Elon Women’s Softball Concludes Final Day at Charleston Southern Tournament

Posted by Press Release on February 9, 2014 at 9:06 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Capped by a four-homer weekend by sophomore Emily Cameron, the Elon University softball team concluded its opening-weekend by going undefeated on the final day Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Charleston Southern Tournament. The Phoenix (3-0) swept Maryland Eastern Shore, 9-0 and 11-0, before ending the tournament with a 5-5 score versus host Charleston Southern, in which the game was called due to darkness.

Elon 9, UMES 0 (5)
Elon faced UMES beginning on Saturday evening, Feb. 8, in its second official game of the tournament. The Phoenix bats awoke in this matchup, with four players hitting home runs and freshman pitcher Alli Burdette getting a shutout victory in her first collegiate start.

Burdette (1-0) was dominant from the start, striking out the first two batters she faced and getting the final out on a grounder to move out of the opening inning. Elon did not capitalize in the bottom half and the game moved to the second inning.

UMES led off with a double into right center at the turn and added another runner on base on a two-out single. The Hawks attempted to get both runners into scoring position, but Elon catcher Emily Roper threw her out at second, ending the Hawks’ threat.

The Phoenix got on the board in the bottom half on a Grace Eng solo home run to lead off the inning. The junior from Middletown, R.I., took an Abria Tinsley pitch into right center to give Elon a 1-0 lead. Tinsley and UMES were able to record the next three outs in order to move on to the next inning.

The Hawks got two on base in the top of the third, but they were left stranded as Burdette and the Phoenix defense held on. Elon plated four runs in the bottom to push its advantage to 5-0. Alaina Hall drew a walk to lead off the inning and stole second to move into scoring position. After Ali Ford was hit by a pitch, Emily Cameron hit a one-out home run into right center to give the Phoenix a 4-0 lead. Pinch hitter Caitlin O’Shea followed with her first career home run to move Elon’s advantage to 5-0.

The game was suspended due to darkness after the end of the third, but play resumed on Sunday. Burdette quickly went through the top half of the fourth inning, allowing only one hit. The Phoenix added to its score as Lauren Oldham and Hall reached to lead off the inning and Carleigh Nester homered to center to drive them in and give Elon an 8-0 lead.

Johanna Spencer drove in the final tally for the Phoenix on a sacrifice fly, scoring Cameron and pushing the score to 9-0.

The Hawks went down in order in the top of the fifth ending the game with the score at 9-0. Burdette allowed only three hits and a walk while striking out six in the complete game win.

Elon 11, UMES 0 (5)
Elon continued its strong play in its second contest against the Hawks. The Phoenix jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the first inning thanks to three-run home run by Cameron, her second of the season. Cameron drove in Nester and Ford, who had reached earlier on singles to start the game.

Junior pitcher Eve Clausen shut down the Hawks offense in the bottom half of the inning, quickly going through the order. That would become a theme for the Toms River, N.J., native as she went on to have a great day in the circle.

Both teams went scoreless in the second and third frames, but Elon would plate three more runs in the top of the fourth. Eng had another solo home run to lead off the inning then Nester followed with a two-out, two-run homer to center field, moving Elon ahead 6-0.

The Hawks reached base in the bottom half of the fourth on a throwing error, but Elon was able to keep her from scoring as the next three batters again went down in order.

Elon added its final runs of the contest in the top of the fifth. Amanda Allen doubled to left center then scored after Carey Million sent a drive down the left field line. Eng and Aly Quintana reached on errors, with the latter scoring Million from third. Emily Roper then drove them home on a three-run, one-out home run to left field, giving the Phoenix an 11-0 advantage.

O’Shea would relieve Clausen in the bottom of fifth and complete the one-hitter for the Phoenix after striking out the final two batters to end the game. Clausen (1-0) allowed no hits and no runs in her 4.0 innings of work while striking out two in her first win of the season.

Elon 5, Charleston Southern 5
The Phoenix again started strong this time against the Lady Buccaneers, scoring three runs in the opening frame. Nester was walked to open the game and Ford reached on an error before Cameron drove them in with her third home run of the weekend as Elon jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

CSU would threaten in the bottom half of the inning, with two reaching scoring position with no outs. The Phoenix defense came up big, forcing the next batter to ground out and tagged a runner out in a rundown between second and third base. The Lady Bucs would fly out on the next at bat to end the inning.

After a scoreless second frame, Elon added two more runs to the scoreboard in the top of the third. Cameron added her second home run of the game with a two-out, solo shot to center. The Phoenix would go back-to-back as Eng hit another solo home run into left center and giving the Phoenix a 5-0 cushion.

Charleston Southern answered in the bottom of the fourth, posting its first run of the game on the board. Marci Christian hit a solo home run into left center to pull the Lady Bucs within four, 5-1. CSU was able to get another runner into scoring position with one out, but Elon starter Chelsea White retired the next two batters to end the inning.

The Lady Bucs added a couple more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to trim the Phoenix’s lead to two. Natalie Yonan doubled to lead off the inning and advanced to third after a bunt single by Amanda Matsumoto. White was able to strikeout the next two batters before Jessica Brock doubled to right center, driving in Yonan and Matsumoto and pulling Charleston Southern within two, 5-3.

In the bottom of the sixth, CSU tied the game at 5-5. Yonan hit a one-out single to the pitcher to that drove in a run to close the gap to one, 5-4. After Matsumoto singled to third base, Elon made a pitching change as Burdette replaced White in the circle. The Lady Bucs knotted the game at 5-5 after Stephanie Sbardella reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Lizzy Olmstead from third. Elon recorded the final out to end the inning, but could not get anything going in the top half of the seventh offensively.

The Phoenix held on in the bottom of the inning, despite allowing a leadoff double. The runner was stranded as Burdette retired the next two batters with strikeouts and the final batter popped-up to end the game with the score tied at 5-5

Elon welcomes North Carolina in its home opener on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Hunt Softball Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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