ELON, N.C. – Two brilliant performances in the circle from Erin O’Shea coupled with an offensive outburst lifted the Elon softball team to a pair of wins over the Appalachian State Mountaineers on Saturday, April 14, at East Field. The Phoenix claimed an 8-0 win in game one before closing out ASU 7-4 in game two.
O’Shea picked up both wins for the Phoenix in the circle to improve to 12-7 on the year. She also helped her own cause at the plate, collecting two hits, including her fourth home run of the season, to go along with one run and three RBI.
Elon improves to 19-13 on the year and 8-6 in Southern Conference play with the victories, while the Mountaineers drop to 16-19 (6-9 SoCon) with the losses.
Six runs in the bottom of the second proved to be the difference for Elon in the series opener. O’Shea led off the inning with a solo shot to left to make it a 2-0 game. From there, the Phoenix exploded for five more runs, which included a pair of two-run base hits from Lauren Oldham and Grace Eng, to make it a 7-0 game.
O’Shea kept the ASU offense in check from that point forward, going five innings and allowing just two hits while fanning five in the win.
Sophomore Carleigh Nester led off the game with an opposite field solo home run, her first of the season, to give Elon an early 1-0 lead. Nester finished 1-for-1 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Oldham finished game one 1-for-2 with a run scored and three RBI, while Eng drove in two runs for the Phoenix in the win.
Caitlin Wainright took the loss for the Mountaineers, lasting just one and a third innings, giving up seven runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks.
After ASU scored two in the top of the first, the Phoenix posted a three-run bottom half of the inning to take a one-run lead.
Tomeka Watson pushed the Phoenix’s lead to four runs after connecting on a three-run home run deep over the center field fence to make it a 6-2 game. Watson finished game two 3-for-3 with two runs scored, two RBI and a stolen base.
The Mountaineers threatened in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with no outs for Meghan Smith. Following Smith’s pop out to Ali Ford at second base, Allie Cashion ripped a two-run single through the left side to pull ASU within two, 6-4. But Elon reliever Chelsea White managed to get out of the inning without any further damage, holding the Mountaineers to a pair of runs to preserve the two-run advantage.
Following a leadoff double down the left field line from Danielle Lafferty in the bottom half of the fifth, the Phoenix added another run to take a 7-4 lead after a Nester single up the middle scored pinch runner Charyssa Parent from third. Elon loaded the bases later in the inning, but could not extend its lead.
Kari Pervell pitched the final one and two-thirds in the circle for Elon to earn the save, her first of the season.
Nester finished game two 3-for-3 at the dish with one run and one RBI. The Kernersville, N.C., native is now batting .411 on the year.
Oldham went 1-for-4 with two runs scored in game two, while Camille Hill finished 1-for-1 with an RBI.
Elon looks for the series sweep versus Appalachian State tomorrow at 1 p.m. at East Field.