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After starting the season 2-2, the University of Dayton softball team has suffered a seven-game losing skid, which the Flyers hope to snap when they travel to the Comfort Inn & Suites Tournament March 7-8. The tournament, hosted by Morehead State University, will be held in Morehead, Ky. at The University Softball Field. Dayton opens and closes the Classic against the host Eagles. UD plays Morehead State at 12 p.m. ET and Oakland at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 7 and close out the Classic on Sunday with games against local rival Wright State at 2 p.m. ET and a rematch against Morehead State at 4 p.m. ET. Prior to the Comfort Inn Classic, Morehead State and Oakland will square off in a twinbill on Friday, March 6.
The Flyers are coming off a rain-shortened 0-2 stint at the Frost Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn. UD captured a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth against Princeton in its opening game of the Classic, but the Tigers countered with a seven-run outburst to claim the contest 9-3. Dayton got within one run of Chattanooga in its night game thanks to a Molly Meyer homerun and Anne Maci RBI single in the top of the fifth, but the Lady Mocs added an insurance run in the sixth and held on for a 6-4 win. Just as the Flyers were finding their stride, the remainder of the tournament was cancelled due to wet field conditions.
BACK TO BASICS
The Flyers, which struggled with 11 errors at the Islander Invitational, got back to their traditional solid, fundamental defense, committing just one error in the two games at the Frost Classic.
HITTING FOR THE FENCES
Meyer hit .500 in the two games for the Flyers, including her second homerun of the season, while Megan Lee hit at a .400 clip and Maci and freshman Brandy Brown were .333 at the plate.
Sophomore Allie Falk had a strong performance in relief on the mound against Chattanooga. She kept the Lady Mocs off balance, allowing just three hits in 3.1 innings of work for a 2.10 ERA. Junior Eva Rappe carried the bulk of the workload, pitching 6.0 innings in two games.
SCOUTING MOREHEAD STATE (4-2)
Conference: Ohio Valley Conference
Series: Morehead State leads 25-22-1. The Eagles swept a double header in the last meeting when they hosted UD on April 9, 2007, winning the first game, 4-3 in nine innings, and the nightcap, 4-2.
Key Players: Sophomore Rebecca Butler has gone on a tear in the Eagles' first six games, hitting at a .526 clip with two doubles and two homeruns. Junior pitcher Alex Gjevre (3-1) has a 0.94 ERA, striking out 30 in 29.2 innings of work.
Key Stat: The Eagles are 2-0 at home this season.
SCOUTING OAKLAND (5-8)
Conference: Summit League
Series: The series is tied 0-0-1. In their only meeting, the Flyers and Grizzlies tied 4-4 on May 5, 2000.
Key Players: Senior Julie Owen was named Summit League Player of the Week after hitting .542 and leading the Grizzlies to a 5-3 week. She leads the conference in batting average (.538), slugging percentage (.821) and is tied for first with 16 RBI.
Key Stat: The Grizzlies have 17 errors in 13 games played and are 0-4 in neutral site games.
SCOUTING WRIGHT STATE (5-8)
Conference: Horizon League
Series: The Raiders lead the series 43-26-1. Dayton has played Wright State in softball more than any other opponent (70). WSU swept a double header last year by scores of 7-0 and 8-0 at UD Stadium on April 21, 2008. In addition to the meeting in this Classic, Dayton will play at Wright State in a non-conference doubleheader on March 13, 2009.
Key Players: Briauna Birl leads the Raiders with a .406 batting average, with Louie Haney not too far behind at .400. Ashlei Jackson hit the Raiders' only homerun this season.
Key Stats: WSU has used five pitchers this season, with four seeing at least nine innings. Haney has a 0.78 ERA pitching in relief.
THE DIRT ON DAYTON
Last season the Flyers achieved their first 20-win season in three years and more than doubled their Atlantic 10 win total from 2007. Cara Clark's 20 wins was the most by any first-year head coach at UD. A vast majority of the team's numbers improved from the 2007 season to 2008. The Flyers return nine players, including six position starters, and a starting pitcher. The team also features six incoming freshmen. After going 0-4 in the UNI-Dome Classic, the Flyers went on to achieve a 10-1 record in neutral-site games.
