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No. 6 Michigan Edges Liberty 1-0

February 21, 2020  Columbia, S.C.  RSS
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Karlie Keeney struck out a career-high seven batters against No. 6 Michigan on Friday.

Karlie Keeney struck out a career-high seven batters against No. 6 Michigan on Friday.

The sixth-ranked Michigan Wolverines scored once in the third inning and made that score hold up, shutting out Liberty 1-0 to begin the Gamecock Invitational on Friday at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

Michigan (10-0) came into the game as one of just five NCAA Division I softball teams with an unblemished record. The Lady Flames fall to 1-10 with the loss, their sixth straight setback.

Each of Liberty's last six games has been against an opponent who was ranked in the Top 10 in at least one national poll at time of meeting.

Scoring Summary
Michigan – 4th INNING – Allan singles, Jimenez scores, 1-0

Notable Numbers
- Michigan held a slight 5-4 edge in hits, while the Wolverines committed the game's lone error. Liberty left seven runners on base compared to six stranded for Michigan.

- The Wolverines struck out 16 Lady Flames on the afternoon. Alex Storako (5-0), who came into the game ranked third in the nation in strikeouts per seven innings, allowed four hits, striking out 13 and walking two in 5 2/3 innings. Meghan Beaubien earned the save, striking out three in 1 1/3 innings pitched.

- Karlie Keeney fell to 1-3 on the season despite pitching the best outing of her young career. She allowed one run on five hits, fanning a career-high seven batters and walking three.

- Five different Wolverines managed one hit apiece, as Julia Jimenez and Natalia Rodriguez both doubled.

- Caroline Hudson went 1-for-2 with a double, while Autumn Bishop, Kara Canetto and Emily Sweat all had one single apiece.

Turning Point
- A one-out double by Jimenez in the third set up Lou Allan, who singled home the game's only run for a 1-0 Michigan lead.   

- After leaving two runners on base to end both the second and fourth innings, Liberty threatened again in the sixth. Hudson drew a one-out walk and Sweat followed with an infield single. Storako struck out Keeney, but a wild pitch sent runners to second and third. Beaubien then came on to strike out Blake Gibson to maintain the 1-0 lead.

Beyond the Box Score
- Michigan evened the all-time softball series with Liberty at 1-1, as Liberty knocked off then No. 6 Michigan during the first meeting between these two programs, March 24, 2007.

- The Lady Flames are now 1-8 against nationally ranked teams this season, as they have only faced two unranked opponents (at time of meeting) in 2020.

- Liberty has faced seven straight nationally ranked opponents, the longest streak of Top 25 opponents in program history. The previous program record for consecutive games against Top 25 teams was five, set in 2007.

- Keeney, a freshman, has pitched in all nine of Liberty's games against Top 25 opponents this season, holding a 3.00 ERA in 37 1/3 innings pitched versus nationally ranked opponents.

Up Next     
The Lady Flames will take on Boston College tomorrow at 10 a.m. to continue the Gamecock Invitational at Carolina Softball Stadium. It will be Liberty's 12th straight game against a Power 5 opponent to open the season. Liberty will then meet Michigan on Sunday at 10 a.m. before finishing out the tournament on Sunday at 3 p.m. against Elon.