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Lady Flames Host Longwood for Senior Day, Saturday

May 4, 2012  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Seniors (from left) Bridgett Woods, Meredith Crisante, Kaylee West, Kelly Strickland and Jenny Law will be honored before Liberty's home doubleheader on Saturday.

Seniors (from left) Bridgett Woods, Meredith Crisante, Kaylee West, Kelly Strickland and Jenny Law will be honored before Liberty's home doubleheader on Saturday.

Complete Game Notes

Liberty concludes its 2012 regular season softball schedule with a home doubleheader against Commonwealth opponent Longwood on Saturday at 2 p.m. Saturday will serve as Liberty's Senior Day, as seniors Meredith Crisante, Jenny Law, Kelly Strickland, Kaylee West and Bridgett Woods will be honored prior to game one.

Liberty (18-33) concluded its conference regular-season schedule with a 9-12 record in Big South games. On Tuesday, the Lady Flames dropped a pair of games to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Longwood (28-25) swept Elon on April 25 on Senior Day in Farmville, and close out their season this Saturday at Liberty.

The Lancers have won two-thirds of their meetings with Liberty since 1994, going 22-11 against the Lady Flames. Liberty faced Longwood in its third game as an NCAA Division I softball program, March 9, 1994, which the Lancers won, 5-0.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans can follow Saturday's games through Gametracker, provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications office. The games will also be broadcast on 90.9 FM The Light, with Nick Pierce calling the action. A live video stream will be available, for a nominal fee, through the Big South Network.

Quick Hits
- Liberty will honor Meredith Crisante, Jenny Law, Kelly Strickland, Kaylee West and Bridgett Woods prior to Saturday's game. They have won 113 games together at Liberty.
- Kelly Strickland moved into second place at Liberty with her 149th career RBI, Tuesday.
- Grace Nordan pitched her first career complete game, Tuesday at Virginia Tech.
- The Lady Flames ended conference play with a 9-12 Big South record.
- Seeding for 2012 Big South Softball Championship to be announced Sunday, May 6.
- 2012 Big South Softball Championship opens on Thursday, May 10 in Radford, Va.
- Longwood will join the Big South Conference for the 2012-13 academic year.
- Liberty is the defending Big South Champion, posting a 30-30 record in 2011.

Liberty vs. Longwood
Series (Since 1994):
Longwood leads, 22-11
Current Streak: Longwood W2
Last Meeting: Longwood 2, Liberty 1 (4/23/11 in Farmville)
Last Liberty Win: Liberty 6, Longwood 3 (4/24/10 in Lynchburg)
Series in Lynchburg (Since 1994): Longwood leads, 11-7

Longwood (28-25) went 18-4 at home this season, but posted a 3-16 away record against a strong non-conference road schedule. The Lancers are 3-1 against Big South opponents, Charleston Southern (1-1) and Radford (2-0), this season. Freshman Megan Baltzell leads the Lancers with a .348 average, nine homers and 34 RBIs. Leta Bressin (.341) and Ashley Kramer (.340) are right behind. Ashley Cornell is 10-9 with a 3.17 ERA.

The Lady Flames and Lancers have met 33 times during Liberty's Division I softball era, which began in 1994. Longwood holds a 22-11 advantage during that time span. Liberty has faced eight teams on this year's schedule which also appeared on the slate during its first season of Division I softball, 1994.

Coaching Matchup
Liberty Head Coach:
Paul Wetmore
Record at Liberty (Seasons): 526-577-1 (19)
Record vs. Longwood: 11-22

Longwood Head Coach: Kathy Riley
Record at Longwood (Seasons): 462-255-1 (15)
Record vs. Liberty: 18-7

Last Meeting
Longwood swept a doubleheader from Liberty, April 23, 2011 in Farmville. The Lancers won game one, 6-0, before edging the Lady Flames, 2-1, in the nightcap. Liberty's lone run in game two came when Sammi Shivock drove in Katie Zavodny.

Liberty's last win over Longwood took place April 24, 2010, as Kaylee West hit a double and a home run in the 6-3 Lady Flames victory.

