2019 Liberty Softball Schedule (ASUN Games) The defending Big South regular-season and tournament champion Liberty softball team will embark on its first season as an ASUN Conference member in 2019. The Lady Flames' inaugural 21-game ASUN schedule was announced today.
"We are extremely excited to join the ASUN Conference," Liberty Head Coach Dot Richardson said. "It is one of the strongest softball conferences in the country. We look forward to the challenges that it will provide us as we continue to strive to be the best that we can be. The future looks very bright for Liberty softball."
Liberty will face the top three returning teams from the 2018 ASUN standings all within the first three weeks of conference play. The Lady Flames' first ASUN series takes them to Kennesaw, Ga., to face defending ASUN regular-season and tournament champion Kennesaw State, March 16-17. Liberty's first home series will be the following weekend, March 23-24, as the Lady Flames host Lipscomb. Liberty will also contest away series at Florida Gulf Coast (March 30-31), North Florida (April 13-14) and fellow ASUN newcomer North Alabama (April 27-28). The team welcomes the aforementioned Lipscomb, along with Stetson (April 6-7) and Jacksonville (April 19-20) to Liberty Softball Stadium.
Kennesaw State is emerging as a top contender in the ASUN, winning the 2018 regular-season and tournament titles after USC Upstate had won four out of the five previous ASUN Softball Championship crowns (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017). Despite the departure of USC Upstate, Liberty (29 – final 2018 RPI), Kennesaw State (34), FGCU (38) and Lipscomb (54) will keep the ASUN near the top of the nation in terms of conference RPI. The ASUN was the sixth strongest conference, and first among non-Power 5 teams, in 2018 conference RPI for softball.
The ASUN has fared well traditionally in postseason play. In 2014, three ASUN teams qualified for the NCAA Division I Softball Championship, including conference tournament champion Stetson and at-large selections Lipscomb and USC Upstate. Kennesaw State has made back-to-back postseason appearances, beginning in 2017 when the Owls fell to Liberty in the semifinal of the Postseason NISC National Round. Additionally, North Alabama qualified for the last six NCAA Division II Softball Championships, winning the DII national title in 2016.
This season, Liberty split a doubleheader at Kennesaw State on March 21, an RPI boost for both teams and a preview of Liberty's first ASUN series, set for March 16-17, 2019 in Kennesaw, Ga. Liberty's coaching staff has additional familiarity with the ASUN, as current Liberty assistant coach Paige Cassady was an assistant coach at Lipscomb in 2013.
The 2019 ASUN Softball Championship will be a six-team tournament, held at FGCU Softball Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla., May 8-11. All but one of the postseason-eligible teams will qualify (North Alabama is ineligible for postseason play during its transition from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I). The winner of the conference tournament will earn the ASUN's automatic berth into the 2019 NCAA Division I Softball Championship.
It has been announced that Liberty will host the 2020 ASUN Softball Championship at Liberty Softball Stadium.
Liberty's 2019 ASUN schedule is listed below. Specific dates and times of each series will be determined at a later date. The Lady Flames' non-conference matchups will be announced at a later date.
2019 Liberty Softball ASUN Schedule March 16-17 – at Kennesaw State (Kennesaw, Ga.) March 23-24 – Home vs. Lipscomb March 30-31 – at Florida Gulf Coast (Fort Myers, Fla.) April 6-7 – Home vs. Stetson April 13-14 – at North Florida (Jacksonville, Fla.) April 19-20 – Home vs. Jacksonville April 27-28 – at North Alabama (Florence, Ala.) May 8-11 – ASUN Softball Championship (Fort Myers, Fla.)