Elon Softball to Host N.C. Central on Wednesday

Posted by Press Release on April 22, 2014 at 1:33 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team will close out its non-conference slate on Wednesday, April 23, as the Phoenix welcomes North Carolina Central to Hunt Softball Park for a single-game tilt beginning at 6 p.m. The game was pushed up from its original scheduled date of April 30.

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 at the handle @ElonScores or @ElonUSoftball.

Series History
Elon and N.C. Central have squared off on the diamond six times in the all-time meeting between the two schools, with the Phoenix winning every contest. Last season, the maroon and gold swept the Lady Eagles in the home-and-home series with Elon prevailing with a 9-1 run rule victory in the most recent contest on April 23, 2013 in Durham, N.C. Senior Carleigh Nester had two home runs in the game for the Phoenix, her first career multi-homer game.

Last Time Out
The Phoenix will look to bounce back on Wednesday from a tough outing last weekend at East Carolina. Elon fell in the first game of a doubleheader against the Pirates last Friday, April 18, 4-2, despite solo home runs from Carey Million and Ali Ford. ECU captured the second game as well with a 6-0 victory before Saturday’s series finale was rained out.

Scouting the Phoenix (21-23-1)
Million’s and Ford’s homers gave the Phoenix 46 on the season, four more than any other team in the Southern Conference. The Phoenix also currently ranks 34th in the nation in home runs per game at 1.02.

Nester paces the squad with 12 home runs on the season, a single-season high for the Kernersville, N.C., native and has 33 for her career, one shy of tying All American Tomeka Watson (2010-13) for the most all-time in school history. Nester also moved into third all-time in career hits with 213 at East Carolina, moving past Jenny Gustin (2001-04).

The Phoenix has recorded 129 walks in its 45 games this season, third overall in the conference. Freshman Emily Roper has drawn 23 free passes this season, fourth in the league, followed by Grace Eng at 21 and Nester with 19. In 52 total games last season, Elon 128 walks as a unit.

Juniors Caitlin O’Shea and Chelsea White continue to lead the Phoenix pitching staff in the circle. O’Shea is tied for first in the SoCon in fewest home runs allowed with four while posting a team-best 3.07 ERA in her 118.2 innings. White leads the team in wins with nine and has 54 strikeouts on the year.

Scouting North Carolina Central (7-31)
A member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), North Carolina Central split its doubleheader versus Florida A&M on Friday, April 18, before rain also washed out the series finale on Saturday. Third-year head coach Theresa Stephens leads the Lady Eagles softball program.

Offensively, the Lady Eagles are hitting .228 with 10 home runs and 74 RBI on the season. NCCU has also scored 91 total runs in 2014. Two players are hitting .300 or better in the Lady Eagles’ regular lineup in Emerie and London Germ. Emerie Germ has a team-best .345 average along with 17 RBI and 40 hits while London Germ is second with a .319 average and a team-high nine stolen bases. Sophomore De’onna Smith is hitting slightly under .300 (.299) and has half of the team’s home run total with five.

N.C. Central’s pitching staff has a combined ERA of 4.78, allowing 154 earned runs while striking out 148 batters. London Booker has seen the most time in the circle for the Lady Eagles this season, appearing in 127.1 innings with a 4.12 ERA and 86 fanned batters.

On Deck
Elon hosts its final SoCon home series this weekend, April 26-27, versus Samford starting with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. The series will conclude on Sunday with Senior Day as the Phoenix will recognize its six-member senior class of Nester, Ford, Lauren Oldham, Johanna Spencer, Amanda Allen and Karen Berna.

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