Elon Softball Treks to Western Carolina for SoCon Opener

Posted by Press Release on March 13, 2014 at 9:37 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team will play its first road trip in nearly a month as the Phoenix opens Southern Conference play with a three-game series at Western Carolina beginning on Friday, March 14, at 5:30 p.m. before concluding the series in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, at the Catamount Softball Complex.

The Phoenix and the Catamounts were originally scheduled to play its single game on Sunday, March 16, but due to inclement weather in the forecast, the teams moved that game to Friday evening, March 14.

Live Coverage
Fans can follow the Phoenix via live stats by going to the Elon softball schedule page at elonphoenix.com. The game will also be streamed online through the Western Carolina website at catamountsports.com via a premium subscription. Twitter updates will also be provided the handle @ElonScores or @ElonUSoftball.

Series History
Prior to this weekend’s series, the Phoenix and the Catamounts have met on the diamond 24 times. Elon holds a 17-7 lead all-time in a series that dates back to 2006 and won two out of three during last year’s contests in Elon.

Last Time Out
The Phoenix suffered its first setback in eight games as the Phoenix fell on Tuesday, March 11, to Syracuse, 5-0. Elon had won seven straight entering its contest against the Orange, tying its longest streak at the Division I level. SU’s Sydney O’Hara had a 10-strikeout performance for the Orange to help hand the Phoenix its third loss during a 13-game home stand that ended on Tuesday. Freshman Alaina Hall led the way at the plate for the maroon and gold with a 3-for-4 performance while junior Chelsea White fanned six batters.

Scouting the Phoenix (15-6-1, 0-0 SoCon)
Despite the loss on Tuesday, Elon is off to one of its best starts under head coach Kathy Bocock. The third-year head coach earned her 60th victory at the school on Sunday against Radford and sits on 297 career victories overall.

The Phoenix has also fared well in SoCon openers since joining the league in 2004. Elon has an 8-2 mark in conference opening series with an overall record of 23-7 in those games. It will be the last SoCon opener for the Phoenix as Elon joins the Colonial Athletic Association next season.

Heading into the weekend, Elon currently ranks third in the SoCon in average at .302 and have two hitters among the top-three in the conference in sophomore Emily Cameron at .419 (2nd) and Hall at .391 (3rd). The Phoenix remains the top fielding team in the league with a .976 fielding percentage.

On Thursday, March 13, Cameron was named the SoCon’s Player of the Month for February. The Kennesaw, Ga., native batted .390 in the month with six home runs, 16 RBI, and a pair of doubles in February, helping the Phoenix to a 8-5-1 record. She hit safely in 11 of the Phoenix’s 14 contests and had four multi-hit and multi-RBI games.

In the circle, the Phoenix ranks fourth in the league as a unit with a 3.23 ERA. White leads the team in wins (seven), innings (61.2) and strikeouts (41). Junior Caitlin O’Shea has the third-lowest ERA in the league at 1.39 in her 35.1 innings of action.

Scouting Western Carolina (9-14, 0-0 SoCon)
The Catamounts are led by second-year head coach Jim Clift and had won three out of five at the UCF Tournament on March 7-9, before suffering a 15-0 setback at No. 2 Tennessee on Tuesday.

At the plate, Western Carolina is batting .236 as a team, but are led offensively by a couple of .300 hitters. Sophomore Karley Harkey has a team-best .314 average along with 12 runs scored, 22 hits and a league-best four triples. Fellow sophomore Taylor Sigmon is hitting at .300 while also contributing in the circle with a team-low ERA of 1.24 in her 17.0 innings.

Besides Sigmon, three other players have toed the rubber for the Catamounts this season. Junior Jordan Garrett has been the team’s workhorse with a team-high 61.2 innings pitched with an ERA of 3.18. Rookie Jordan Buchanan leads the team in wins with four and has a 4.37 ERA in her 41.2 innings of action.

On Deck
Elon returns home for a midweek rematch against Towson on Wednesday, March 19, at 6 p.m. The Phoenix will then play its second SoCon series of the year at Georgia Southern next weekend, March 22-23.


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