<P><B>April 25, 2008</B>
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With four games left in the regular season, the University of Dayton Flyers find themselves in a battle for the final spot in the Atlantic 10 tournament. UD is coming off a pair of losses to Wright State in their own backyard while St. Bonaventure has stumbled as well losing three of their last five.
<P><b>SCOUTING THE BONNIES </b><br>
St. Bonaventure is led by senior Brianna Bricker who is hitting .440 with 17 RBI's and five homers this season. Sophomore Sherri Thompson leads the Bonnies in the circle tossing 131 strikeouts and pitching four shutouts. The Flyers lost against SBU in their last outing 13-11 at UD Softball Stadium in 2007.
<P><b>FLYERS ADD TWO MORE TO 2008-09 RECRUITING CLASS</b><br>
Head coach <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/clark_cara00.html" >Cara Clark</a> and the University of Dayton softball team added two more future Flyers to the 2008-2009 recruiting class on April 10 inking Courtney Kutsulis and Lauren Nacke to National Letters of Intent. With the latest additions Dayton has now added five total players to the 2008-2009 recruiting class. Clark and her staff inked Brandy Brown, Raime Cronkhite and Kristina Ortiz all to letters of intent during the early signing period last fall. The five signings mark the beginning of Clark's first full recruiting class at Dayton.
<P><b>MEYER ONE OF A-10'S BEST</b><br>
Atlantic 10 statistics show that <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/meyer_molly00.html" >Molly Meyer</a> is one of the league's top hitters. Meyer has cranked out 53 hits this season including seven doubles.In addition, she is second in the conference in total bases with 66 and is tied for third in runs scored with 33. Meyer also leads the A-10 with three triples this season.
<P><b>MY OH MEYER</b><br>
As a leadoff hitter, Meyer has 53 hits in 154 at-bats for a season batting average of .338. Meyer has an on base percentage of .420. She went 3-of-4 in her second game against North Dakota and 2-of-3 against South Dakota State University. Meyer also went 2-of-3 in back-to-back games at the Panther Invitational. At George Washington she hit 4-for-5 in the second game driving in one run and scoring one. During her UD career, she has hit a whopping .339 placing her third in UD history.
<P><b>MACI'S DAY PARADE</b><br>
Sophomore slugger <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/maci_anne00.html" >Anne Maci</a> has been making a name for herself at the plate. On April 12, she swatted a home run at George Washington. On February 9 against North Dakota, Maci was 2-of-3, collected one double and drove in two runs. On the very next day, she went 2-of-3 again this time driving one runner in against the Fighting Sioux. In UD's win over Tennessee State, Maci was 3-of-4 and collected four RBI's. Against IUPUI she hit two home runs and a walk off double to win the game in extra innings. She has amassed 30 RBI's this season, shattering her career-best mark of five.
With her home run against La Salle on April 6, <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/crabtree_blair00.html" >Blair Crabtree</a> has climbed all the way up to third all-time in UD history with 11 homers. In addition, Crabtree ranks second in the Atlantic 10 with 36 RBI's.
<P><b>BLAIR'S BANNER YEAR</b><br>
<A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/crabtree_blair00.html" >Blair Crabtree</a> has had one of the most remarkable senior seasons in recent Flyer history. Crabtree has nearly doubled her RBI and hit totals. In addition, Crabtree went 4-for-4 against Rhode Island driving in four runners in the game. For her efforts she is second in the A-10 in RBI's and tied for fourth in total bases.
At the UNI Classic, <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/crabtree_blair00.html" >Blair Crabtree</a> went 2-for-3 in back-to-back games on her birthday, February 9. She also collected one double, one RBI and crossed the plate twice. The icing on the cake was a .667 batting average on the day. <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/matthews_laura00.html" >Laura Matthews</a> went 3-of-5 on her birthday March 2, smacking two doubles and tagging out the game-tying out to end the game against Appalachian State.
