Elon Travels to Georgia Southern For SoCon Road Series

Posted by Press Release on March 21, 2014 at 11:06 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team prepares for its second Southern Conference road series of the season as the Phoenix travels to Georgia Southern for a three-game slate in Statesboro, Ga. The Phoenix and the Eagles open with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 22, at 1 p.m. before concluding the series on Sunday, March 23, in a single-game tilt starting at 1 p.m. at Eagle Field at the Georgia Southern Softball Complex.

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 Georgia Southern website at gseagles.com via a premium subscription. Twitter updates will also be provided the handle @ElonScores or @ElonUSoftball.

Series History
Elon trails Georgia Southern 23-10 all-time in a series that dates back to 1999 in the fastpitch era. The Eagles swept the Phoenix in last year’s series in Elon and have won seven straight over the maroon and gold. Elon last defeated Georgia Southern in 2011.

Last Time Out
The Phoenix faced Towson in a nonconference matchup on Thursday, March 20, its second game of the season against the Tigers. Elon rallied from a 6-0 deficit in the first two innings to regain the lead thanks to a seven-run bottom of the second for a 7-6 advantage. Towson however plated the two go-ahead runs in the top of the seventh to pull out with an 8-7 win.

Senior Carleigh Nester belted her 30th career home run with a grand slam in the second, becoming just the second player in Elon history to have 30 or more career homers. She also drove in her 120 career RBI in the contest versus the Tigers.

Scouting the Phoenix (16-9-1, 1-2 SoCon)
Nester only trails former All-American Tomeka Watson (34 home runs, 2010-13) on the program’s all-time list in career home runs and needs only one more hit to reach 200 in her career. Nester is currently in the top three in the conference in total home runs with nine on the year.

The Phoenix is batting .288 as a team, ranking third overall in the SoCon. Four regulars are hitting over .300 for the maroon and gold, led by sophomore Emily Cameron (.397) and freshman Alaina Hall (.381), who rank second and third, respectively, in the conference.

Elon still ranks among one of the top fielding teams in the league despite committing two errors against Towson on Thursday. The Phoenix holds a .971 fielding percentage against its opponents this season.

The Phoenix pitching staff has an overall ERA of 3.21, but junior Caitlin O’Shea has posted one of the top individual ERA’s in the conference this season. The Kennesaw, Ga., native is third in the SoCon with a 1.45 ERA in her 53.0 innings this season, second on the team in both categories.

Scouting Georgia Southern (18-10, 2-1 SoCon)
Third-year head coach Annie Smith is at the helm of an Eagles program that dropped a doubleheader at Mercer in its most recent contests on Thursday. Georgia Southern, who was tabbed as the conference favorite by the league coaches in the 2014 SoCon Preseason poll, won two out of three at UNCG last weekend, March 15-16, to open SoCon play.

As a unit, the Eagles are hitting only .250 as a team, but have two regulars hitting .300 or better. Kourtny Thomas is tied for the league-lead in home runs with 10 while driving in 29 RBI on the year. Three other players have 10 or more RBI this season for Georgia Southern.

The Georgia Southern pitching staff is headlined by senior Sarah Purvis, the 2014 SoCon Preseason Pitcher and the two-time SoCon Pitcher of the Year (2012, 2013). Purvis has a 1.41 ERA this season in her 84.2 innings of action including five shutouts.

On Deck
Elon continues its trip on the road with a midweek contest at NC State on Wednesday, March 26. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C.

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