Flyers softball underdog story ends in A-10 Championship
The Dayton Flyers softball team upset top-seeded George Washington 2-0 on Thursday, but lost both chances to win the Atlantic 10 championship against the Colonials on Saturday. Photo courtesy of UD Athletics.
Needing to win just one of two games in Saturday’s Atlantic 10 Softball Championship, the underdog Dayton Flyers faltered in both games against the top-seeded George Washington Colonials in Philadelphia, Pa.
In a rematch of Thursday’s quarterfinal game between the Flyers and Colonials, GW scored first after getting runners on first and third. The runner on first ran for second base, and Flyers senior catcher Abby Ehrenborg threw towards second. The Colonials’ runner on third took off for home, and the No. 1 seed took a 1-0 lead.
The Colonials added a run in the bottom of the fourth inning on an RBI single to left field.
In the top of the sixth, the Flyers had a good chance to get a run back when Enrenborg led off the inning with a double. She moved up to third on a sacrifice fly, but the Flyers couldn’t get a run across home plate.
With their final chance to win the first game and be crowned champions of the Atlantic 10, the Flyers came to bat down by 2 in the top of the seventh inning. Sophomore infielder Ali Weekly was able to reach first on an infield single with one out, and junior infielder Megan Gist walked after a long at-bat to bring the winning run up to the batter’s box with two outs.
Freshman infielder Megan Ward then reached first to load the bases after the ball deflected off the Colonials pitcher’s glove and the throw couldn’t reach third in time to get Weekly in time. With the bases loaded and two outs, Ehrenborg came up to the plate. Ehrenborg lined a single into center field, scoring Weekly and Gist to tie the game at 2. The third out was made on a force out at third, but the Flyers bats came in clutch to tie the game in the final inning.
Flyers sophomore closing pitcher Sarah Bailitz allowed two deep fly balls to right field to start the bottom half of the inning, but both were caught. Bailitz walked the next batter, but got a ground-out to second base to close the inning and send the game to extra innings.
In the eighth inning, the Flyers went down in order and the Colonials did as well. In the ninth, the Flyers once again went down in order, while the Colonials loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom half. But on a 5-2-3 double play, the Flyers got two outs, but after intentionally walking the Colonials with a base open, the Colonials delivered a single to left field to walk off the game and send both teams into a winner-take-all second game.
In the second game, both teams got a pair of runners on base in the first inning, but neither could push a run across home plate. In the bottom of the second inning, Flyers freshman starting pitcher Addy Bullis, who had been nearly spotless over her first 12 ⅓ innings pitched, gave up three runs to the Colonials and was pulled from the game.
Down 3-0, the Flyers deficit grew to four before Ehrenborg homered to left center field to cut the Colonials’ lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning.
Ehrenborg would later hit another home run in the seventh inning, but by then it was too late, as the Flyers had given up three additional runs (1 in fifth, 2 in sixth) to fall 7-2 to the Colonials.
Needing to win only one of the two games, the Flyers were unable to stop the Colonials’ bats for the third time in the A-10 Tournament. After giving up just 3 runs in the first game Saturday, the Flyers couldn’t contain the hitting of George Washington.
With this loss, the Flyers’ season comes to an end with a 21-26 record, but ends on a bittersweet note as runners-up in the A-10.
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