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LU Welcomes Presbyterian for Last Home Series

April 23, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Beth Bennett and the Lady Flames will welcome the Blue Hose of Presbyterian to Lynchburg tomorrow for the last three home games of the season.

Beth Bennett and the Lady Flames will welcome the Blue Hose of Presbyterian to Lynchburg tomorrow for the last three home games of the season.

The Lady Flames will play their last home games of the season this weekend with a three-game conference series against Presbyterian. A doubleheader is scheduled for tomorrow starting at 2 p.m., while the single-game series finale will be played on Saturday, which is also Liberty's Senior Day, at noon. Seniors Beth Bennett and Sarah Ellis will be honored on the field prior to the first pitch.

Presbyterian (18-24, 5-10 Big South) is competing in its first year as part of the Big South softball schedule, as the Blue Hose are in the midst of transitioning into Division I athletics. The team enters the series with Liberty on a three-game losing streak, after suffering two losses to Furman, 12-0 and 11-2, yesterday at home, and falling to Coastal Carolina, 4-2, at home on April 19.

Taylor Stater leads the squad, batting .320 on the year with 31 hits, 23 RBIs and 19 runs scored. Pitcher Leslie Hensley (10-8) posts a 3.38 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 114 innings of work.

The Blue Hose have pulled a couple of upsets this season, including a 4-3 win over Big South leader Radford on April 5 in Clinton, S.C.

Liberty (16-30, 4-7 Big South) enters the series on a two-game losing streak after being swept by Radford, 4-1 and 3-2, in a conference doubleheader yesterday in Lynchburg. The Lady Flames led most of the second game, but the Highlanders staged a comeback and took the victory in extra innings.

Beth Bennett leads the Lady Flames, batting .282 on the year with 35 hits, 21 RBIs and eight home runs. Sophomore hurler Tiffani Smith (7-11) posts a 2.07 ERA with 115 strikeouts in 135.1 innings, while Ellis, with a 2.78 ERA, has thrown 161 innings and struck out 112 batters.

Liberty is 1-1 against the Blue Hose, after splitting two games last season in the Hatter Classic. The Lady Flames won the first game, 7-0, on March 8, and dropped the second contest, 4-1, on March 9.

Notes from the Backstop

Solid Bats
The Lady Flames have connected at the plate as of late, recording at least four hits in 15 of the last 16 games, and five or more hits in 11 of the last 13 contests. In addition, the team has had at least one extra base hit in the last five games.

Big South Performers
Beth Bennett, Keely McMillon, J'nae Jefferson and Danielle Howard are all batting over .300 in conference play, with Bennett at the top (.345). The Lady Flames have been held to less than four hits only twice against conference opponents, recording five or more hits in seven of eleven games.

Success in the Field
Eight Liberty players boast a perfect fielding percentage in conference play, while the Lady Flames pitching staff has given up two or fewer earned runs in two of the last five games.