ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team will close out its home portion of the regular season this weekend as the Phoenix hosts Delaware in a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series on April 29-30, at Hunt Softball Park. The league set is scheduled to begin on Saturday with a doubleheader at 1 p.m.
On Sunday, April 30, the Phoenix will celebrate its four-person senior class of Alaina Hall, Carey Million, Jenna Reilly and Emily Roper prior to the series finale to the Blue Hens. The quartet has been a part of 111 victories with the maroon and gold while also achieving numerous athletic and academic success both individually and for the program.
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 on Elon’s Phoenix All-Access channel.
Inside the Series
Heading into the weekend, Delaware holds a 5-4 advantage over the Phoenix in the all-time series dating back to 2001. Since becoming league opponents in 2015, both teams are 2-2 with the Blue Hens dealing a 8-2 setback to the Phoenix at the CAA Tournament last season. However, the maroon and gold took two out three the last time the programs met in Elon in 2015. Last year, the teams did not compete in its season series due to weather and unplayable field conditions in Newark, Del.
Leading Off for Elon
• Elon heads into the weekend at 30-17, posting its second 30-win campaign in the last three seasons. The Phoenix will also post its third straight winning season overall for the first time as a program at the Division I level.
• The Phoenix rallied for a 5-4 win over North Carolina A&T on Wednesday, April 26. The victory improved the maroon and gold to 23-10 during nonconference play this season after finishing 17-17 last year in non-league games.
• Senior Carey Million had the Phoenix’s lone RBI against the Lady Aggies, the 45th of the season for the Roebling, N.J., native. That mark is the second-best performance in school history in a single-season and two shy of the all-time record by Emerald Graham (2010-11) set in 2011.
• Senior Alaina Hall belted her 230th career hit versus North Carolina A&T and moved into sole possession of second all-time in school history in career hits. The Suwanee, Ga., native was previously tied with Dani Concepcion (2002-05) for No. 2 on the program’s all-time career hit list.
• Kiandra Mitchum added her 14th complete game of the season in the victory on Wednesday. That’s the most for an Elon pitcher since 2012 as is her 16 wins in 2017.
Scouting the Phoenix
Elon sits at 7-7 in the CAA standings, which is fifth in the league coming off being swept at Hofstra last Sunday, April 23. The Phoenix is ahead of Delaware in the overall standings with the Blue Hens sitting at 6-9 in sixth as both teams will try to maneuver to earn a spot for the five-team field for the CAA Tournament on May 10-12. A Phoenix sweep of Delaware this weekend would essentially clinch a spot for Elon at the CAA Championships.
The Phoenix ranks among the top five in the CAA in six offensive categories; runs scored (214), hits (332), RBI (180), doubles (57), triples (12) and walks. In the batter’s box, Elon is batting .272, but has seen that average fallen to .259 during CAA play. Three players are hitting better than .300 in the Phoenix’s lineup with Hall holding steady with her .389 average. Her 58 hits are tied for second in the CAA while Million, who is second on the team in average at .338, is also second in the league with 45 RBI. Hannah Olson is also second in the CAA in runs scored with 38.
The Elon saw a slight rise its in conference ERA last weekend at Hofstra, but is still second in the CAA at 2.41 during its 14 league games. Overall, the Phoenix’s 2.76 ERA is third in the conference with the maroon and gold ranking among the league’s top two in innings pitched (321.2) and saves (four). Mitchum’s 2.20 ERA is third in the conference while her 164 fanned batters is second overall.
Scouting the Blue Hens
Delaware (19-24, 6-9 CAA) comes into the weekend sixth behind the Phoenix in the league standings after losing two of three last weekend at College of Charleston. The Blue Hens split its midweek twin bill matchup against in-state foe Delaware State on Wednesday.
Offensively, the Blue Hens boast a .302 batting average, which is third in the CAA. Delaware has also plated 208 runs, with 348 hits, 189 RBI and 29 homers. Six players in the regular lineup are hitting better than .300 with sophomore Anna Steinmetz leading the charge with her .383 average and 49 hits. She has also been the main run producer for the Blue Hens with team-highs in home runs (11) and RBI (40).
In the circle, the Blue Hens have a 4.94 team ERA with 109 strikeouts in 273.2 innings. Three players have mostly seen action toeing the rubber for Delaware this season with junior Jordan Cargile making a team-best 18 starts. The Baltimore native has a 14-12 record with a 4.16 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 154.2 innings.
The Phoenix wraps up the regular season with three games at James Madison next Friday-Saturday, May 5-6, in Harrisonburg, Va.