, and at present three out of eight conference teams are tied with eight Big South victories apiece. Liberty (8-10) will host Campbell (8-7) to close out its regular-season conference schedule. Gardner-Webb enters Wednesday's doubleheader against Presbyterian College at 8-8.

Weekend Wrapup
The Lady Flames downed Presbyterian College twice this past Friday, 3-1 and 4-1, and won the series, two games to one. Liberty hit four homers, accounting for nine out of the team's 10 runs during the series.

In game one, Chandler Ball yielded just three hits. Liberty received three runs in the second inning, on an RBI single from Hanna Nichols and a two-run homer from Kelly Strickland.

Game two saw Alyssa DiMartino scatter seven hits, striking out four. Sammi Shivock doubled and hit a two-run homer, while Meredith Crisante hit a two-run blast of her own.

In Saturday's contest, Shivock slugged a three-run homer to give the Lady Flames a 3-2 lead after three innings, but the Blue Hose rallied for the 4-3 victory.

Freshman Feats
Amber Donovan hit her team-leading 10th double of the season, Friday at Presbyterian College. She is the first Lady Flame to hit 10 or more doubles as a freshman since Ashley Williams had 11 in 2005. Williams still holds Liberty's career record, with 52 doubles.

Chandler Ball struck out eight Presbyterian College batters on Saturday, and now has 102 strikeouts this season. She is the first Liberty freshman pitcher since with 100 or more strikeouts since Sarah Swor in 2004. Swor graduated in 2007 as the Lady Flames' career record holder with 489 strikeouts, a number since surpassed by Tiffani Smith (2008-11).

Last 10
During the last 10 games:
- The Lady Flames have posted a 6-4 record, scoring 5.3 runs per game.
- Sammi Shivock and Meredith Crisante are tied for the team lead with nine runs scored.
- Shivock leads with 13 RBIs, while Crisante has hit three homers during that span.
- Shivock (.394), Kelly Strickland (.379) and Crisante (.355) all have hit .300 or better.
- Jill Stephens has scored eight runs and driven in seven.
- Chandler Ball is 4-2 and has registered 30 strikeouts in 38.2 innings pitched.

That's a Wrap
The Lady Flames are 4-2 in conference series finales this season, and each win has been secured in the seventh inning or later.

Most recently, Liberty downed Coastal Carolina, 4-2, on April 15. Grace Nordan hit a go-ahead two-run single in the sixth inning. Sammi Shivock hit the game-winner, a two-RBI double in the seventh inning. Chandler Ball pitched a four-hitter to seal the victory.

On April 7, the Lady Flames erased two four-run deficits against Charleston Southern, tying the game on a Kelly Strickland grand slam in the sixth. Jenny Law registered a walk-off single in the eighth, winning the game for Liberty, 9-8.

The previous Saturday, March 31, saw Liberty rally from 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.

Moving on Up
Meredith Crisante hit her 22nd career home run on Friday at Presbyterian College, and is tied with Dawn Jeffs (2006-07) for eighth place in program history. She stole her 39th career base, Saturday, tying her for fourth all-time at Liberty.

Kelly Strickland connected for a two-run home run, Friday, the 43rd of her career. She is now in sole possession of third place at Liberty in both home runs (43) and RBIs (143).

Kaylee West is ranked seventh on the career list with 36 doubles, and is in eighth place with 93 career RBIs.

Jenny Law registered the 27th sacrifice bunt of her career on Friday, moving her into a tie with Amanda Goc (2000-03) for fifth place in program history.

Many or Few
The Lady Flames are 12-0 when recording 10 or more hits in a game this season, but recently won back-to-back games while registering nine total hits. The team made the most of its four hits during a 4-2 win on April 15 at Coastal Carolina. In Liberty's next game, Friday, April 20, the Lady Flames outhit Presbyterian College, 5-3, in a 3-1 victory.