LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Liberty softball getting ready for its return trip to regionals. The Flames entering the NCAA tournament as the reigning ASUN champions for the second straight year. “You know you need to be able to do it at the right time. And hopefully this will be the right time,” said Liberty Flames head softball coach Dot Richardson.

Liberty softball has had its fair share of wins and losses this season. Head coach Dot Richardson has noticed that her team’s energy is a big factor in those results. “When you look at some of our losses, there was no energy and then when you see in our victories, the energy is there. It needs to be there. And I think that’s one thing that is electric,” said Richardson.

All but one of the flames’ 16 losses came during the non-conference schedule, providing plenty of lessons for Liberty heading into the postseason. “Historically we’ve always had a great non conference schedule so I think that really prepares us for postseason. Not looking at the name on the chest but knowing it’s a game and going out there and competing no matter who it’s against,” said Liberty Flames sophomore pitcher Karlie Keeney.

The Flames open the NCAA tournament in Durham, where the host and number 12 seed Duke is the favorite to advance to super regionals. But LU doesn’t mind being the mid-major team that’s flying under the radar. “Most people like to root for an underdog so if they don’t have a team that they’re pulling for then they can root for us…People not knowing exactly who we are and where we’re from, it gives us an edge, we can surprise some people so it’s nice to be able to do that,” said Liberty Flames senior pitcher Emily Kirby.

With the experience of being at this stage before — and the desire to go farther than it ever has before. Liberty aims to stay present when the first pitch is thrown on Friday. “Don’t live in the past. Don’t look so much into the future. Live in the moment. Seize the moment. God’s given you gifts, he’s given you talents and he’s also given you opportunities, are you ready to seize those opportunities,” said Richardson.

2022 NCAA Division I Durham Regional
May 20-22
Durham, N.C.

Duke Softball Stadium
Friday, May 20
Game 1: Liberty vs. No. 19 Georgia, Noon (ESPNU)
Game 2: No. 12 Seed Duke vs. UMBC, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN3.com)

Saturday, May 21
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – 1 p.m.
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – 3:30 p.m. (loser eliminated)
Game 5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3 – 6 p.m. (loser eliminated)

Sunday, May 22
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 – 2 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary) – 4:30 p.m.