ASUN Bracket Liberty blanked Kennesaw State 1-0 in game two of a doubleheader on Saturday at KSU's Bailey Park. With their doubleheader sweep of the Owls today, Liberty has clinched the No. 1 seed in the ASUN North Division for the 2021 ASUN Softball Championship. Kennesaw State, who entered today needing a series victory this weekend to clinch the first seed, will serve as the No. 2 seed in the North Division. The Lady Flames (36-12, 15-2 ASUN North) extended their winning streak to 15 games overall and 12 straight in ASUN play. Meanwhile, the Owls fall to 22-22, 10-4 in ASUN North Division play entering tomorrow's series finale.
Liberty will host ASUN North Division fourth seed, Lipscomb, in a best-of-three quarterfinal series. KSU will host third-seeded North Alabama next Friday and Saturday. The winners of those two series will join the winners of the ASUN South Division series at the ASUN Softball Championship semifinals, May 13-15 at KSU's Bailey Park. Game times for the quarterfinal series are to be determined.
Scoring Summary Liberty – 2nd INNING – Gibson scored from third on throwing error by catcher, 1-0
Notable Numbers - Liberty held a slim 5-4 edge in hits, while Kennesaw State committed three errors and the Lady Flames had one error. The visitors left eight runners on base compared to the hosts' five runners stranded.
- Liberty has now tossed 16 shutouts this season, 12 of which have come in ASUN play.
- Emily Kirby (11-4) tossed her seventh shutout of the season, allowing just four hits while striking out nine and walking none.
- Peyton Elzey (2-8) drew the loss, yielding one unearned run on five hits, walking five and striking out none.
- Five Lady Flames had one hit apiece, while Blake Gibson doubled and scored the game's lone run. Emily Sweat reached base all three times she came up, including two walks and a hit.
- Christen Florence went 2-for-3 for the Owls, registering half of her team's hits.
Turning Point - In the second inning, Gibson hit a leadoff double before a Sweat single put runners on the corners. With one out, Liberty tried a double steal play, and catcher Cheyanne Sales threw wildly to third, allowing Gibson to score from third.
- KSU threatened in the bottom of the sixth, as Florence led off with a double and went to third on a groundout. Kirby then struck out the Owls' cleanup (Cheyanne Sales) and fifth batter (Taylor Cates) in order, keeping it a 1-0 game. A 1-2-3 seventh sealed the victory.
Beyond the Box Score - Liberty has outscored opponents 79-12 during its current 15-game winning streak, its longest winning streak since posting a program-record 19 straight victories, April 14 through May 19, 2018.
- Liberty has the fourth longest active winning streak in NCAA Division I, trailing James Madison (19), Clemson (17) and LIU Brooklyn (17).
- The Lady Flames have won 12 straight ASUN contests since a 5-4 loss to Kennesaw State on April 2. That ties Liberty's program record for consecutive conference victories, from March 30 through April 20, 2019.
- Today was Liberty's first 1-0 victory since posting a 1-0 win over Rutgers on May 16, 2019 during the opening game of the 2019 NISC Lynchburg Regional.
- Liberty now leads the season series 3-2 over KSU, while the Lady Flames lead the all-time series, 9-6.
- The Lady Flames are 29-4 when scoring first this season.
- Since Liberty joined the ASUN in 2019, six out of eight meetings between the Lady Flames and Owls have been decided by just one run each.
- Kirby's seven shutouts this season are tied for the third most in a single season in program history and are the most by a Lady Flame since Julia DiMartino tossed a program-record 10 shutouts in 2018.
Up Next The Lady Flames and Owls finish up their three-game series tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Bailey Park.
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