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Lady Flames Shut Down Owls 5-0

May 1, 2021  Kennesaw, Ga.   RSS
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Karlie Keeney tossed a five-hit shutout on Saturday at Kennesaw State.

Karlie Keeney tossed a five-hit shutout on Saturday at Kennesaw State.

Liberty took game one of a key three-game series, shutting out Kennesaw State 5-0 in Saturday's first game of a twin bill at KSU's Bailey Park.   

The Lady Flames (35-12, 14-2 ASUN North) extended their winning streak to 14 games with their 11th straight ASUN victory. Kennesaw State (22-21, 10-3) will need to win today's second game and tomorrow's series finale in order to secure the top seed in the ASUN North Division for next week's ASUN Softball Championship quarterfinals.

Liberty would clinch the No. 1 seed in the ASUN North Division with one more win this weekend.

Scoring Summary
Liberty – 4th INNING – Bishop doubles, Via and Howard score, 2-0
Liberty – 5th INNING – Sweat homers, 3-0
Liberty – 6th INNING – Howard singles, Hodum scores, 4-0
Liberty – 6th INNING – Bishop flies out, sac fly, Howard scores, 5-0

Notable Numbers
- Liberty outhit KSU 7-5 for the game, while the Owls committed two errors. The Lady Flames left eight runners on base, while Kennesaw State stranded six.

- Liberty tossed its 15th shutout of the season, with 11 of those coming in ASUN play. The Lady Flames have broken their previous single-season record for conference shutouts of 10 from 1999.

- Karlie Keeney (14-4) tossed her fifth shutout of the season, extending her scoreless innings streak to 14 innings. She allowed five hits, walking two and striking out one.  

- Melanie Bennett (16-10) drew the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits, walking two and fanning three. Lindsey Kyte tossed one inning of scoreless relief.       

- Devyn Howard went 2-for-2 with one RBI and two runs scored, while Amber Bishop batted 2-for-4 with a double. Autumn Bishop went 1-for-2 with a double, a sacrifice fly and three RBI. McDonough, Ga., native Emily Sweat hit her sixth homer of the season.

- KSU's Brea Dickey and Katie Greep both went 2-for-3 with one double apiece.

Turning Point
- Liberty's defense was stellar throughout, and a diving stop by Howard at third robbed Cheyanne Sales of an RBI single to end the third inning.      

- The Lady Flames then jumped ahead in the top of the fourth on an RBI double by Bishop, and Sweat made it 3-0 with a fifth-inning solo shot. Liberty added two insurance runs in the fifth.   

- KSU recorded singles in the seventh, but Keeney shut the door on the shutout.

Beyond the Box Score
- Liberty has outscored opponents 78-12 during its current 14-game winning streak, its longest winning streak since posting a program-record 19 straight victories, April 14 through May 19, 2018.  

- The Lady Flames have won 11 straight ASUN contests since a 5-4 loss to Kennesaw State on April 2. Liberty's program record for consecutive conference victories is 12 games, from March 30 through April 20, 2019.

- Liberty evened the season series at 2-2 with Kennesaw State, while the Lady Flames lead the all-time series, 8-6.

- The Lady Flames are 28-4 when scoring first this season.     

- Karlie Keeney (5) and Emily Kirby (6) are the third pair of Liberty teammates all-time to both toss five or more shutouts in the same season. They join Katie Phillips and Leslie Inge (1999) and Chase Cassady and Julia DiMartino (2018, 2019) in that category.

- Bishop recorded her 70th career double, tying legendary Stanford outfielder Jessica Mendoza (1999-02) for 11th all-time in NCAA Division I softball history in career doubles.  

- Bishop also extended her program record for career sacrifice flies to 16, and passed Jessica Moore (2005-07) into fifth all-time at Liberty with 144 career RBI.

- Canetto, a native of Sylvania, Ga., saw her hitting streak end at 12 games. She has hitting streaks of 15 and 12 games so far this season.