Elon’s Nester Ties Program Home Run Mark as Phoenix Softball Split Bulldogs

Posted by Press Release on April 27, 2014 at 8:26 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – Carleigh Nester tied a school-record with her 34th career home run as the Elon University softball team split its doubleheader versus Samford on Saturday, April 26, at Hunt Softball Park. The Phoenix (23-24-1, 5-12 (Southern Conference) fell in game one, 3-1, before evening the series with a 6-1 victory over the Bulldogs (34-14, 9-7 SoCon) in game two.

Both teams will be back at it tomorrow at 1 p.m. in the rubber match. The maroon and gold will also host Senior Day to honor its six-member class of Nester, Lauren Oldham, Amanda Allen, Ali Ford, Johanna Spencer and Karen Berna.

Samford 3, Elon 1
The Bulldogs got on the board early in the opening game as Megan Dowdy scored on a Cal Brister foul out to first in the top of the opening frame. Dowdy had reached earlier in the inning on a leadoff single before beating the throw home to score the first run of the contest.

Elon responded in the bottom half however as Nester lined a one-out triple to right center to drive in Alaina Hall, who drew a walk earlier in the frame, to tie the game at 1-1. Nester would be stranded however as the next two batters went down in order.

Samford pulled back in front as the Bulldogs scored two unanswered runs over the second and third innings to move ahead 3-1.

The Phoenix struggled to get things going offensively, mustering only one hit from the second to the sixth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Elon threatened after loading the bases with no outs. Hall and Nester led off the inning with a singles before being joined by Emily Cameron on another single to load the bags. The Phoenix still could not push a run across the plate as Samford escaped the inning unscathed.

Elon went down in order in the bottom of the seventh as Bulldogs’ starter Mollie Hanson struck out all three batters to close out the game.

Elon starter Alli Burdette (3-3) took the loss after pitching a complete game and gave up three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. Hanson improved to 21-7 with the complete game win.

Elon 6, Samford 1
The Phoenix was the first team to strike in game two in the bottom of the first. Hall reached on a one-out single before Nester hit her 13th homer of the season to put the Phoenix up 2-0. The home run tied Nester with All-American Tomeka Watson (2010-13) for the most in school history and set a new single-season high for the Kernersville, N.C., native.

The early lead was more enough for Elon starter Caitlin O’Shea, who did not allow a hit in the first three innings and did not allow a runner to reach second through the first four. Elon added to its advantage in the bottom of the third on an Aly Quintana sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Nester, who had reached on a walk to put the Phoenix up 3-0.

After a scoreless fifth, Samford finally added a run on the scoreboard in the top half of the sixth behind a Caroline Wilder double to right field, scoring Dowdy who led off the inning with a triple. Wilder would be thrown out trying to advance to third before O’Shea set down the next two batters to move to the bottom of the sixth.

Elon added some insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth from the bat of Hall. The Suwanee, Ga., native hit a two-out three-RBI triple down the right field line to put the Phoenix up 6-1 at the end of the sixth.

Samford had a runner advanced to second in the top of the seventh, but was unable to drive her home as the game ended in the 6-1 score.

O’Shea (7-13) picked up the win for the maroon and gold after going all 7.0 innings and gave up one run on six hits with a pair of strikeouts. Elon only had four hits in game two with half of them coming from Hall.

Game 1

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

Win – Hanson, Moll (21-7). Loss – Burdette (3-3). Save – None.

Umpires – HP: Tim Inman 1B: David Pernell 3B: David Pezzella
Start: 1 pm Time: 2:02 Attendance: 121
Weather: 73 degrees and sunny

Game 2

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

Win – O’Shea (7-13). Loss – Scott, Shelb (1-1). Save – None.

Umpires – HP: Donald Pernell 1B: David Pezzella 3B: Tim Inman
Start: 3:05 pm Time: 2:20 Attendance: 114
Weather: 77 degrees and sunny

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