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Liberty to Open Big South Softball Championship Versus No. 3 Seed CSU
The Liberty softball team earned the No. 6 seed for the 2012 Big South Softball Championship, to be held Thursday through Sunday in Radford, Va. The Lady Flames will begin their title defense by facing No. 3 seed Charleston Southern during the opening round, at 2 p.m. on Thursday.
Liberty (19-34, 9-12 Big South) and Charleston Southern (30-24, 12-9 Big South) will meet in the Big South Softball Championship for the eighth time. The Lady Flames hold a 6-1 record over the Buccaneers all-time in conference postseason play. Liberty eliminated CSU to advance to the final of the 2009 tournament with a 3-1 win in the teams' most recent postseason meeting.
Charleston Southern won the regular-season series, 2-1, over Liberty, claiming the first two games of a weekend series, April 6-7 in Lynchburg. The Lady Flames came back for a thrilling, 9-8 victory in the third game, erasing two four-run deficits and winning on a walk-off single by Jenny Law in the eighth inning.
The winner of Thursday's game between Liberty and Charleston Southern will face the winner of No. 2 Coastal Carolina and No. 7 Presbyterian College, Friday at 9 a.m. The losers of those two first-round contests will meet in an elimination game at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Radford won its fourth straight Big South regular-season title, posting a 16-5 conference record, and will serve as the No. 1 seed. The Highlanders will host the championship at Radford Softball Field.
Coastal Carolina claimed the No. 2 seed with a 13-8 conference record. Charleston Southern and Campbell finished in a tie for third place, at 12-9. CSU earned the head-to-head tiebreaker to take the No. 3 seed, while Campbell will be No. 4.
Gardner-Webb went 11-10 in Big South contests, good for the fifth seed. Defending champion Liberty posted a 9-12 conference record and will be the No. 6 seed. Presbyterian College (8-13) and Winthrop (3-18) round out the seeding, in seventh and eighth place, respectively.
The 2012 Big South Softball Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting and Brookwood Farms BBQ begins Thursday, with six games scheduled and concludes with the Championship contest on Sunday, at noon, live on ESPNU. The Big South's tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Softball Championship. All games will be video streamed live on the conference's broadband channel, the Big South Network presented by State Farm.
2012 Big South Softball Championship
presented by Musco Sports Lighting and Brookwood Farms BBQ
Thursday, May 10
Game 1: No. 4 Campbell vs. No. 5 Gardner-Webb, 9 a.m.
Game 2: No. 2 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 7 Presbyterian College, 11:30 a.m.
Game 3: No. 3 Charleston Southern vs. No. 6 Liberty, 2 p.m.
Game 4: No. 1 Radford vs. No. 8 Winthrop, 4:30 p.m.
Game 5: Game 1 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser, 7 p.m.
Game 6: Game 2 Loser vs. Game 3 Loser, 9:30 p.m.
Friday, May 11
Game 7: TBA vs. TBA, 9 a.m.
Game 8: TBA vs. TBA, 11:30 a.m.
Game 9: TBA vs. TBA, 2 p.m.
Game 10: TBA vs. TBA, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 12
Game 11: TBA vs. TBA, Noon
Game 12: TBA vs. TBA, 2:30 p.m.
Game 13: if necessary, 5 p.m. **
Game 14: if necessary, 5 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. **
Sunday, May 13
Championship Game: TBA vs. TBA, Noon (TV: ESPNU)