<P><b>THE HITS KEEP COMING</b><br>
Junior <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/schrank_mollie00.html" >Mollie Schrank</a> keeps piling up the hits for the Flyers. Schrank leads the Atlantic 10 with 58 hits, giving her career totals of 139 hits in 401 at-bats. Schrank also leads the team with 10 stolen bases and is third in the nation with 18 sacrifice hits this season.
<P><b>"MOLL"ING IT OVER</b><br>
In addition to her 139 career hits, Schrank has also placed herself fourth among all Flyers past and present in batting average. She is currently batting .346 in her UD career.
<P><b>THE ZIONSVILLE CANNON </b><br>
Senior pitcher <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/lafayette_erin00.html" >Erin Lafayette</a> has thrown 178 career strikeouts. That total places her fourth in Flyer history. <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/myher_melissa00.html" >Melissa Myher</a> holds the all-time record for strikeouts in a career with 498. She has also pitched 360 innings, which places her fourth on UD's all-time list. LaFayette has struck out 85 so far this season. She set a career-best against Rhode Island striking out nine batters in a single game.
<P><b>SEVEN KINDS OF SMOKE</b><br>
While her 178 strikeouts are nothing to scoff at, <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/lafayette_erin00.html" >Erin Lafayette</a> is also one of the most efficient pitchers in Flyer history. LaFayette has a current ratio of 3.46 strikeouts per seven innings.
<P><b>THAT'S A RAPPE!</b><br>
Sophomore <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/rappe_eva00.html" >Eva Rappe</a> knows a thing or two about sitting batters down. Last season Rappe collected 21 strikeouts in 63.2 innings pitched. In 122 innings pitched this season, she has already sent 57 batters back to the dugout with their heads hung, including four strikeouts against North Dakota on February 10, six strikeouts against IPFW and four more in games against Temple and Saint Joseph's.
<A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/rappe_eva00.html" >Eva Rappe</a> can bring the heat, but lately she's been known best for icing batters at the end of a game. At the EKU Invitational Rappe stepped in and shut down the Eastern Kentucky offense collecting her first collegiate save. In the next game, she repeated her effort, this time keeping Cleveland State at-bay for her second straight save giving her the new record for saves in a single-season. She added to that total on March 19 when she collected the save against Colgate, breaking the school record for career saves. Most recently, Rappe came in relief in extra innings against URI to collect the win over the Rams, retiring the last three batters in order.
<P><b>MUSIC CITY MASHER</b><br>
<A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/matthews_laura00.html" >Laura Matthews</a> has quietly shot up the charts as one of the team's top hitters. Last season she had 13 hits in 32 games, but through 47 games this year Matthews has already cranked out 41 hits. Matthews is presently batting .339 at the plate. She also hit her fourth career home run against Ohio. It was the first time Matthews hit a home run since April 23, 2006.
<P><b>MATTHEWS NAMED A-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK ON MARCH 3</b><br>
<A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/matthews_laura00.html" >Laura Matthews</a> has really come alive in her senior year. At the EKU Invitational, Matthews racked up a .625 average going 5-of-8 and smacking two doubles and driving in three. For her efforts the Atlantic 10 awarded her Player of the Week honors on March 3. This was the first time a Flyer softball player has received this honor in over three years.
<P><b>CRIME AND PUNISHMENT</b><br>
Senior catcher <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/matthews_laura00.html" >Laura Matthews</a> has also been a force behind the plate for the Flyers. Matthews has already thrown 14 runners out that have dared to steal a base on her watch. She has more than doubled her career mark this season which was previously set at nine thrown out.
<P><b>KICKIN' WITH KJ</b><br>
Coming into the season, junior <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/jordan_katie00.html" >Katie Jordan</a> had only stepped up to the plate 15 times in her entire career with a batting average of .067. Jordan has already been at-bat 95 times, collecting three doubles, 15 runs and six RBI's.
