Charlotte Slips Past Elon Women’s Softball, 4-3

Posted by Press Release on February 26, 2014 at 8:20 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – Despite Carleigh Nester’s three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Elon University softball team could not overcome a pair of runs given up in the first and third innings as the Phoenix fell to Charlotte, 4-3, on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in a midweek contest at Hunt Softball Park.

The Phoenix dropped to 8-5-1 while Charlotte improves to 5-5 on the year in the 28th all-time meeting between the two programs.

Charlotte jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first behind a two-out, two-run home run to right center by Jessica Plemmons that scored Nata Capone, who reached earlier on a walk. The Phoenix could not respond in the bottom of the frame and fell in an early 2-0 deficit.

Both teams went scoreless in the second, but Charlotte added to its lead in the top half of the third. Capone led off again as she singled up the middle followed by another single through the left side by Samantha Slade. Elon then made a change in the circle as starter Alli Burdette was relieved by Caitlin O’Shea. The 49ers’ Jackie Kleinsmith doubled to right center on the next at bat, scoring Capone to move Charlotte up 3-0. Charlotte plated its final run of the game on the next at bat and took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the third.

Elon got two on base after the turn, but both runners would be stranded with the Phoenix popping up to end the inning.

The Phoenix would stay within distance thanks to some great defense and pitching by O’Shea. The junior retired the first two batters of the top of the fourth before getting Capone to ground out to end the inning. The Phoenix however went down in order in the bottom half as the game moved to the fifth.

After Grace Eng ended the top of the fifth on a double play, Elon finally answered with its first runs of the game. Carey Million reached with one out on an error and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice by Alaina Hall. Nester then hit a 2-1 pitch to left center to trim the Phoenix’s deficit to one, 4-3. It was the 24th career home run for Nester, moving her into sole possession of fourth-place all-time in school history.

Elon’s Emily Cameron followed with a single through the left side and advanced to second after Emily Roper drew a free pass. The Phoenix hit a grounder to second for the third out to end the threat.

Chelsea White started the top of sixth in the circle for the maroon and gold and would give the ball back to Elon still down one. The Phoenix had a runner advance to second in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, but Charlotte’s Lexi Betancourt struck out the last batter to end the inning.

The maroon and gold bats went down in order again in the seventh as the 49ers earned their second straight win over the Phoenix.

Burdette (2-1) took the loss for Elon after going 2.0 innings with four runs allowed off three hits. O’Shea pitched well in relief, giving up no runs and two hits in her 3.0 innings of action.

Elon returns to Hunt Softball Park this weekend to host its second home tournament of the season, the Phoenix Softball Clash. The Phoenix will face Coppin State at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, March for its first game of the two-day event.

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

Win – BETANCOURT, (5-1)
Loss – Burdette (2-1)
Save – None.

Umpires – HP: David Brewer 1B: David Pezzella 3B: Tucker Beneville
Start: 4 p.m. Time: 2:02 Attendance: 68
Burdette faced 2 batters in the 3rd.

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