Liberty Advances to ASUN Softball Final, Downs KSU 4-1 in Semi

College Sports

In a battle of the top two seeds in the ASUN North Division, No. 1 seed Liberty downed the host Kennesaw State Owls 4-1 on Friday at Bailey Park.

The Lady Flames (41-13) advance to tomorrow’s championship game of the 2021 ASUN Softball Championship. They will face Kennesaw State, tomorrow at 1 p.m. A win in that game would give Liberty its fourth conference tournament title all-time and the ASUN’s automatic qualifying berth to the 2021 NCAA Division I Softball Championship.

Should Liberty lose the 1 p.m. game, a winner-take-all final would take place shortly after its conclusion. 

Scoring Summary
Liberty – 3rd INNING – Bishop homers, 1-0
Liberty – 4th INNING – Griffin doubles, Channell scores, 2-0
Liberty – 5th INNING – Channell singles, Wilson scores, 3-0
Liberty – 5th INNING – Howard flies out to right, sacrifice fly, 4-0
Kennesaw State – 7th INNING – Greep homers, 4-1

Notable Numbers
– Liberty outhit the Owls 10-4. KSU committed two errors while Liberty recorded one error. The Lady Flames left 10 runners on base while the Owls stranded three.

– Emily Kirby improved to 15-5 on the season, allowing one run on four hits and striking out two.

– Lindsey Kyte (5-6) drew the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits, walking one and striking out three in 3 2/3 innings. Peyton Elzey allowed two runs on four hits, walking two and striking out two in 2 1/3 innings of relief.

– Kara Canetto batted 3-for-4 with a run scored, good for her team-leading 22nd multiple-hit game and fourth three-hit contest of the season. Autumn Bishop batted 1-for-4, recording her 12th homer of the year. Amber Bishop-Riley went 2-for-3, while Denay Griffin went 1-for-1 with two walks, a double and one RBI.

– KSU’s Katie Greep batted 2-for-3 with a homer, one run scored and one RBI.   

Turning Point
– The Lady Flames broke through on Bishop’s solo shot in the third inning before adding one run in the fourth and two in the fifth.  

– Kirby retired 11 in a row before allowing a two-out solo home run in the top of the seventh which broke up the shutout.      

Beyond the Box Score
– The Lady Flames lead the all-time series 11-6 against Kennesaw State, including 5-2 this season. Liberty has won all four meetings with the Owls at Bailey Park this year.   

– Liberty will aim for its fourth conference tournament championship and first since winning the 2018 Big South title. Tomorrow will be the Lady Flames’ ninth appearance all-time in a conference championship final game.

– Liberty is 34-4 when scoring first this season.

– Bishop hit her 26th career home run, and she is currently tied with Sammi Shivock (2011-14) for seventh place in program history in career homers.

– Kirby is the 12th pitcher in program history to record a 15-win season, and first since Julia DiMartino (17) and Chase Cassady (15) in 2019. Five of those 15-game winners have come under the tutelage of eighth-year pitching coach Paige Cassady.

– Liberty is now 51-48 all-time in conference tournament play, including 14-11 in conference tournament games under Head Coach Dot Richardson.

– The Lady Flames, who are ranked No. 25 in both major polls this week, are 20-1 in their last 21 games. That stretch includes 12 shutout wins. 

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