<P><b>FEATS OF STRENGTH</b><br>
Freshman <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/stegeman_emily00.html" >Emily Stegeman</a> is making an impact in her first season. Stegeman has 15 runs on 36 hits. She is hitting .295 and has started all 47 games. However, more impressive are her 16 RBI's and her ranking fifth on the team in batting average. Stegeman has made numerous acrobatic plays including a diving catch to end the inning against Eastern Kentucky and another leaping out to rob the Colonels of a sure base-hit.
<P><b>COMING THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH</b><br>
Sophomore <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/lee_megan00.html" >Megan Lee</a> has been a force in multiple games for the Flyers. With two outs and one runnner on base, Lee smacked her first collegiate home run win the game for Dayton 2-1 over Saint Joseph's. Against North Dakota, Lee stepped in and hit a double bringing in two RBI's. Versus Tennessee State, Lee went 2-of-3 at the plate. Lee is batting .226 through 45 games with seven sacrifices. Lee has also not made an error in right field, her first season playing the position.
<P><b>BULS ON PARADE</b><br>
Freshman <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/buls_leah00.html" >Leah Buls</a> collected her first win in an 8-3 downing of Cleveland State on March 2. She has pitched 15.0 innings and struck out five this season.
As a designated player <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/falk_allie00.html" >Allie Falk</a> has collected 21 hits and three doubles. Falk most notably hit a grand slam home run against Fordham on April 5. Not only was it the first grand slam of her collegiate careeer, but it was also the first home run at UD.
<P><b>RANKING WITH THE BEST</b><br>
Through 47 games there is one thing that the Flyers do know, they can hit the ball. In fact, among Atlantic 10 foes, they rank third in batting with a .277 average. In addition, UD has collected 53 doubles which ranks them fourth in the A-10. Dayton is averaging 1.13 doubles per game. Last year Dayton hit .233 with only 30 doubles.
<P><b>THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM</b><br>
The beginning of the Flyers season on February 9 came 31 days earlier than last season. In that time, the Flyers played in 13 games. When everything was said and done the Flyers played in 21 contests before Atlantic 10 competition. Only two other A-10 teams started their season as early as UD this year.
<P><b>NEW YEARS RESOLUTION</b><br>
In one year's time the Flyers have shown a tremendous turnaround. UD has improved their batting average from .233 to .277. The Flyers have scored 184 times this season compared to last year's 119. Dayton has also cranked out 158 RBI's this year compared to last year's 96 hit.
<P><b>DAYTON "D" HAVING A FIELD DAY</b><br>
Some say the best defense is a good offense, but what's so bad about a good defense as well? UD leads the Atlantic 10 with a .969 fielding percentage ranking them 18th in the nation. Dayton has committed the fewest errors among all of its A-10 peers. In addition, the Flyers have caught 16 stealing already this season.
<P><b>GOCKEN AMONG 2007 JUNIOR COLLEGE CATCHERS OF THE YEAR</b><br>
<A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/gocken_lyndsi00.html" >Lyndsi Gocken</a> was among 10 catchers named the 2007 Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year. The award, presented by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and Diamond Sports, is given to the top catcher from NFCA member schools. Gocken was the recipient of the award for the National Junior College Athletics Association Division III level.
<P><b>PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES</b><br>
UD began the season on a 25-game road swing taking them through two time zones and nine different states. In addition, the Flyers played in four different tournaments before playing at Charlotte in March. Over the course of the season they are expected to log more than 10,000 miles on the road round-trip.
<P><b>DYNAMIC DUO IN DISTANT LANDS</b><br>
Last summer, sophomore <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/lee_megan00.html" >Megan Lee</a> and freshman <A HREF="http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/mtt/stegeman_emily00.html" >Emily Stegeman</a> traveled to China as part of a softball exhibition. The two of them traveled as part of the Miami Valley Xpress club team to promote softball for the 2008 Olympic Games that are held in Beijing this summer.