Liberty will host the Liberty Softball Classic Friday through Sunday.
Complete Game Notes Liberty (3-11) opens its 2020 home slate by hosting the Liberty Softball Classic, Friday through Sunday at Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium. Liberty Softball Classic Schedule Home Team Listed First Friday, Feb. 28 - Liberty Softball Stadium Game 1 – Butler vs. Hofstra – 11 a.m. Live Stats Game 2 - Penn vs. Butler - 1 p.m. Live Stats Game 3 – Liberty vs. Hofstra – 3 p.m. Live Stats Game 4 – Liberty vs. Penn – 5 p.m. Live Stats Friday, Feb. 28 - Mountain Field Yale vs. Fairfield - 11 a.m. Live Stats Fairfield vs. ECU - 1 p.m. Live Stats ECU vs. Yale – 3 p.m. Live Stats Saturday, Feb. 29 - Liberty Softball Stadium Game 8 – Elon vs. Fairfield – 11 a.m. Live Stats Game 9 – Hofstra vs. Penn – 1 p.m. Live Stats Game 10 – Yale vs. Hofstra – 3 p.m. Live Stats Saturday, Feb. 29 - Mountain Field Butler vs. Yale - 11 a.m. Live Stats ECU vs. Butler - 1 p.m. Live Stats Penn vs. Elon - 4 p.m. Live Stats Sunday, March 1 - Liberty Softball Stadium Game 14 – Butler vs. Fairfield – 10 a.m. Live Stats Game 15 – Hofstra vs. ECU – Noon Live Stats Game 16 – Liberty vs. ECU– 2 p.m. Live Stats Game 17 - Liberty vs. Elon - 4 p.m. Live Stats Sunday, March 1 - Mountain Field Elon vs. Yale - 10 a.m. Live Stats Fairfield vs. Penn - 12:30 p.m. Live Stats The Lady Flames have been dominant at home the last two seasons, going a combined 47-5 at Liberty Softball Stadium during that span. Liberty is currently riding a 12-game home winning streak.
Liberty went 2-2 at last weekend's Gamecock Invitational in Columbia, S.C. Facing a 5-1 deficit to No. 6 Michigan on Sunday, Amber Bishop hit a three-run homer in the fifth before Bishop's walk-off solo shot gave Liberty a 6-5 win. It was Liberty's 11th win all-time over a Top 25 opponent and tied the highest-ranked opponent the Lady Flames have ever beaten.
The Lady Flames ended the weekend by run-ruling Elon, 12-3, in six innings, setting season highs in both runs and hits. Liberty and Elon will square off again on Saturday.
Amber Bishop was named ASUN Softball Player of the Week on Monday after hitting hit .417 with three homers, seven RBI and four runs scored. With 249 career hits, Bishop is tied for the program record for career hits.
For the second year in a row, Liberty was predicted to win the ASUN in the preseason coaches poll. Additionally, Amber Bishop, Autumn Bishop and Madison Via were all named to the ASUN Preseason Softball All-Conference team.
2019 ASUN All-Freshman Team member Kara Canetto, who missed the final half of the 2019 season with injury, leads the team with a .357 batting average three doubles. Three-time NFCA All-Region player Amber Bishop bats .356 with a conference-best four homers and nine RBI. Freshmen Caroline Hudson (.282), Savannah Channel (.276) and Blake Gibson (.421 OBP) have provided a spark offensively. Three-time first team all-conference player Autumn Bishop has hit .143 with five RBI so far, while two-time all-confernce outfielder Madison Via has batted .200.
In the circle, Liberty has had to replace its two top starters from last year, when the Lady Flames ranked fifth in the nation with a 1.60 team ERA. Freshman Karlie Keeney is 2-4 with a 3.43 ERA, after posting a 2.62 ERA and .221 opponents batting average in 18 2/3 innings at the Gamecock Invitational. That included tossing a career-high seven strikeouts in a 1-0 loss to No. 6 Michigan last Friday. Junior college transfer Megan Johnson earned her first win as a Lady Flame on Sunday, going the distance in Liberty's big 6-5 win over No. 6 Michigan.
Team Notes - Liberty has played 10 out of its first 14 games against Top 25 opponents. The Lady Flames downed No. 21 Ole Miss on Feb. 9 before taking down No. 6 Michigan on Sunday. Those wins bookended a streak of seven straight games against nationally-ranked teams.
- After posting a 6.08 team ERA through the first 10 games of the 2020 season, Liberty's pitchers combined for a 3.23 ERA and .221 opponents' batting average at the Gamecock Invitational. That included two games against No. 6 Michigan.
- Through the first 12 games this season, Liberty was batting .206 while averaging 2.1 runs per game. After shaking up their lineup prior to Sunday's meeting with Michigan, Liberty batted .370 and scored a combined 18 runs in its next two games, wins over Michigan and Elon.
- The Lady Flames went a program-record 24-2 at Liberty Softball Stadium last year, outscoring opponents 142-27 at home in 2019.
- The last time Liberty faced Hofstra was in the first game of the 2018 NCAA Columbia Regional. The Lady Flames topped the Pride 2-0 in 10 innings, getting a homer from Kaitlin McFarland in the 10th and shutout effort from Julia DiMartino. It was Liberty's first-ever NCAA Regional victory. Liberty then defeated host South Carolina 3-1 the following day to qualify for the Regional final.
- Liberty competed in the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational Feb. 13-16, falling to five teams who appeared in the Top 10 in at least one poll that week. The Lady Flames led No. 1 Washington 6-5 after Caroline Hudson's three-run homer off of All-American Gabbie Plain in the fifth inning before the Huskies rallied in the sixth to win 10-6, Feb. 14.
- Autumn Bishop's diving catch against Washington on Feb. 14 was Play No. 4 on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays. Amber Bishop's walk-off grand slam against Radford, April 23, 2019, made it on SCTop 10 that night.
- Liberty is 1-1 in games decided by exactly two runs this season after going 10-2 in such games last year. The Lady Flames went 5-12 in one-run games in 2019 and are 1-2 in one-run games this year.
- Liberty faced the No. 1 teams in back-to-back games, losing a late lead to No. 1 Washington in a 10-6 setback on Feb. 14 before falling to No. 1 UCLA (DISoftball.com) 9-1 on Feb. 15.
- Liberty opened the 2020 season with a 6-2 loss to No. 15 Kentucky. It was the third time in program history that Liberty faced a Top 25 team in its season opener.
- The Lady Flames started five freshmen (Karlie Keeney, Blake Gibson, Caroline Hudson, Savannah Channell and Gaby Ruiz) against Kentucky. That is the most freshmen to start a season opener for Liberty since five freshmen started against #17 UCF, Feb. 11, 2016.
- Liberty is 2-8 against Top 25 teams this season after downing No. 6 Michigan on Sunday. That ties Liberty's highest-ranked win, as the Lady Flames also defeated Michigan on March 24, 2007 when the Wolverines were ranked No. 6.
- Liberty set program records for Top 25 meetings and Top 25 wins in 2007, when the Lady Flames went 3-9 against nationally-ranked opponents.
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