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Liberty Athletics | April 20, 2022

Liberty softball upsets No. 9 Duke with big 6th inning

Watch: These are the plays of the week in college softball

Liberty broke a 3-3 tie with a five-run sixth inning, snapping No. 9 Duke’s 11-game winning streak with an 8-3 win, Wednesday at Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium.

Liberty improves to 32-13 on the season with its second Top 25 win of the year. The Lady Flames are now 18-1 in their last 19 games. Duke falls to 34-6 after suffering its first loss since March 25 at Notre Dame.

Duke, the defending ACC champion, entered the week ranked No. 9 in both and Softball America Top 25 National Rankings.

LATEST RANKINGS: Nebraska and Illinois enter latest D1Softball Top 25 poll, Washington climbs

Turning Point

  • Liberty loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the first and managed to score two runs. Duke tied the score twice in the game, at 2-2 and at 3-3.
  • After Duke’s Kristina Foreman tied it at 3-3 in the top of the sixth, Liberty proceeded to load the bases with no outs again in the home half of the inning. Jala Wright then entered the circle for Duke and uncorked a wild pitch that sent the go-ahead run home. Pinch hitters KC Machado and Alexis Soto added RBI singles and Devyn Howard’s sac fly capped a five-run inning.
  • Emily Kirby finished off the win with a 1-2-3 seventh, getting her ninth strikeout in the process.

Scoring Summary

  • Liberty – 1st INNING – Canetto singles to left field, Allan and Hudson advance, Howard scores, 1-0
  • Liberty – 1st INNING – Wilson singles to center, Canetto and Allan advance, Hudson scores, 2-0
  • Duke – 3rd INNING – Foreman singles up the middle, Crabtree advances, Jackson and Morris score, 2-2
  • Liberty – 4th INNING – Barrett reaches on fielder’s choice, sac bunt, Wilson scores, 3-2
  • Duke – 6th INNING – Foreman homers to right center, 3-3
  • Liberty – 6th INNING – Wilson scores on wild pitch, Canetto and Plummer advance, 4-3
  • Liberty – 6th INNING – Machado singles to right, Roupe and Wilson advance, Canetto scores, 5-3
  • Liberty – 6th INNING – Soto singles to right-center, Barrett advances, Roupe and Wilson score, 7-3
  • Liberty – 6th INNING – Howard flies out to left, sacrifice fly, Soto advances, Barrett scores, 8-3

Notable Numbers

  • Liberty outhit Duke 8-4 for the game, with both teams leaving four runners on base. The Lady Flames committed two errors compared to one for the Blue Devils.
  • Duke came into the game ranked second in the nation in scoring, averaging 7.85 runs per game.
  • Kirby (8-4) quieted the Blue Devils’ bats, allowing just one earned run (three total runs allowed) on four hits, walking one and fanning nine.
  • Duke’s Peyton St. George (17-3) suffered just her third defeat of the season, allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits, walking one and striking out two in five innings. Jala Wright allowed two runs on two hits without retiring a batter, while Claire Davidson pitched one scoreless inning.
  • Mary Claire Wilson batted 3-for-3 with one RBI and two runs scored, while Kara Canetto went 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored. Alexis Soto batted 1-for-1 with two RBI.
  • Kristina Foreman went 2-for-3 with a homer and all three of Duke’s RBI.

LOOK: North Carolina's falling catch leads NCAA softball plays of the week

Beyond the Box Score

  • Liberty is now 2-1 all-time against Duke in softball. These two split a pair of meetings during the 2019 season.
  • Liberty’s five-run margin was its largest margin of victory all-time against a Top 25 team, besting the 4-0 shutout of No. 10 Baylor, March 16, 2007.
  • Liberty is a perfect 27-0 this season when scoring first in a game and 21-0 when scoring in the first inning.
  • Tonight was Liberty’s 16th Top 25 win all-time, second this season and 10th under current Head Coach Dot Richardson. The Lady Flames are 2-8 against nationally-ranked opponents in 2022, also beating No. 23 Notre Dame 6-3 on March 5. Liberty is 2-2 versus Top 25 teams at Liberty Softball Stadium this season.
  • Liberty is now 5-4 this season against ACC opponents after going 5-1 versus the ACC last year.
  • Liberty’s eight runs tonight were its second-most ever against a nationally-ranked opponent (most came in a 14-9 loss against Arkansas, March 10) and most runs scored in a win over a Top 25 team.
  • Devyn Howard extended her streak to 20 straight games reaching base safely.
  • Kirby picked up her second career win over a Top 25 team and first since a 10-inning 2-0 shutout win at No. 13 Arkansas, March 16, 2021.
  • Wilson recorded her third three-hit game of the season, and her two runs scored are tied for the most in a single game in program history against a Top 25 team.

Up Next
Liberty will host Jacksonville for a three-game ASUN series on Senior Weekend, this Saturday and Sunday. The Lady Flames will honor five seniors — Lou Allan, Kara Canetto, Denay Griffin, Megan Johnson and Emily Kirby — with a pregame Senior Day ceremony on Sunday.

Division I
Softball Championship
June 1-9, 2023
USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium | Oklahoma City, OK

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