Elon Softball Travels to Longwood for Early Week Twin Bill

Posted by Press Release on April 14, 2014 at 10:38 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team will have five non-conference road games this week beginning with a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 15, at Longwood. The twin bill is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. at Lancer Field.

Live Coverage
Fans can follow the Phoenix via live stats by going to the Elon softball schedule page at elonphoenix.com. Twitter updates will also be provided the handle @ElonScores or @ElonUSoftball.

Series History
Tuesday’s games will be the 18th and 19th meeting between the two schools since the series began in 1993. The Lancers have won four straight against the Phoenix, including a sweep of the maroon and gold in last year’s doubleheader in Elon. Senior Carleigh Nester had two hits in game two against the Lancers while fellow senior Karen Berna threw five scoreless innings in relief, giving up only one hit in the 6-4 setback.

Last Time Out
For the second straight weekend, Elon had an opportunity to capture its first Southern Conference series of the year, but fell to Appalachian State on Sunday, April 13, 11-1 in the rubber match. Nester became the program’s all-time leader in doubles in the contest with her 49th career two-bagger, breaking Dani Concecpion’s (2002-05) nine-year record of 48.

Scouting the Phoenix (21-20-1)
Nester belted her 33rd career home run on Saturday, April 12, against the Mountaineers in walk-off fashion, helping the Phoenix to a 5-3 win over Appalachian State. The senior outfielder is now one homer shy of tying All-American Tomeka Watson’s (2010-13) all-time program record of 34. The home run was also the 12th of the season for Nester, setting a single-season high for the Kernersville, N.C., native and tied Emerald Graham (2010-2011) for the second-best single-year performance in school history.

Elon enters Tuesday’s doubleheader batting .258 as a team, but have two players hitting over .300 or better in its regular lineup in Alaina Hall (.348) and Emily Cameron (.321). Nester is also on the edge with a .299 average on the year. Hall ranks in the top 10 in the SoCon in average, hits, runs scored, triples, total bases and stolen bases.

Elon has relied mostly on a three-person pitching staff during the latter half of the year. Junior Caitlin O’Shea has become the team’s workhorse with 107.1 innings pitched this year, despite starting only nine games. The Kennesaw, Ga., native has a team-low ERA of 2.87 ERA and could become the first Elon pitcher since 2010 to have a sub-3.00 ERA with over 100 innings pitched.

Scouting Longwood (30-9)
Coming off a 41-20 2013 campaign that included a NCAA Tournament appearance, the Lancers were tabbed third in the 2014 Big South Preseason Poll by the league coaches. Head coach Kathy Riley is in her 17th season at the helm of the Longwood softball program.

The Lancers are hitting .315 on the season with five players batting over .300. Megan Baltzell is hitting a blistering .479 on the season to go with seven home runs and 37 RBI on the year. Emily Murphy is third on the team with a .336 average and leads the team in stolen bases with 21.

In the circle, Longwood is allowing a team ERA of 2.28 with the duo of the Elizabeth McCarthy (13-4, 1.79 ERA, 109.2 IP) and Libby Morris (14-5, 2.43 ERA, 118.0 IP) taking the majority of the starts.

On Deck
Elon continues its non-conference road swing to East Carolina for a three-game series beginning on Friday, April 18 with a single game at 5 p.m. The series concludes on Saturday, April 19, with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.

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