STEGEMAN STARTING STREAK
Sophomore Emily Stegeman had started every game of her career, 60 consecutive starts, until she missed the games against Princeton and Chattanooga.
The Flyer softball squad has already travelled more than 5,000 miles by air and road this season after visits to Cedar Falls, Iowa, Corpus Christi, Texas and Chattanooga, Tenn. Dayton will travel nearly 12,000 miles during the 2009 season.
GOING ELK GROVE GANGBUSTER
Molly Meyer scored six of Dayton's seven runs at the Islander Invitational in Corpus Christi, Texas (Feb. 20-22). The junior went 7-of-15 (.467) and hit her first homerun of the season. She also belted her team-leading third double during the tournament.
START ME UP
The Flyers get off to a quick start, and have outscored opponents 19-15 in the first two innings after their first 11 games. The fourth and sixth innings have been UD's detriment where they have been outscored 47-9.
WEEKEND OF FIRSTS
The Flyers posted a 2-2 record at the UNI-Dome Classic in Cedar Falls, Iowa (Feb. 7-8) where several "firsts" were achieved. With its 10-5 victory over North Dakota on Sunday, Feb. 8, Dayton won its first-ever indoor game. Also...
•In the first frame in her first at bat this season, sophomore Allie Falk delivered a two-run triple, her first collegiate three-bagger, against NDSU.
•Sophomore Emily Stegeman cranked out her first collegiate homerun, a two-run dinger in the bottom of the first to spark the Flyers to a six-run inning against North Dakota.
•In that same inning sophomore Alicia Nichols tallied her first collegiate RBI, with a single to give Dayton a 6-4 lead over the Fighting Sioux.
•Freshman Courtney Kutsulis also got in on the action, registering her first collegiate hit, an RBI double in the bottom of the third.
•Senior Katie Jordan's first career collegiate triple came on Feb. 8 against South Dakota State.
A CAREER DAY
Senior Katie Jordan and junior Eva Rappe enjoyed personal bests in Dayton's 10-5 win over North Dakota on Feb. 8. Jordan posted a career-best, single-game performance of 3 RBI against the Fighting Sioux, while Rappe had her best single-game performance on the mound with a career-high seven Ks.
Dayton tallied 10 double-digit hit games last season, including its contest last year against North Dakota when it had 13, just two off the season-high of 15 against IUPUI (March 24, 2008). The Flyers continued the trend, smacking 11 hits this season against the Fighting Sioux on Feb. 8, 2009.
ROOKIE RUBBER ARM
Freshman Sarah Wedel threw a three-hit shutout in her first career collegiate start, propelling the Flyers to an 8-0 win against South Dakota State. She is the first Dayton freshman to earn a shutout in her first collegiate start (since UD pitching records were kept in 1990).
RUNNING OVER THE COMPETITION
The Flyers' 8-0, five-inning, run rule victory against South Dakota State on Feb. 8 at the UNI-Dome Classic is the first UD run-rule win for Dayton since April 25, 2004 it downed La Salle, 9-0.
DAYTON DOMINATES A-10 HONOR ROLL
The University of Dayton Division of Athletics continued its long tradition of success in the classroom by placing 108 student-athletes on the Atlantic 10 Commissioner's Honor Roll for the Fall 2008 semester. The A-10 Honor Roll recognizes each student-athlete with a 3.5 grade-point average or higher during. Dayton was second among the 14 A-10 Conference institutions in number of student-athletes recognized despite sponsoring fewer sports than all but one school in the league. The Flyers were just two shy of La Salle's 110 student-athletes honored on the list. The Explorers sponsor 20 sports that compete in the A-10 compared to UD's 14. The following softball players helped UD reach 108: Katie Jordan, Anne Maci, Molly Meyer, Alicia Nichols and Eva Rappe.
RAPPE YOUR MIND AROUND THIS
Junior pitcher Eva Rappe broke the UD record for saves in a season with three and also broke the previous record for career saves. The Flyers were tied for first in the Atlantic 10 for saves last season with 4.
GOING OUT WITH A BANG
In the Flyers' last series of the 2008 season, which came against Saint Louis, sophomore Emily Stegeman (4-for-7), and juniors Molly Meyer (3-for-6) and Megan Lee (4-for-7) combined to hit .550.
