Game 1 Box | Game 2 Box
– University of Dayton junior Lauren Nacke sent seniors Alicia Nichols and Emily Stegeman out on a high note on Senior Day at UD Softball Stadium, hammering a three-run walk-off home run to complete the sweep of Eastern Kentucky on Sunday.
With Nacke’s home run, she adds to an already impressive collection of records. On Sunday, she broke the single-season RBI record adding her 47th RBI of the season. She also added to her single-season home run record with her 17th of the year. Nacke also holds career records in home runs (34) and RBI (104).
Dayton (21-24) beat the Colonels 8-7 in game one and 5-3 in game two. Nacke was 4-for-7 in the series, pounding two home runs for six RBI. She leads the team with a .400 batting average this season. Junior Brandy Brown and Courtney Kutsulis each homered on Sunday and had three RBI. Freshman Dana Trotta had UD’s other RBI.
Alysha Isaacson (12-11) earned the win in game one and Amanda Daly (3-7) was the winner in game two. Sarah Wedel was credited with her second save of the season after shutting down Eastern Kentucky in the first game.
The Flyers rallied in game two to beat the Colonels. After trailing 3-0 through the first five innings, Dayton came back to score five unanswered runs.
Nacke opened the scoring for UD in the sixth inning with a base hit to score Kathleen Maloof. Brown’s single to center field pulled Dayton within striking distance, 3-2.
Dayton looked poised to score again with two outs and bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth. Junior Courtney Kutsulis, who homered in the first game, pinch hit for Trotta and battled 12 pitches against EKU’s Hannah Driver until lining out to the short stop to end the inning.
Nichols, one of UD’s two seniors, became the potential game-tying run in the bottom of the seventh when she reached on a hit to left field. Freshman Rachel Archer increased those odds after singling to left field to become the go-ahead run.
With one out, Maloof hit a long fly ball to left field that originally appeared long enough to clear the fence, but was snagged by EKU for the flyout. Nichols and Archer tagged on the play to put both runners into scoring position.
After a swinging strike on the first pitch, Nacke dug in and ripped the record-breaking home run to seal the win for UD 5-3.
Dayton pounded the ball in the first game pouring on 12 hits in an 8-7 win.
Nacke ripped her first of two home runs on the day in the bottom of the first inning in game one. She took a 1-1 pitch over the left field wall to score Maloof and herself as a light rain began to fall at UD Softball Stadium. Brown stepped in during the very next at-bat and delivered a thunderous first-pitch home run to right field.
Eastern Kentucky notched a run in the top of the second, but the Flyers countered on Trotta’s RBI single to put Dayton ahead 4-1 through the first two frames.
The Colonels put up another run in the top of the third, however, UD answered the call once again on Kutsulis’ two-run home run.
Brown was walked home in the fourth inning. Kutsulis followed that up with an RBI single to give Dayton an 8-2 lead.
Dayton ran into a jam in the seventh inning as EKU racked up five runs in the top half of the inning. After throwing 247 pitches in the last 48 hours, Isaacson was relieved by Wedel with the Eastern Kentucky’s winning run on base and one out.
Wedel retired the final two batters with a lineout and a fly out to earn her second save of the season.
The Flyers are presently inactive until the Atlantic 10 Championships begin on May 11 in Charlotte, N.C. That may change as Dayton is still able to play more games due to rainouts earlier in the season. Any potential schedule changes will be released on DaytonFlyers.com as they become available.
Dayton earned a berth in the Atlantic 10 Championships for the first time since 2000 after splitting with Charlotte on Saturday at UD Softball Stadium.