ELON, N.C. – The Elon softball team will face just its second road test of the season as the Phoenix travels to Woodstock, Ga., for the Buzz Classic. The maroon and gold will face Kennesaw State on Friday, March 2, at 5 p.m. and end the five-game stretch against host Georgia Tech at noon on Sunday, March 4.
A Look at The Phoenix (8-2)
Elon went a perfect 3-0 in the Gamecock Invitational last weekend after a 4-1 win over George Washington and two wins against Presbyterian, 11-5 and 2-1. Both Erin O’Shea and Camille Hill were named to the all-tournament team for their performances. Hill went 6-for-11 at the plate and scored four runs, while O’Shea pitched seven total innings, picking up a win and a save, allowing only one hit and one unearned run and struck out seven.
Kennesaw State (8-5)
Friday will mark just the second time the Phoenix and Owls have met. Kennesaw took the 1-0 win in the first meeting on March 28, 1997. This season, KSU is hitting .266, while the pitchers have a combined ERA of 1.96. The Owls are coming off two losses in a doubleheader to UAB after starting the season 8-3.
Southeastern Louisiana (2-14)
This weekend will be the first time Elon and Southeastern have met on the softball diamond. The Lady Lions have struggled a bit in the early going of this season with just two wins against Northern Illinois and Southern Mississippi. Megan McCollum leads Southeastern with a .333 batting average in 36 at bats and a .468 on base percentage.
Georgia State (12-4)
Georgia State is playing strong right now after going 4-1 last weekend in the Phyllis Rafter Memorial tournament. The Panthers have scored 76 runs so far this season, while the pitchers have recorded 80 strikeouts. On Wednesday evening, GSU defeated Georgia Tech, 2-1, off a solo home run by Brenna Morrissey. The Phoenix and Panthers haven’t played one another since April 14, 2002. GSU owns the all-time series, 2-0.
Rhode Island (1-3)
The Rams played in the Southern Miss Coca-Cola Classic to open the season on Feb. 11, but have not played since going 1-3 that weekend. URI freshman Meg Kelly was named the Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie of the week after going 4-for-9 with two RBI to hit .444 in the tournament. The Rams took a 5-2 win the first and only time they met the Phoenix on Feb. 19, 2000.
No. 25 Georgia Tech (8-8)
After starting the season 7-3, the Yellow Jackets have dropped five of its last six games, including a 2-1 loss to Georgia State on Wednesday. GT’s Lindsey Anderson is 4-1 as a starter in the circle this year, while Alysha Rudnik is hitting .362 after 47 at bats. It’s been 12 years since the Yellow Jackets and the Phoenix played one another on Feb. 18, 2000. Georgia Tech took a 6-3 win that day and owns the all-time series, 2-0.
The Phoenix and its five opponents are not the only teams playing in the Buzz Classic. Elon will be one of 16 teams that takes the field at the Twin Creeks Softball Complex in Woodstock, Ga. A total of 40 games will take place between the five fields over the course of the three-day tournament.
From The Circle
The Elon pitchers have made impressive work of the teams they have faced thus far this season. After 66 innings, Elon holds a 1.38 ERA and is keeping opponents to a .201 batting average. The maroon and gold also rank second in the conference in team pitching behind College of Charleston (0.71 ERA).
The Bocock Box
After the Gamecock Invitational, Kathy Bocock is 8-2 as the head coach of the Elon program. She holds a 244-396 career coaching record.
Elon boasts four players from the Peach State that will be playing near home this weekend. Erin and Caitlin O’Shea are from Kennesaw, Ga., while Hill is from Marietta, Ga., and Tomeka Watson hails from the city of Jackson, Ga.
The Phoenix returns home to East Field after a two-week absence to start SoCon play. Elon will take on Furman in a three-game series starting with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 10. The series finale is scheduled for Sunday, March 11, at 1 p.m.