Emily Froment, a freshman pitcher on the University of Dayton softball team, and Wright State freshman Montana Wear were content dealing zeroes on the scoreboard.
The two dominated both lineups and pitched dueling shutouts through five innings during UD’s 4-0 win over Wright State on Wednesday.
Then Tiffany Ricks and her big bat wrecked the party.
Ricks hit a game-breaking grand slam in the sixth inning for Dayton, taking a pitch from reliever Krystian DeWitt over the right-field fence, giving the Flyers all the runs they needed.
Wear allowed Natalie Mariano to single to open the top of the sixth. A bobbled ball in the infield allowed Kathleen Maloof on base. Wright State coach Lynn Curylo went to her bullpen, but the next batter reached on an error at third. Ricks then connected for her home run, crushing the ball down the foul line. As her teammates stood on their bases to see if it would be caught or foul, Ricks was already near first and ready to turn toward second.
The two errors in the inning were costly.
“When it is a pitcher’s duel, your defense has to support the pitcher,” Curylo said. “They did a great job on defense making plays and we didn’t.”
It was enough for Froment, a Twin Valley South High School grad. When she wasn’t baffling Wright State hitters, her defense was making plays. The Flyers had no errors.
“We are a great defensive team and you can get comfortable,” Froment said. “Any ball on the ground or air someone will have a chance at it and get an out.”
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, the game was delayed because of lightning. Once play resumed half an hour later, Froment allowed a single to Kacie Rapshur, then struck out Wear, but was removed for closer Alysha Isaacson, who struck out Angie Clark to finish the game.
Wear pitched five-plus innings, striking out six, allowing three hits, no walks and one earned run. Froment pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and two walks while striking out five and coming within one out of her first complete game.
Froment, 5-1, came into the game with a 2.81 ERA.
“I can’t say enough about Emily,” Dayton coach Cara LaPlaca said. “She was able to keep them off balance and did a great job.”
Dayton swept back-to-back games with Wright State, beating the Raiders 6-5 on Tuesday when sophomore Jordan Jennings hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning.
“It comes from all different parts of our lineup,” LaPlaca said. “We don’t know who is going to step up but we know it’s going to get done.”
Getting it done also meant beating Wright State, something that doesn’t get old for the Flyers.
“I’m from the Dayton area, so you want to beat your local teams,” Froment said. “It’s a great win.”