Elon Softball Heads to Georgia for Bulldog Invitational

Posted by Press Release on February 12, 2015 at 2:00 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – After coming off a 3-0 start to begin the 2015 season, the Elon University softball team travels to the University of Georgia to take part in the Bulldog Invitational on Feb. 13-14. The Phoenix kicks off the tournament against Troy on Friday, Feb. 13, at 10 a.m. before facing host No. 9/10 Georgia later that day at 5:30 p.m.

Elon will then face SIU-Edwardsville the following day, Feb. 14, at 10 a.m. before closing the tournament in a rematch against the Bulldogs at 12:30 p.m. at Jack Turner Stadium.

Live Coverage
Fans can follow the Phoenix at the tournament 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
Aside from a first-time meeting with SIUE, the Phoenix has faced each of the other teams in the field in previous seasons. Elon and Troy have squared off twice all-time, both in 2002, as the two programs split a doubleheader at Troy.

The Phoenix has met with Georgia more recent and frequently in the past few seasons with the Bulldogs holding an 8-1 advantage all-time over the maroon and gold. Both programs last met in 2013 in Athens, Ga., as Elon upset the then eighth-ranked Bulldogs, 5-2, in the first meeting thanks to big performance by then-underclassmen Chelsea White and Emily Cameron. Cameron hit a home run in that contest as a freshman while White fanned seven batters and gave up only two runs in the contest.

Last Time Out
The Phoenix opened the year 3-0 after defeating USC Upstate and Radford last weekend, Feb. 7-8, at Hunt Softball Park. Elon earned a 4-3 victory in its opener against the Spartans, a 2014 NCAA Tournament team, behind a great debut from freshman pitcher Kiandra Mitchum. The Mechanicsville, Ga., native struck out a pair of batters while giving up three runs in a complete game effort.

Elon defeated Radford 6-5 in extra innings on Saturday, Feb. 7, after rookie Hannah Olson scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth off an Kara Shutt single. In the rematch on Sunday, Feb. 8, Elon took a 6-1 win over the Highlanders with Shutt producing a team-best two RBI.

Pair Earns CAA Weekly Accolades
On Tuesday, Feb. 10, Mitchum and Olson earned Colonial Athletic Association Pitcher and Rookie of the Week accolades, respectively. Mitchum had an ERA of 1.75 in 12.0 innings and won both her starts in the opening weekend. Olson led the team in hitting with a .500 (5-for-10) average and scored a pair of runs in each of the Phoenix’s three games. She also had three stolen bases.

Scouting the Phoenix
Elon is off to a 3-0 start for the third time under fourth-year head coach Kathy Bocock. Bocock also earned her 70th career win at Elon with her victory over USC Upstate. The victory came in Bocock’s 158th career game, the second-fewest games that a coach has reached that milestone in Elon history in the fastpitch era.

Offensively, Elon has started the young season hitting .277, but has five players hitting .300 or better and at least one RBI. Among the everyday players, Olson, Shutt (.444) and Cameron (.400) are hitting better than .400.

Besides Mitchum, Elon also has had great production in the circle from junior Kayla Caruso. The Kennesaw, Ga., native pitched 4.2 innings, all in relief, during the opening weekend and stuck out three batters while posting an unblemished 0.00 ERA. She earned the win in the Phoenix’s extra-inning victory over Radford last Saturday.

Scouting Troy (2-3)
The Trojans were selected to finish seventh in the 2015 Sun Belt Preseason poll after finishing 2014 with a 22-30-2 record. First-year head coach Beth Mullins welcomes back four starters, including the entire pitching staff. Troy opened the year at Auburn before hosting its home tournament last weekend, the Troy Classic, where it split four games. Michelle Phelps leads the team offensively in the young season with a .417 average to go with five hits, three doubles, six RBI and a slugging percentage of .917. In the circle, the Trojans have a team ERA of 5.75 with players seeing time.

Scouting No. 9/10 Georgia (6-0)
Coming off a 49-15 campaign that included an NCAA Super Regional appearance, No. 9/10 Georgia was tabbed to finish fifth in the 2015 SEC Preseason poll. The Bulldogs are a perfect 6-0 on the season after opening the year last weekend in its annual home tournament, the Red and Black Showcase. Georgia returns all but one of its everyday starters from a year ago including All-Americans Alex Hugo and Chelsea Wilkinson. Hugo currently leads the team in home runs with three while Wilkinson has an unblemished record of 4-0 in the circle this season.

Scouting SIU-Edwardsville (4-1)
The Cougars were selected to defend its Oho Valley Conference championship it captured last season in the 2015 OVC Preseason poll. SIUE finished the 2014 season with a 30-23 overall record and is off to a 4-1 start early in 2015 after playing at the Lady Techster Invitational at Louisiana Tech. In those five games, the Cougars are hitting .323 and have scored 31 runs. Haley Chambers leads the team both at the plate and in the circle with a .611 average, 11 hits, three homers while also posting a 3-0 record and an ERA of 0.82 in 17.0 innings.

On Deck
Elon returns home on Feb. 18, to host Campbell in a single-game contest at Hunt Softball Park. The start for that game is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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