ELON, N.C. – A pitcher’s duel won by junior Kiandra Mitchum helped the Elon University softball team come out on top over Towson, 1-0, in a Colonial Athletic Association rubber match on Sunday afternoon, April 16, at Hunt Softball Park.
The victory improved the Phoenix to 28-15 on the season and 7-5 in the CAA standings, good for fourth in the league. It was the Elon’s second CAA series win of the season and its first against Towson (16-22, 3-8 CAA) since the two became league foes in 2015.
In the Circle: Mitchum scattered two hits on the day versus the Tigers in the complete game win…The victory in the circled improved Mitchum to 15-9 this season while the shutout dropped her ERA to 2.15…The Mechanicsville, Va., native also gave up two walks and struck out three batters…Mitchum became only the second pitcher in school history with 150 or more strikeouts in a single season, joining Donna Leigh (1990-93), who did the feat twice in 1990 and 1992.
At the Plate: Elon’s offense registered three hits on the day, which were placed by three different players…Alaina Hall (1-for-3), Carey Million (1-for-3) and Jenna Reilly (1-for-2) were each credited with a base hit…Reilly scored the lone run of the game for Elon in the third inning…Million also had a stolen base, her seventh of the year.
The Rundown: Both teams posted half or more of its hitting totals in the opening frame. Towson led off the first with a single into right center and had a runner move to second on a sacrifice bunt. Another runner would join her on the bases after a hit-by-pitch with two outs, but a fielder’s choice induced by Mitchum would leave them stranded.
Elon had two of its three hits in the bottom of the first. Hall and Million both singled to reach for the Phoenix and gave Elon runners at first and second with two outs. A fly out to right center however kept the pair from going any further as the game moved to the second.
The Phoenix took the lead in the bottom third, after a Towson miscue led to Elon plating the lone run of the game. Reilly started the inning with a bunt single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Callie Horn. She later moved to third on an error by the second baseman that allowed Hall to reach. Hall then advanced to second to give Elon runners in scoring position with two outs and Million coming to the plate. Million drove a ball to the third baseman, but the infielder misplayed it leading to an error and Reilly crossing the dish that gave the Phoenix a 1-0 advantage.
Elon threatened again in the bottom of the fourth, as the Phoenix placed runners in scoring position with only one out. Hannah Olson reached to lead off the inning on an error and moved to second after Erica Serafini was hit by a pitch. The two advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt, but Towson struck out the next batter and forced a foul out to strand two more for the Phoenix.
The run support was still more than enough for Mitchum, as the lefty finished off her 27th start of the year with three more additional scoreless innings of work including a pair of strikeouts in the final frame to claim the 1-0 victory.
Elon ends its five-game homestand this Wednesday, April 19, with a visit from local Triad rival UNCG. That game is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.