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LU to Close out Regular Season against Bucs

May 1, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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The Lady Flames will conclude their regular-season schedule this weekend when they travel to Charleston, S.C., for a three-game series with Charleston Southern.

The Lady Flames will conclude their regular-season schedule this weekend when they travel to Charleston, S.C., for a three-game series with Charleston Southern.

Game 1 – May 2, 2008 (Charleston, S.C.)
Liberty vs. Charleston Southern – 3 p.m.
Live StatsLive Video

Game 2 – May 2, 2008 (Charleston, S.C.)
Liberty vs. Charleston Southern – 5 p.m.
Live Stats

Game 3 – May 3, 2008 (Charleston, S.C.)
Liberty vs. Charleston Southern – 2:30 p.m.
Live StatsLive Video

Fresh off a doubleheader sweep over future Big South foe Gardner-Webb, the Lady Flames travel to Charleston, S.C., this weekend to wrap up their regular-season slate with a three-game series at Charleston Southern.

Opening pitch of the Big South set is slated for 3 p.m., on Friday, followed by a second game later that evening. The Lady Flames and the Lady Buccaneers will conclude the series on Saturday with a single game, starting at 2:30 p.m.

The Lowdown on the Lady Bucs
Charleston Southern comes into the three-game set following a lengthy 13-day layoff, as Charleston Southern hasn't been on the softball diamond since its series finale against Birmingham-Southern on April 19. The squad enters the regular-season finale with a 17-37 overall record and a 1-11 mark in Big South action.

Jill Shondel leads the way for the Buccaneers, batting .370, which ranks third best in the Big South. The senior also ranks second in the league with 64 hits and paces the conference with a league-high 18 doubles.

Two other Lady Buccaneers are batting above the .300 mark. Middle infielder Tatjana Slawson ranks second on the team with a .318 batting average, to go along with 14 runs scored, seven doubles and 12 RBIs. Sophomore Megan Hall is batting at a .310 clip, having scored 20 times and added 11 doubles and 17 RBIs.

Charleston Southern has placed the ball in the hands of Jamie Wellons a considerable amount this year. The junior righty has started 29 of the team's 54 games (53.7 percent) inside the circle, having posted a 12-18 record, 4.75 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 180.0 innings of work.

The Past with Charleston Southern
Liberty leads the series with the Lady Buccaneers, 26-8, following a three-game sweep at home last year. The Lady Flames have won the last eight match-ups with Charleston Southern, dating back to the 2005 season. The last time the Lady Buccaneers were victorious over Liberty was on May 14, 2004, when Charleston Southern squeaked by Liberty, 2-1, at the Big South Softball Championship.

Recent Success
Liberty swept its third doubleheader in the last two weeks on Tuesday, downing future Big South foe Gardner-Webb 5-4 in both games. Prior to last weekend's home series with Winthrop, the Lady Flames made an Eastern Virginia swing, taking two games from both Norfolk State and Hampton.

A Look a the League
The top two seeds in next week's Big South Softball Championship have been locked up, as Winthrop (14-1), this year's regular-season champion, will be the No. 1 seed, followed by Radford (10-2) at No. 2. The remaining four seeds will be determined following this weekend's Big South action.

Coastal Carolina is currently in third with a 6-9 record and will be an on-looker during the weekend. Birmingham-Southern (5-7) travels to Virginia to face Radford, while Liberty (3-9) faces Charleston Southern (1-11).

Birmingham-Southern will need to take two out of three from second-place Radford to secure the No. 3 seed, as Coastal Carolina holds the tiebreaker with the Panthers after winning the series earlier in April.

The highest Liberty can finish is tied with Coastal Carolina should the Lady Flames sweep Charleston Southern, but Liberty would also lose the tiebreaker with the Chanticleers and would take the No. 4 seed. Charleston Southern will need to sweep Liberty to avoid the No. 6 seed in the pending event.

Home Run Happiness
Liberty belted three solo home runs to rally and tie Gardner-Webb in the second game on Tuesday, giving the Lady Flames 27 round trippers on the year. Liberty seems to like its home facility, connecting on 17 of those 27 homers at home.

Senior Sizzling at the Right Time
Ashley Williams has been red hot from the dish of late, batting .407 (11-for-27) over the last nine games. Seven of the senior's 11 hits have been for extra bases, collecting five doubles and two home runs. The catcher/designated player has hit safely in eight of nine games, while scoring seven times and driving in six runners during the span.

Racking Up Runs
Liberty won both its games 5-4 against Gardner-Webb on Tuesday. The five runs scored in both contests marks the second most Liberty has scored in the last 19 games. The Lady Flames highest run tally during the stretch was six runs scored during Liberty's 8-6 Big South series finale loss to Radford on April 20.

The Lady Flames have struggled to scratch runs across the plate this year, scoring more than four runs in a game only nine times. Liberty is averaging 2.2 runs scored per game, the lowest running-scoring average in the Big South.

Extra Inning Delight
Liberty played its fifth extra inning game of the year on Tuesday, downing Gardner-Webb 5-4 on J'nae Jefferson's single in the ninth inning. The win moved Liberty's record to 2-3 in extra-inning affairs this year.

The Lady Flames struggled in extra-inning games last year, posting a 2-6 mark in contests that went beyond the seventh. However, in 2005, Liberty excelled in extra-inning contests, winning seven out of 10 which went beyond regulation.

Live on the Web
Fans unable to travel to this weekend's Big South series in Charleston, S.C, between Liberty and Charleston Southern will have two chances to follow the regular-season series finale.

LibertyFlames.com will be providing live in-game stats on its web site, while the Big South EDGE will be video streaming the 3 p.m. game on Friday and the 2:30 p.m. contest on Saturday. For more information about the Big South EDGE or to subscribe to the service, log onto BigSouthSports.com and click on the Big South EDGE logo.