THE MEYER MASSACRE
Junior Molly Meyer brings a career batting average of .336 into the 2009 campaign. She is Dayton's leading returning hitter, after hitting .339 last season with 58 hits. She led the Flyers with 37 runs scored (5th in the A-10) and three triples. Her .336 average going into the season is fourth all-time.
THE GOOD HANDS PEOPLE
Last year the Flyers finished first in the Atlantic 10 in Team Fielding Percentage (.968) and a conference-low 47 errors. Junior Molly Meyer had a phenomenal .988 fielding percentage in center field and junior first baseman Anne Maci was right behind her with .986 and only five errors. Maci was fourth in A-10 in opportunities and putouts, recording 347 and 322 respectively. Maci was tied first in fielding double plays with 10. Juniors Eva Rappe and Megan Lee did not post a single error.
TRIPLE YOUR GAINS
Eva Rappe nearly tripled her strikeout total, sitting down 65 last season, after fanning 21 in her rookie campaign. She had more than four times the wins, notching nine in 2008, after going 2-7 as a freshman.
BATTING FOR THE BOOKS
During the 2008 season, the Flyers came up just short of tying the UD single-season record for team batting average. UD posted a .275 average, one-thousandth of a point off the mark of .276 set by the 2000 squad. Its .275 average was third in the Atlantic 10.
WALK LIKE A FLYER
The 2008 squad had a knack for spotting a bad pitch. The Flyers drew 114 walks last season, just six off the UD record of 120 set in 2005. Senior Katie Jordan had 21 walks, just three behind graduated Laura Matthews' team-leading 24.
SAC IT TO ME
The Flyers were second in the A-10 in sacrifice bunts with 59 in 2008. Junior Megan Lee had seven and both Katie Jordan and Molly Meyer had six.
RUNNING THE TABLE
The Flyers finished fourth in the A-10 in both runs scored (194) and runs batted in (171). Junior Molly Meyer was fifth in the Atlantic 10 in runs scored with 37 last season. Junior Anne Maci is Dayton's leading returner in the category, bringing home 31 RBI. Maci also paced the Flyers in doubles, smacking 12 of Dayton's 56, which was fifth-best in the A-10.
DAYTON ADDS FOUR WITH `09 CLASS
University of Dayton head softball coach Cara Clark announced the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent that will make up the 2009 class. The class includes a versatile group that can pay immediate dividends for an already rising Flyer softball squad. The class includes pitcher Amanda Daly of McHenry, Ill., middle infielder Carlyn Harlow of DuPont, Wash., outfielder Kathleen Maloof of Indianapolis, and outfielder Shelby Pohlman of Olathe, Kansas.
UD TRIO TAKES ON ITALY
Three Dayton Flyers softball players experienced the trip of a lifetime this summer (Aug. 3-12), competing for the USA Athletes International softball team in Italy. Sophomores Allie Falk and Emily Stegeman, along with freshman Raime Cronkhite, represented UD and the United States of America in the Arezzo Softball/Baseball International Tournament. The Team USAs consisted of women from Illinois, California, Georgia, South Carolina, Iowa, Ohio and Michigan.
FLYERS HAVE GAME AND SMARTS
The University of Dayton softball team was named to the Girls Got Game/NFCA All-Academic Team. Dayton posted a team GPA of 3.363, which was the 17th best in the NCAA Division I category. The Flyers were just one of two schools from the Atlantic 10 to be named to the Top 100. Only one other university in Ohio posted a higher GPA than Dayton - Akron was No. 13 with a 3.390 team GPA. Sophomores Allie Falk and Alicia Nichols, along with recent graduates Erin Lafayette and Laura Matthews, also received individual kudos and were named NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes. Each had a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.
HARMAN JOINS FLYERS STAFF
Sarah Harman joined the Flyer softball team as the assistant coach in January of 2009. Harman replaces Christine Steines, who left Dayton to take the head coaching job at Otterbein College, a Division III institution located just outside Columbus. A native of Port Clinton, Ohio, Harman returns to her home state after coaching stints in Texas, Virginia and Indiana. She comes to the Flyers after serving as an assistant coach and lecturer at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.