Elon Softball Opens 2015 With Two Wins

Posted by Press Release on February 7, 2015 at 9:14 pm under College | Read the First Comment

ELON, N.C – The Elon University softball team opened the 2015 season with a pair of victories at home on Saturday, Feb. 7. The Phoenix defeated USC Upstate, 4-3, in its first game and closed out the day with an extra-inning, 6-5 victory over Radford at Hunt Softball Park.

The Phoenix (2-0) closes out the weekend on Sunday, Feb. 8, in a rematch against the Highlanders (0-2) with the first pitch slated at noon.

Elon 4, USC Upstate 3
After falling behind 1-0 early in the top of the first inning off a solo home run by the Spartans’ Karla Beasley, the Phoenix regrouped and scored three runs in the bottom of the frame. Freshman Hannah Olson led off with a single and stole second to move into immediate scoring position. She would score on an error by the third basemen on Alaina Hall’s at-bat, putting Elon on the board.

Hall would advance to second on the miscue and eventually move to third after fellow freshman Kara Shutt doubled to center field. Junior Emily Cameron would drive them both in on a one-out double to right field, putting the maroon and gold up 3-1. USC Upstate would go to a change in the circle as Kinsley Jennings relieved starter Amanda Storch.

That would be more than enough run support for Elon starter Kiandra Mitchum as the freshman was making her first career start in the circle. The Mechanicsville, Va., native settled down after giving up the early home run and retired the next 13 batters she would face over the next four innings.

Elon plated an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth on an Emily Roper two-out single to left center. Roper drove in Olson for her second run of the game after the Yorktown, Va., native reached earlier on a single and again stole second to move into scoring position.

USC Upstate would respond with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Cheyenne Griffin brought the Spartans within one with a two-out, two RBI single up the middle. Mitchum would strikeout the next batter to end the threat and the inning.

In the top of the seventh, the Spartans added the tying run on base as Hayley Reinfield hit a one-out double to left field. She would be stranded as Mitchum induced the final two outs to give the Phoenix the victory.

Mitchum (1-0) allowed six hits and three runs, all earned, in her complete-game debut for the Phoenix. She also added a pair of strikeouts. Storch (0-1) took the loss for USC Upstate after going 0.1 innings with three runs allowed, but only one earned, off three hits.

Elon 6, Radford 5 (8)
A single to left field by Shutt in the bottom of the eighth helped the Phoenix to its second win of the day, a 6-5 triumph over the Highlanders. Shutt drove in Olson on her second hit of the game to break a 5-5 tie.

After a scoreless first, the Phoenix found itself down again early on in the contest as Radford scored three runs in the top of the second. Marissa Gagliano had a two-out, three RBI double to put the Highlanders up 3-0 off a 2-2 pitch from Elon starter Chelsea White. Gagliano advanced to third on the throw, but she would be stranded there as the Phoenix forced the next batter to groundout.

The Phoenix would get itself on the board again in the bottom half of the frame. Cameron led off the inning with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a grounder on the next at bat. Senior Sarah Little would reach on a fielder’s choice, scoring Cameron to bring the Phoenix within two, 3-1.

Elon would tie the game in the bottom of the third frame. After leadoff singles by Olson and Hall, Shutt drove in Olson on a double to pull the Phoenix even closer, 3-2. The game would be knotted at 3-3 after Cameron singled to the shortstop to bring Hall across the plate with one out. Elon would go down on the next two at bats and move to the next inning.

In the fourth with the Phoenix needing a spark, sophomore Katie Rufo, pinch hitting for Madison Kadlic, would provide it as the Natick, Mass., native led off the inning with a double to left center. After Kadlic reentered the game to replace Rufo on the bases, she would move to third on a bunt single by Carey Million and eventually cross the plate on a sacrifice fly by Hall to put the Phoenix ahead 4-3.

Radford added two more runs in the top of the sixth to move back in front, 5-4, but Elon tied the game once again in the bottom of the inning. A two-out double to left center by Roper drove in Hall and the game was tied at 5-5 and would go into extras.

After the Phoenix held Radford scoreless in the top of the eighth, Olson would reach on a one-out single. A grounder by Hall advanced her to third before Shutt singled to left field moving Olson to third. The fielder bobbled the ball and Olson would go ahead and cross home plate on the miscue giving the Phoenix the walk-off victory.

Junior Kayla Caruso (1-0) earned the win in relief after going 2.2 innings and gave up two hits. Abby Morrow (0-2) was credited with the loss for the Highlanders after she pitched 4.2 innings in relief of starter Kelsey Weddle and allowed two runs, one earned, off five hits.

  • Danny Shutt said,

    Awesome opening day for the softball team.