GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Elon University softball team got back in the win column today, May 2, after splitting a doubleheader at North Carolina A&T. The Aggies (13-32) won the first game, 5-4, before the Phoenix (21-23) took the second game, 7-1.
Carleigh Nester started the first game off with a single to third and then stole second. After both Camille Hill and Tomeka Watson drew walks, the bases were loaded for Erin O’Shea who singled to left to score Nester. With one out, Johanna Spencer hit the ball to third for a fielder’s choice that left Hill out at home. However, in an attempt to get Spencer out at third after the out, Watson was able to score and put the Phoenix up 2-0.
The Aggies responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame. A double by Detavia Kenan scored the first run, while a single by Sabrina Edmonds scored the other two to put A&T up 3-2.
A&T added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a three-run advantage. Alexandra McAfee scored as Kenan reached on an error by Elon’s Sarah Little. After Cailtin O’Shea replaced starter Kari Pervell in the circle, Kenan scored off a single to center by Sabrina Edmonds to put the Aggies up, 5-2.
The Phoenix responded quickly in the top of the sixth to pull within one run, 5-4. Sarah Little hit a leadoff single to centerfield and was then brought home on a two-run bomb to center by Morgan Wright.
Elon had a chance to take the game in the top of the sixth with the bases loaded. Hill had hit a leadoff single up the middle, Watson had reached on an error by the Aggies’ third baseman and Wright had drawn a walk. However, the Phoenix was not able to push a run across the plate and fell by a final of 5-4.
The win went to Ashira Dobison (12-18) who pitched the complete game, allowing four runs of eight hits. Pervell (2-3) took the loss after giving up four earned runs off six hits in 4.1 innings of work.
Hill recorded two hits in her three at-bats, while Wright accounted for two RBI in her one appearance at the plate.
Elon was in good position to score in the first inning after Nester hit a one-out double down the left field line and stole third. Watson then singled to the pitcher on a bunt and stole second to put two runners in scoring position. E. O’Shea then drew a walk to load the bases, but the Phoenix was not able to put any runs on the board and moved into the bottom of the frame.
The Phoenix got hot in the top of third with three runs. McKenzie Harrelson drew a leadoff walk and then advanced to second on a bunt to first that also found Nester safe at first. A sacrifice bunt by Watson moved the two runners to second and third, followed by a fielder’s choice that allowed Harrelson to score and let E. O’Shea reach first and move to second. Little then hit a one-out double up the middle to score Nester but E. O’Shea was called out at home for the second out of the inning. Wright scored Little on a double to left center to make it a 3-0 lead for the maroon and gold. After a single through the left side by Danielle Lafferty, the Aggies changed pitchers, putting Dobison in the circle for McAfee, who recorded the final out.
In the top of the fourth, Ali Ford reached to start the inning on an error by the pitcher. After Harrelson advanced Ford to second, a bunt by Watson put runners on the corners, while Watson then stole second. In an attempt to get Ford out at third, a throwing error by Aggies’ catcher Edmonds allowed both Ford and Watson to score and give the Phoenix a five-run advantage, 5-0.
Elon made it 7-0 in the top of the fifth off a home run by Kaitlyn Piazzolla. Lafferty drew a one-out walk to reach before the homer to center by Piazzolla to put two more runs on the board.
The Aggies put a run on the board in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 7-1 game off a one-out double to right center by Edmonds. Edmonds’ hit scored Kenan who had reached on a single to left.
Chelsea White (1-1) pitched the complete game to earn the first win of her collegiate career. The freshman gave up one run off four hits and struck out seven. The loss went to McAfee (1-14) who went 2.2 innings after allowing three runs off five hits.
Elon will close out the regular season by returning home for the first time in 11 games with a three-game set against College of Charleston beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 5. Sunday, May 6, will mark Senior Day for the program’s three seniors – Lafferty, E. O’Shea and Piazzolla.