CenturyLink Classic Tournament Central
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***UPDATE: Texas State has announced that all tournament games will be streamed live.***
– The University of Dayton softball team opens up its regular season this weekend at the CenturyLink Classic hosted by Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
Dayton will face UT Arlington, Rutgers, Texas State and Texas Southern in the tournament. The Flyers finished sixth in the Atlantic 10 last season after posting a 22-26 record overall and an 11-8 record in Atlantic 10 play. In addition, UD secured its first trip to the A-10 Tournament since 2000.
The Flyers return a veteran core that includes five seniors. UD also welcomes back NFCA All-Region slugger Lauren Nacke who was 12th in the nation for slugging percentage (.843), 13th in home runs (18), 35th in RBI per game (1.0). Nacke led the A-10 with 18 home runs, an .843 slugging percentage and 48 RBI in 2011. Additionally, seven of Dayton’s nine positional starters from 2011 return to the lineup this year.
UD opens the tournament on Friday, Feb. 17 at 1:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. local game time) against the UT Arlington Mavericks. The University of Texas at Arlington finished its opening weekend with a 3-2 record, with wins against Arkansas (4-1), Belmont (9-4) and Wichita State (6-1). The Mavericks are led by sophomore outfielder Stephanie Gonzalez. Gonzalez was named to the all-tournament team last weekend after batting .375, while pounding out six hits and scoring three runs. UTA is led by reigning 2011 Southland Pitcher of the Year Callie Collins. The Mavericks were picked to finish third in the Southland Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Flyers will also play the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Friday at 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. local game time). Rutgers finished 2-2 in its opening weekend. Both of its wins came against Mississippi Valley State (7-2, 4-3). Freshman Jackie Bates was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll after recording four hits in her first weekend of collegiate action. Bates drove in three runs and totaled a .727 slugging percentage. Freshman Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) picked up the first win of her collegiate career against Mississippi Valley State and junior Abbey Houston pitched 9.2 innings in three appearances, and had a complete game against MVSU.
Dayton resumes play on Saturday against tournament host Texas State at 1:30 p.m. ET. Texas State is coming off a 1-5 weekend at the Kajikawa Classic that was hosted by Arizona State. Freshman utility player Selena Hernandez is the Bobcats top hitter after one week of play, with a .294 average and three runs. Senior pitcher Chandler Hall anchors a pitching staff that won a total of 33 games, while striking out 366 in 2011. Hall ranks in seven of the top ten major statistical pitching categories in Texas State history. The Lady Bobcats were predicted to finish first in the Southland Preseason Coaches Poll.
UD will also face Texas Southern following the conclusion of the Texas State / Dayton game at approximately 4 p.m. ET. Texas Southern is 2-2 after dropping a twinbill to UTSA on Valentines Day. Senior infielder Tenesha Skrine is batting .500 through the first four games and leads the team with seven RBI. Skrine has also hit two home runs. Sophomore pitcher JoAnn Herrera leads the pitching staff after pitching a complete game without allowing an earned run. Herrera is 1-0 on the year. Texas Southern was picked to finish fourth in the SWAC.
The Flyers close out the CenturyLink Classic on Sunday with an 11 a.m. ET game against UT Arlington.
Live stats for the tournament are available on DaytonFlyers.com. A full recap will be available following the conclusion of each game.