ELON, N.C. – Currently sitting at 5-1 in the Southern Conference (16-5 overall), the Elon University softball team is looking to improve upon that record this weekend in a three-game series against Samford (6-22, 0-6 SoCon). The Phoenix and Bulldogs will play the first two games of the series tomorrow, March 24, with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at East Field.
A Look at the Phoenix
Elon went 2-2 last week, falling to UNC at home but taking two of three from UNCG in Greensboro, N.C. The Phoenix fell behind to the Spartans 3-0 in the first three innings of the second game, but then scored five runs to comeback for the eventual 7-5 victory. Elon clinched the series victory on Sunday with an 8-0 victory in five innings. Danielle Lafferty led the Phoenix with three hits in seven at-bats for a .429 average. The senior scored two runs and recorded two RBI, while drawing four walks and stealing two bases.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Samford is currently 6-22 (0-6 SoCon) after falling 10-2 at Kennesaw State on Thursday night. The Bulldogs have struggled at the plate this season as they have recorded the most strikeouts in the conference with 162. The team is third in the SoCon in sacrifice bunts with 20, proving that they can play small ball. Junior Misha Aldridge has struck out the sixth most batters (49) in the conference this year and leads the team with a 2.95 ERA.
The Bulldogs own the all-time series with the Phoenix, 5-3, after taking two of three in Birmingham, Ala., last season. The maroon and gold fell in the first game, 3-2, but came back in the second game of the doubleheader, 7-1. The Bulldogs won the finale, 10-2, in six innings.
After 21 games and 63 at-bats, Tomeka Watson has yet to strikeout at the plate. The junior ranks as the toughest player in NCAA Division I to strikeout.
Blanking and Saving
Erin O’Shea sits in the top 50 in DI play in both shutouts and saves. The senior is 29th in shutouts with four and 23rd in saves with two. She owns a 9-3 record with a 2.53 ERA and 67 strikeouts.
Crossing the Plate
With six weeks of the season in the books, Elon ranks 41st in DI play in scoring with 118 total runs scored. The maroon and gold are averaging 5.62 runs per game and have been shutout only three times this season.
The Bocock Box
Elon interim head coach, Kathy Bocock, is now 16-5 at the helm of the Phoenix program. She holds a 252-399 career coaching record.
The Phoenix will have a bit of a break with the next game scheduled for Wednesday, April 4. Elon will take on Charlotte in a doubleheader at East Field beginning at 3 p.m.