Elon Women’s Softball Wins Home Opener in Extras Over Niagara

Posted by Press Release on February 21, 2014 at 8:26 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – Emily Cameron hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring the winning run as the Elon University softball team defeated Niagara, 6-5, in its home opener and the first game of the Phoenix Opening Tournament on Friday, Feb. 21, at Hunt Softball Park.

Cameron drove in Alaina Hall from third as Elon (6-3-1) overcame a furious rally from Niagara (0-1) in the top of the seventh inning. Heading into the inning down 4-2, the Purple Eagles scored three runs in the top of the frame and held a 5-4 lead with one out away from stealing a victory from the Phoenix.

Elon’s Carey Million stepped in as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the seventh with two-outs and two runners on base. Million singled to left center, driving in the tying run in Emily Roper, sending the game to extra innings.

Elon had plated four runs in the third inning to jump out to an early 4-0 advantage. Hall led off with a single and stole second to advance to scoring position. Cameron then drew a free pass on the next at bat followed by Roper driving a single into left center to score Hall from second for the first run of the game.

Grace Eng was walked to load the bases for Ali Ford and she also drew another free pass to score another run for the maroon and gold. Aly Quintana’s single to left field scored Roper to move the score to 3-0. Another walk on Johanna Spencer’s at bat with the bases loaded pushed the score to 4-0 after the end of the third.

Both teams went scoreless in the fourth, but Niagara finally added some runs in the top of the fifth. Ambur Farmer led off the inning with a single and scored on a one-out double by Katelyn Gruarin to put the Purple Eagles on the board. Amanda Werth’s single down the left field line scored Gruarin to trim Niagara’s deficit to two, 4-2, forcing Elon to make a change in the circle with Caitlin O’Shea coming in to relieve starter Alli Burdette.

O’Shea recorded the final two outs of the fifth and also pitch a scoreless sixth before running into trouble in the top of the seventh. Niagara loaded the bases with no outs before Werth singled up the middle to tie the game at 4-4. The Phoenix made another change in the circle with Chelsea White coming in for O’Shea.

Niagara added the go ahead run on a one-out fielder’s choice on Aileen Hinton’s at bat and the Purple Eagles jumped ahead 5-4. White and the Phoenix were able to record the final outs to move into the bottom of the inning.

Roper drew another walk from pitcher Jennifer Sansano to lead off the seventh inning and moved to third on a double by Eng, giving the Phoenix runners in scoring position with no outs. Niagara was able to recover and force the next two outs before Million’s heroics tied the game at 4-4. Elon could not score the winning run on the next batter and the game moved into extra innings.

White held the Purple Eagles scoreless in the top of the eighth giving the Phoenix a chance in the bottom half. Hall led off by reaching on a fielder’s choice and stole second to move into scoring position. Carleigh Nester singled down the left field line to move Hall over to third before Cameron hit a ball to deep left field, giving Hall an opportunity to score the winning run and give the Phoenix the 6-5 win.

White (2-3) earned the win in 2.0 scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts. Burdette pitched 4.1 innings to start the game and allowed two runs, all earned while striking out three.

Hall and Nester went 2-for-5 at the plate to lead the team offensively for Elon. Six players contributed with an RBI for the maroon and gold.

Elon is back in action tomorrow with a matchup against Saint Joseph’s with the first pitch slated for 12:15 p.m. The Phoenix then follows with a matchup with UMBC scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

             1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
   Niagara   0 0 0 0 2 0 3 0 5 8 1
   Elon      0 0 4 0 0 0 1 1 6 8 0

Win – White (2-3)
Loss – Hogan (0-1)
Save – None.
Umpires – HP: Randy McLamb 1B: Dave Brewer
Start: 2:30 pm Time: 3:10 Attendance: 264
Weather: 55 degrees and cloudy
O’Shea faced 4 batters in the 7th.
Sansano faced 2 batters in the 7th.

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