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Softball Heads to Blacksburg For Twin Bill With Virginia Tech

April 30, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Complete Game Notes

The Liberty softball team travels to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech of the ACC on Tuesday, with the doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. The Hokies will finish their regular-season schedule on Tuesday, while the Lady Flames final doubleheader is at home, Saturday against Longwood.

Storylines
Liberty (18-31) concluded its conference regular-season schedule with a 9-12 record in Big South games. The Lady Flames hit five homers during their weekend series against Campbell. Virginia Tech (36-18) finished 12-8 in ACC play after a 2-1 series setback to Georgia Tech over the weekend.

Virginia Tech holds a 27-11 record all-time against Liberty, as these two teams have met every year since 1996. The Lady Flames' last win over the Hokies came May 4, 2006, when Liberty defeated then-No. 24 twice, 6-5 and 3-0, in Blacksburg.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow Tuesday's games through Gametracker, provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications office. The games will also be broadcast on 90.9 FM The Light, with Nick Pierce calling the action. Virginia Tech is offering a video stream, for a nominal fee, through its All-Access site.

Quick Hits
- The Lady Flames ended conference play with a 9-12 Big South record.
- Seeding for Big South Softball Championship to be announced Sunday, May 6.
- Liberty hit five homers in series against Campbell, including three on Saturday.
- Kelly Strickland moved into second place at Liberty with 45th career homer, Friday.
- Strickland and Sammi Shivock have both hit .396 since April 7, a span of 16 games.
- Freshman Chandler Ball picked up her 10th win of the season on Friday.
- Jenny Law registered five RBIs against Campbell, now tied for 10th in program history.
- Virginia Tech leads the all-time series, 27-11, over Liberty.
- Liberty is the defending Big South Champion, posting a 30-30 record in 2011.

Liberty vs. Virginia Tech
All-Time Series
: Virginia Tech leads, 27-11
Current Streak: Virginia Tech W10
Last Meeting: Virginia Tech 10, Liberty 2 (4/28/12 in Blacksburg)
Last Liberty Win: Liberty 3, No. 24 Virginia Tech 0 (5/4/06 in Blacksburg)
Series in Blacksburg: Virginia Tech leads, 13-5

Virginia Tech (36-18, 12-8 ACC) are tied with Georgia Tech for third in the ACC, but lost the head-to-head series, 2-1 to the Yellow Jackets this past weekend. Courtney Liddle bats .307, and leads the ACC with 43 walks. Lauren Gaskill (.293) paces the ACC with 13 doubles. Jasmin Harrell (25-13) has a 1.89 ERA and 186 strikeouts.

The Lady Flames and Hokies have met 38 times in a series that dates back to 1996, with Virginia Tech leading, 27-11. Virginia Tech has won the last 10 meetings since Liberty swept a doubleheader from the No. 24 Hokies in Blacksburg, May 4, 2006. Liberty defeated Virginia Tech five times in 1996, the Hokies' first year of Division I softball.

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Paul Wetmore
Record at Liberty (Seasons): 526-575-1 (19)
Record vs. Virginia Tech: 11-27

Virginia Tech Head Coach: Scot Thomas
Record at Virginia Tech (Seasons): 609-406 (17)
Record vs. Liberty: 27-11

Last Meeting
Virginia Tech won both games against Liberty last season, starting with a 5-3 win on April 27 in Lynchburg. Game two was suspended in the fourth inning due to inclement weather with Virginia Tech ahead, 5-0. The teams finished the game the next day in Blacksburg, and the Hokies won, 10-2.

Turn the Page
The Lady Flames open the month of May against Virginia Tech on Tuesday. Liberty softball is 53-50 during its Division I era in games contested in May, with a winning May record during each of the last four seasons.

Liberty's program record for victories in the month of May is seven, as the 2009 Lady Flames went 7-2 in May, and the team had a 7-6 record during the fifth month of 2011.

Tournament Positioning
The Lady Flames closed out their 2012 regular-season conference schedule against Campbell this past weekend. With six teams still playing Big South games this week, seeding for the 2012 Big South Softball Championship will be announced on Sunday, May 6. Liberty will begin its defense of the Lady Flames' 2011 Big South title on Thursday, May 10 in Radford, Va.

Conference Recap
The Lady Flames finished with a 9-12 record in Big South play this season, and exhibited extra-base power throughout the conference schedule. Liberty hit 28 doubles and added 20 homers and one triple during conference play, meaning one-third of the team's hits during Big South games went for extra bases.

Sammi Shivock batted .367 with four doubles, four homers, 16 RBIs and 13 runs scored in league games. Meredith Crisante hit .294 in conference play, with a .647 slugging percentage, as she hit six doubles and six homers while driving in 18 runs. Jenny Law hit .318 against conference competition, and Kelly Strickland hit three homers.

On a Tear
Since April 7, a span of 16 games, Sammi Shivock and Kelly Strickland have both hit .396 with four homers. During this recent stretch, Shivock has 16 RBIs and 17 runs scored, while Strickland has 14 RBIs.

Meredith Crisante has batted .314 with six homers, 14 RBIs and 14 runs scored in the last 16 games, while Jill Stephens has nine RBIs and 10 runs during the span.

Going Yard
The Lady Flames hit seven home runs this past week, including two on Wednesday at Virginia and five during their weekend series against Campbell.

Kelly Strickland hit her sixth homer of the season, and 45th of her career, on Friday versus Campbell. She is now in sole possession of second place for home runs in program history.

Meredith Crisante slugged her team-leading ninth homer of the season on Saturday. That home run put her in eighth place in program history with 23 career homers.

For Starters
Meredith Crisante, Jenny Law and Kaylee West have all started every game this year.

Law has made 173 consecutive starts, dating back to May 7, 2009. Kelly Strickland started 170 games in a row before missing the USC Upstate Tournament. West has drawn starting assignments for each of the last 166 games, beginning with the 2010 season opener.

Ashley Williams is the last Liberty player to make 175 starts in a row, doing so from the 2005 through 2008 seasons.

Freshman Feats
Amber Donovan hit her team-leading 10th double of the season, April 20 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.

Chandler Ball struck out eight Presbyterian College batters on April 21, and now has 105 strikeouts this season. She is the first Liberty freshman pitcher since with 100 or more strikeouts since Sarah Swor in 2004. 

Ball picked up her 10th win of the season on Friday against Campbell, making her the first Liberty freshman with 10 wins since Katrina Johnson had 11 victories. Overall, Ball is the eighth Lady Flame in the Division I era with 10 or more victories as a freshman.

200 Club
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 then made her 200th career start on April 10 against North Carolina A&T. Jenny Law's next start will be the 200th of her career. This will be the first year that three Lady Flames have made their 200th career start during the same season.

RBI Time
Kelly Strickland ranks third in program history, with 148 RBIs, and is one RBI away from second place, held by Shannon Tanski (1995-97).

Kaylee West is in eighth place, at 94 RBIs, while Jenny Law registered five RBIs over the weekend and is now tied for 10th in program history, with 88 RBIs. Meredith Crisante is not far behind, having driven in 86 runs while at Liberty.