Blake Gibson drove in the first two runs of the game on Sunday against Kennesaw State.
Liberty scored twice in the sixth and once in the seventh and held off a seventh-inning Kennesaw State rally to earn the 3-1 win and a three-game series sweep, Sunday at Bailey Park.
The Lady Flames (37-12, 16-2) finished up as the top seed in the ASUN North Division for the 2021 ASUN Softball Championship. Meanwhile, the Owls (22-23, 10-5) will serve as the ASUN North's second seed.
Liberty improved its winning streak to 16 games overall, its longest since a program-record 19-game winning streak, April 14 through May 19, 2018.
Scoring Summary Liberty – 6th INNING – Gibson singles on the infield, Canetto and Sweat score, 2-0 Liberty – 7th INNING – Bishop-Riley homers, 3-0 Kennesaw State – 7th INNING – Alexander singles, Cates scores, 3-1
Notable Numbers - Kennesaw State held a 7-6 advantage in hits, the first time since April 3 that an opponent has led the Lady Flames in hits. That was the first game of Liberty's current 16-game winning streak. Liberty left eight runners on base, while KSU stranded seven.
- Making her first ASUN start, McKenzie Wagoner (5-2) earned the win. She allowed four hits, walking one and striking out four in five innings. Emily Kirby allowed one run on three hits, walking one in 1 1/3 innings. Karlie Keeney nailed down her third save with 2/3 of a scoreless inning.
- Lindsey Kyte (4-5) drew the loss, allowing one run on three hits, walking three and striking out six in five innings. Kelsey Bennett and Peyton Elzey both gave up a run in an inning of work.
- Six different Lady Flames had one hit apiece. Amber Bishop-Riley hit her ASUN-leading 15th homer, while Kara Canetto and Madison Via both doubled and Blake Gibson drove in two runs.
- Christen Florence and Andrea Summey recorded two hits apiece for the Owls.
Turning Point - Liberty finally broke through in the top of the sixth. Canetto hit a leadoff double and Emily Sweat walked. With two outs, Gibson beat out an infield single to give Liberty a 2-0 lead.
- Kirby entered the circle in relief of Wagoner after a leadoff single in the sixth. She quickly got out of the inning with a double play and a foulout.
- After Bishop-Riley gave Liberty an insurance run with a seventh-inning solo shot, KSU rallied in the bottom of the seventh. With one on and one out, three straight batters singled, and Faith Alexander got KSU on the board at 3-1. Keeney then came on in relief of Kirby. She got the final two outs on a 5-2 fielder's choice at the plate and a 4-6 fielder's choice at second base.
Beyond the Box Score - Liberty has outscored opponents 82-13 during its current 16-game winning streak.
- Liberty has the fourth longest active winning streak in NCAA Division I, trailing James Madison (20), Clemson (17) and LIU Brooklyn (17).
- The Lady Flames have won 13 straight ASUN contests since a 5-4 loss to Kennesaw State on April 2, breaking the previous program record for consecutive conference victories (12) that was set in 2019.
- Amber Bishop-Riley passed Jessica Moore (2005-07) into sole possession of first place in program history with 192 career runs scored. Bishop-Riley now holds eight program career records. - Autumn Bishop is now tied with Moore (2005-07) for the most career walks in program history, drawing her 100th career walk today.
- Keeney's three saves this season are tied for the fifth most in a single season in program history and are the most by a Lady Flame since Julia DiMartino posted six saves in 2019.
- Liberty won the season series 4-2 over KSU, while the Lady Flames lead the all-time series, 10-6.
- The Lady Flames are 30-4 when scoring first this season.
- Liberty is 6-1 in games decided by two runs this year.
- Liberty posted a 0.76 ERA in ASUN play this season, tossing a program-record 12 shutouts in conference games.
Up Next Liberty wraps up is regular-season schedule, taking on Virginia Tech on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Tech Softball Park. The Lady Flames posted a 5-3, come-from-behind win over the Hokies on Wednesday at Liberty Softball Stadium.
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