Shine bright on the diamond: Liberty heading to the Durham Regional in NCAA Softball Tournament

Flames hold a 43-16 overall record

ROANOKE, Va. – During Sunday night’s NCAA DI Softball Tournament selection show it was revealed that Liberty will be part of the Durham Regional.

Liberty will open with Georgia at Noon on Friday. This will mark the first ever matchup between the Flames and Bulldogs. Duke is the 12th overall seed and host of the regional and will open with UMBC on Friday at 2:30 p.m.

The Flames credit their non-conference strength of schedule for prepping them for what they hope will be a deep postseason run.

“I think historically we’ve always had a great nonconference schedule and so that really prepares us for postseason--not really looking at the name on the chest but just knowing it’s a game and going out and competing no matter who it’s against,” said Flames pitcher Karlie Keeney.

The Flames are fresh off of winning back-to-back ASUN Conference titles and hold a record of 43-16 this season. Liberty’s top batters are Kara Canetto and Lou Allan, both averaging .357 and .352 respectively.

“Just making sure we stay up and together as a team and not play up or down to an opponent,” Canetto said. She was recently named the 2022 ASUN Tournament MVP. “Just making sure we play Liberty softball.” Caroline Hudson brings the force at the plate with a team leading 16 home runs this season.

In the circle, McKenzie Wagoner has been lights out. She totes an ERA of 1.95 in 61 innings pitched and 20 appearances. Emily Kirby has also been stellar with an ERA of just 2.03.

In terms of the approach to the postseason, Coach Richardson said, “Cream rises to the top and I told the team we don’t want to be cream we want to be cool whip--we want to stay at the top.”

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.