Out On a Good Note
Saturday's doubleheader will mark the final games at Liberty Softball Field for five seniors: Meredith Crisante, Jenny Law, Kelly Strickland, Kaylee West and Bridgett Woods.

The Lady Flames have gone 41-27 (.603) at home during these seniors' careers, including a remarkable 16-2 home record in 2010.

Liberty softball is 9-9 in season finales since 1994. The Lady Flames have won their final regular-season contest during each of the last four years. The last time that the team closed the regular season with a non-conference game was May 9, 2004, when Liberty finished the campaign at Virginia Tech.

The Lady Flames are also 9-9 in home finales since 1994. The last time Liberty faced Longwood in its final regular season home game was April 16, 1984, a 1-0 Liberty win.

Down to the Wire
Liberty took Virginia Tech to the limit on Tuesday at Virginia Tech. The Lady Flames claimed a 2-1 lead, with a two-RBI single from Hanna Nichols in the second inning, and made it 3-1 in the third on an RBI sacrifice bunt by Kelly Strickland.

Grace Nordan pitched her first career complete game, making just her second start as a pitcher. She held the Hokies to one run on four hits during the first five innings before the hosts rallied for a 4-3 win. Virginia Tech tied it in the sixth and won on a walk-off single in the seventh inning. 

For Starters
Meredith Crisante, Jenny Law and Kaylee West have all started every game this year.

Law has made 175 consecutive starts, dating back to May 7, 2009. Kelly Strickland started 170 games in a row before missing the USC Upstate Tournament. West has drawn starting assignments for each of the last 168 games, beginning with the 2010 season opener.

Two Lady Flames since 1994 have made more than 175 starts in a row. Beth Bennett started all 248 games of her career, while Lauren Hahn made 237 consecutive starts.

200 Club
On April 7 against Charleston Southern, Kelly Strickland's name appeared in the starting lineup for the 200th time. She is the 12th Lady Flame since 1994 to make 200 career starts. Kaylee West then made her 200th career start on April 10 against North Carolina A&T. Jenny Law's 200th start came on Tuesday at Virginia Tech. This is the first year that three Lady Flames have made their 200th career start during the same season.

Freshman Feats
Amber Donovan hit her team-leading 10th double of the season, April 20 at Presbyterian College. She is the first Lady Flame to hit 10 or more doubles as a freshman since Ashley Williams had 11 in 2005.

Chandler Ball struck out eight Presbyterian College batters on April 21, and now has 107 strikeouts this season. She is the first Liberty freshman pitcher since with 100 or more strikeouts since Sarah Swor in 2004. 

RBI Time
Kelly Strickland recorded her 149th career RBI on a squeeze play during Liberty's 4-3 setback at Virginia Tech on Tuesday. She is now tied for second place in program history with Shannon Tanski (1995-97).

Kaylee West is in eighth place, at 94 RBIs, while Jenny Law registered five RBIs over the weekend and is now tied for 10th in program history, with 88 RBIs. Meredith Crisante is not far behind, having driven in 86 runs while at Liberty.

Conference Recap
The Lady Flames finished with a 9-12 record in Big South play this season, and exhibited extra-base power throughout the conference schedule. Liberty hit 28 doubles and added 20 homers and one triple during conference play, meaning one-third of the team's hits during Big South games went for extra bases.

Sammi Shivock batted .367 with four doubles, four homers, 16 RBIs and 13 runs scored in league games. Meredith Crisante hit .294 in conference play, with a .647 slugging percentage, as she hit six doubles and six homers while driving in 18 runs. Jenny Law hit .318 against conference competition, and Kelly Strickland hit three homers.

Lynchburg Launching Pad
Since the start of the 2005 season, the Lady Flames have hit 184 home runs in 142 games played at Liberty Softball Field, an average of 1.29 home runs per game. During that same span, opponents have hit just 98 homers. Thanks in part to this stat, Liberty is 87-55 (.613) at home since 2005.

This season, the Lady Flames have averaged one home run per game at home, hitting 18 homers in 18 home contests. During its most recent six home contests, the Lady Flames have connected for 12 homers overall, an average of two per contest.