Liberty (37-12, 16-2), the No. 1 seed in the ASUN North Division, brings a 16-game winning streak into its regular-season finale at nationally-ranked Virginia Tech, Tuesday. The Hokies (32-12, 23-11 ACC) swept a four-game series at Syracuse over the weekend, shaking off a five-game winless streak. These two teams will meet in a rematch of last week's nine-inning battle at Liberty.
Liberty at No. 20 Virginia Tech Tech Softball Park Blacksburg, Va. Tuesday, May 4 - 6 p.m. Live Video | Live Stats Last Wednesday against No. 18 Virginia Tech, Caroline Hudson hit a game-tying three-run homer in the seventh and then launched a two-run walk-off homer in the ninth, giving Liberty its second win over a Top 25 team this season. Karlie Keeney tossed 6 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for the win. Liberty also has a win over No. 13 Arkansas on March 16, a 10-inning, 2-0 shutout. The Lady Flames are looking for their third win over a Top 25 team this year, which would tie the 2007 Liberty team for the most wins over nationally-ranked opponents in a single season.
Liberty wrapped up the No. 1 seed for the ASUN North Division with a three-game sweep at Kennesaw State during which the Lady Flames outscored the Owls 9-1. The Lady Flames will host defending ASUN champion Lipscomb in a three-game quarterfinal series, Friday and Saturday.
Liberty right-hander Karlie Keeney was named ASUN Pitcher of the Week on Monday, going 3-0 with a 0.38 ERA, one shutout, one save and a .197 opponents batting average last week.
Liberty is 5-1 against ACC opponents this season and 11-1 in midweek games.
Liberty and Virginia Tech are tied for third nationally with 16 shutouts this season.
The Lady Flames have outscored opponents 82-13 during their current 16-game winning streak, hitting .309 while holding opponents to just a .178 batting average. The streak started with a 3-2 walk-off win over Kennesaw State on April 3. Emily Kirby (5-0, 1.15) and Karlie Keeney (6-0, 0.57) have both tossed three shutouts during the winning streak.
Liberty's current winning streak is the fourth longest active NCAA Division I softball winning streak, trailing James Madison (20), Clemson (17) and LIU Brooklyn (17).
Three-time NFCA All-Region player Amber Bishop-Riley bats .358 with an ASUN-leading 15 home runs, 36 runs scored and 39 RBI. Kara Canetto (.395) leads the ASUN in batting average. She posted a 15-game hitting streak earlier this year, and had a 12-game streak snapped on Saturday.
Two-time NFCA All-Region player Autumn Bishop (.338) is tied for second nationally with 17 doubles, and tied with Jessica Mendoza for 11th all-time in NCAA Division I softball history with 70 career doubles. Savannah Channel bats .278, while Madison Via (.271) hit .341 in ASUN play. Emily Sweat (.275) is ranked second in the ASUN in both doubles (13) and RBI (32). Devyn Howard (.297) has hit eight doubles and one triple in just 64 at bats this season. Caroline Hudson knocked in her first two homers of 2021 and a career-high five RBI in last Wednesday's win over Virginia Tech.
Liberty has posted 16 shutouts this season, including 12 in ASUN play, recording a 0.76 ASUN ERA. Karlie Keeney (14-4, 2.39, five shutouts) is third in the ASUN in wins. Emily Kirby (11-4, 1.98) is tied for 11th nationally with seven shutouts, the most shutouts by a Liberty lefty since 1999 (Leslie Inge - 8). Kirby leads the ASUN in strikeouts per seven innings (8.07). Megan Johnson (3-2, 3.15) posted a 0.81 ERA in conference play this year. McKenzie Wagoner (5-2, 2.38) has not allowed a run in her last 12 2/3 innings, while Naomi Jones (4-0) one-hit Bellarmine on April 25.
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