ORLANDO, Fla. – Playing in its first extra-inning game of the season, the Elon University softball team suffered a 3-0 setback at the hands of Georgia Southern to open the Citrus Classic on Friday morning, Feb. 24, at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Elon (7-3) fell to the Eagles (4-6) for the 11th straight time in the first meeting between the two programs since 2014. A three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning by the Eagles’ Emily Snider made the difference in the contest.
At the Plate: Elon registered only two hits in the contest versus the Eagles with Callie Horn and Carey Million providing the lone base hits…Million’s base hit was a double, her first of the year…The Phoenix left 10 runners on base and was 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
In the Circle: Rookie Kenna Quinn (3-1) took the loss in the circle for Elon, her first of the year…The Boiling Springs, S.C., native pitched 8.0 innings and gave up eight hits with three runs allowed with five strikeouts…Georgia Southern’s Dixie Raley pitched 8.0 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts and five walks.
The Rundown: Elon recorded its first hit of the day in the bottom of the second. Million led off with a double down the left field line and advanced to third with one out on a wild pitch. Erica Serafini joined Million on the bases with two outs on a walk and then advanced into scoring position off a passed ball, but Elon struck out to end the inning.
In the fifth, the Phoenix loaded the bases for another opportunity to score the first run of the game. Serafini led off with a walk and moved to second on a fielder’s choice with Alaina Hall reaching first on the play. The pair moved into scoring position on Horn’s sacrifice bunt with Kara Shutt making the bags full on another walk with two outs. The Phoenix could not capitalize as a strikeout ended the inning.
Elon had a chance to earn a walk-off victory in the bottom of the seventh. Hall reached on a one-out error and then advanced to second on the play. A grounder moved her over to third with two outs as Elon looked for the go-ahead run on the next at bat. Hannah Olson drove a 0-2 pitch into the gap between first and second, but the second baseman was able to make the diving stop and flip the ball over to first to extend the game into extra innings.
Georgia Southern broke the scoreless contest in the top of the eighth. After the Phoenix recorded a double play on a fly out to Hall in left field, Snider drove a three-run home run over the fence in right field to put the Eagles up 3-0 going to the home half.
With a runner placed on second to start the frame, the Phoenix had a couple of runners reach and move into scoring position with two outs and the tying run at the plate. A foul out to first base however would end the threat and conclude the game by a score of 3-0.
The Phoenix is back at the tournament tomorrow, Feb. 25, with a pair of games as Elon opens versus No. 3 Florida, at 1:15 p.m. then closes the day versus Fordham around 3 p.m.