Flyers ready to go for A-10 softball tourney


Dayton softball coach Cara LaPlaca has checked off one goal of turning the Flyers into regular participants in the six-team Atlantic 10 tournament.

Her next objective is to put an end to a history of early exits.

The sixth-seeded Flyers will play in the double-elimination event for the second time in three years when they face third-seeded Temple at 12:30 p.m. today at Massachusetts. The program is on the rise after failing to qualify for the league tourney from 2001-10 and posting a 1-8 record in four previous appearances.

“They just battled,” LaPlaca said of her players. “They kept believing and stayed patient with the whole process. It’s been fun to see them develop.”

The Flyers (22-22, 12-9 A-10) have several players with tourney experience and are percolating with confidence.

“It is pretty balanced,” LaPlaca said of the field. “In years past, we couldn’t necessarily see that. There were a few that had separated from the pack. But it’s kind of anyone’s year. It’s who’s playing the best ball this week.”

Pitcher Kayla English and designated-player Tiffany Ricks were named second-team all-conference Tuesday, while pitcher Emily Froment, a Twin Valley South grad, earned a spot on the all-rookie team.

English has 168 strikeouts, 15 short of UD’s single-season record, and is averaging 8.3 whiffs per seven innings. Ricks is second on the team with a .299 average overall and batted .404 with 27 RBIs in 21 conference games.

Froment leads the team and ranks fourth in the A-10 with a 2.25 ERA.

Although she didn’t earn all-league honors, catcher Kasi Vazquez led the Flyers with a .342 average and eight homers. She was named team MVP.

“Vasquez is our offensive leader,” LaPlaca said. “She’s patient (at the plate). She knows her zone. She’s a lot more disciplined than she has been in her previous two years. And other teams fear her. They’re afraid to pitch to her, so she draws a lot of walks.”

LaPlaca has options at pitcher, but English has been the team’s workhorse, and the sixth-year coach won’t hesitate to rely on her again.

“It’s go hard or go home,” she said. “There’s no limiting anyone at this point. You do whatever you can to win.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Oklahoma-Kansas: Time, TV channel, watch online for Week 12 game (November 18, 2017)
Oklahoma-Kansas: Time, TV channel, watch online for Week 12 game (November 18, 2017)

Oklahoma and Kansas will face off in Lawrence, Kan., on Saturday, November 18, 2017, in a battle between a team with 9 wins and the other with 9 losses. Find game time, TV channel and how to watch online information below. Having trouble viewing the live stream?  Go here. Tweets about from:@OU_Football OR from:@KU_Football...
MAC showdown photo gallery: Marion Local vs. Coldwater
MAC showdown photo gallery: Marion Local vs. Coldwater

It’ll be recorded as a 33-0 Marion Local blowout of Coldwater, but Friday’s Division VI, Region 24 regional high school football playoff regional final at Sidney was much more. It was the first time the Midwest Athletic Conference powers had played in the postseason. Marion Local (13-0) advances to a Week 14 state semifinal against Findlay...
WATCH: Alabama State attempts dunk on Kenny Wooten, does not go well
WATCH: Alabama State attempts dunk on Kenny Wooten, does not go well

Little went in the right direction for Alabama State on Friday night against the Oregon basketball team. With a little under 12 minutes left in the second half, the Ducks led the Hornets 73-39, and there would be no signs of let up. You might think this would be about the point in the game that Oregon might let a few charitable dunks or...
Kentucky Basketball: Quade Green aimed to ‘knock their head off’ and did against ETSU
Kentucky Basketball: Quade Green aimed to ‘knock their head off’ and did against ETSU

LEXINGTON, Ky. — East Tennessee State, its coach admitted afterward, came to Rupp Arena on Friday night believing it might catch seventh-ranked Kentucky sleeping after a near-miss Tuesday against Kansas. And it sure looked like the Buccaneers were right when they raced out to an 18-8 lead. “Nah, nah, nah,”...
Baylor coach Scott Drew reaches 300 wins after beating Alcorn State
Baylor coach Scott Drew reaches 300 wins after beating Alcorn State

Baylor basketball coach Scott Drew earned his 300th victory on Friday night after a 78-61 win over Alcorn State in Waco. When he was hired, few expected this day would come. Drew took over one of the biggest rebuilding jobs in the history of collegiate sports in 2003. The Bears were held without nonconference games in 2005-06 and had scholarship...
More Stories