ELON, N.C. – After wrapping up an eight-game road trip on Wednesday, the Elon University softball team returns to Hunt Softball Park to host its first Colonial Athletic Association series of the season versus UNCW. The three-game series begins on Saturday, April 1, with a twin bill beginning at 1 p.m. with the finale slated for Sunday, April 2, at 1 p.m.
Follow the Phoenix
Fans can keep up with the action of the Phoenix all season via live stats from the program’s schedule page at elonphoenix.com. Updates will also be provided on Twitter on @elonscores or the program’s handle, @ElonUSoftball. All three games of the series will be streamed online via Phoenix All-Access.
Inside the Series
Elon and UNCW have met 17 times on the softball diamond entering this weekend, with the maroon and gold holding a 10-7 all-time advantage over the Seahawks in the series dating back to 1990 in the fastpitch era. The Phoenix holds a 5-1 mark against UNCW in games played in Elon. UNCW took the series last season in Wilmington, N.C., winning the final two contests of the three-game series including a 15-inning bout in the finale.
Leading Off for Elon
• The Phoenix closed out an eight-game road trip with a 1-0 victory at longtime Triad rival North Carolina A&T on Wednesday, March 29. The victory was the 900th overall for the program since beginning collegiate competition in 1977.
• Elon closed out the road swing with a 5-3 ledger. Last season, the Phoenix won only four games away from the home confines of Hunt Softball Park.
• Speaking of Hunt Softball Park, the Phoenix is 15-3 in 2017. With 12 home games remaining including this weekend’s series, Elon will have a chance to surpass its best win total at its five-year facility of 20-6 set in 2015.
• Junior Kiandra Mitchum tossed a complete game one-hitter against the Lady Aggies in the Phoenix’s victory at N.C. A&T. She also had eight strikeouts in the contest.
• In her last 10 starts, Mitchum has posted a 7-1 record with a 0.74 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 57.0 innings.
• Senior Alaina Hall had two of the Phoenix’s three hits in the game at the Lady Aggies on Wednesday, extending her hit streak to a team-tying best 10 games. The two base hits gave Hall her 15th multi-hit game of the season.
• Hall moved past Jenny Gustin (2001-04) to take fourth on the program’s all-time career hit list with 214. She is also sixth in school history with 114 runs scored.
• With one more strikeout, Mitchum will become the first Phoenix pitcher with 100 or more fanned batters since the 2012 season.
• During its home games this season, Elon is outscoring opponents 99 to 51 with most of its damage coming in the third (26) and sixth (20) frames. Elon is also hitting .310 in the batter’s box at home with five regulars hitting .300 or better in its lineup.
• Phoenix head coach Kathy Bocock has won 146 games as the head coach of the Phoenix and has 383 victories in her career overall.
Scouting the Phoenix
The Phoenix (20-11, 1-2 CAA) is currently sitting in a tie for fifth in the CAA standings after league play began last weekend. Elon opened the 2017 CAA slate at College of Charleston last weekend, March 25-26, earning a 3-1 victory in 11 innings over the Cougars. The maroon and gold will look to move up in the standings while hosting the league leading Seahawks this weekend.
Elon’s offense is batting .281 with 220 hits and the second-most walks in the league with 97. The Phoenix is also in the top-five in the CAA in average, on-base percentage (.367), runs scored (145), hits, RBI (126), doubles (35) and triples (five). Three players in Elon’s everyday lineup are hitting .300 or better with Hall leading the league with her .438 batting average, .462 on-base percentage and 42 overall hits. Carey Million is second on the squad with her .341 average and has a CAA-best 32 RBI.
Mitchum picked up her 11th win of the season on Wednesday at North Carolina A&T, which is second in the league. She is second in the CAA in innings pitched (107.0), strikeouts (99), saves (two) and leads the league in overall appearances with 25. Her 2.42 ERA is also top-five in the league as Elon has posted a 2.85 staff ERA, good for third in the CAA.
Scouting the Seahawks
The Seahawks (23-6-1, 3-0 CAA) are off to a program-best start after 30 games and are atop the CAA standings after a sweep versus league foe Drexel last weekend. UNCW has won eight straight after sweeping East Carolina in a twin bill on Wednesday.
In the batter’s box, UNCW is hitting .306, and has scored 165 runs with 245 hits and 146 runs driven in. Six players are hitting .300 or better in the lineup for the Seahawks, led by sophomore Kali Jones’ .381 average. Six players have 12 or more RBI with Nella Chamblee being the team-leader at 23 while Rachel Willis is next with 21.
UNCW’s pitching has been impressive this season, ranking second in the league in a number of categories including ERA (2.02), opposing batting average (.198), strikeouts (162) and saves (three). Reigning CAA Pitcher of the Week Peyton Jordan is second in the league with a 1.13 ERA while posting a 10-2 overall ledger in her 105.0 innings of action.
Elon is back on the road for a nonconference doubleheader at Virginia Tech next Wednesday, April 5. The twin bill is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start.