Byers off to a great start at Malone

CANTON — Malone University sophomore catcher Bailey Byers is having a big week, being named the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Division II National Player of the Week on Wednesday.

Already named Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) Player of the Week on Tuesday, the former West Branch High School All-Ohioan becomes the first Malone softball player to earn the NFCA DII National Player of the Week honor.

Byers had a phenomenal week at the plate, batting .483 with six home runs, 16 RBIs and 10 runs scored as the Pioneers went 5-3 over eight games during spring break in central Florida. Byers had a 1.207 slugging percentage with 14 hits, including at least one in each game, and five multi-hit performances. She scored at least one run and had at least one RBI in seven of the eight games..

Through 10 games this season in which Malone is 6-4, Byers is hitting .541 with 20 RBI and enters this weekend’s home opener on a 10-game hitting streak. She leads NCAA Division II in RBI per game (2.0), ranks second in home runs per game (0.6), and is third in slugging percentage (1.135).

She started all 34 games as a freshman last season.