Elon Softball Phoenix Welcomes Eagles for Saturday Twin Bill

Posted by Press Release on February 9, 2018 at 11:11 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team will look to rebound from its opening day setback as the Phoenix hosts North Carolina Central in its second doubleheader of its opening weekend on Saturday, Feb. 10, beginning at 1 p.m.

LIVE STATS

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.

Inside the Series: North Carolina Central
Elon has posted a perfect 10-0 ledger versus N.C. Central in a series dating back to 2011 on the softball diamond. All but one of the games in the series have been played in Elon including last year’s doubleheader sweep of the Eagles with the Phoenix outscoring N.C. Central 16-3.

Last Time Out
Elon suffered a doubleheader setback at the hands of Charlotte on its opening day on Friday, Feb. 9, at Hunt Softball Park. The 49ers took game one by a score of 5-2 in extras while earning the sweep with a 6-3 victory in the nightcap of the Phoenix.

The two losses snapped the maroon and gold’s six-game home winning streak in opening day games and also increased Charlotte’s all-time series lead to 20-12 versus Elon.

Elon Tabbed Fifth in Preseason CAA Poll
Elon was selected to finish fifth in the 2018 Colonial Athletic Association Preseason poll as chosen by the league coaches. It was the second straight season that the Phoenix was tabbed fifth in the CAA preseason poll. James Madison was picked to win the league for the third straight year after the Dukes earned six of eight first-place votes and 48 points. Hofstra received the other two first-place votes as the Pride were tabbed second behind JMU with 43 points. College of Charleston claimed third with 35 points while UNCW landed fourth at 29 points, three points ahead of the Phoenix (26). Delaware and Towson tied for the sixth position with 18 points while Drexel (seven) rounded out the preseason poll.

Around the Horn
• Elon returns 14 letterwinners and five starters from its 2017 team that went 32-21, its second 30-win campaign in the last three seasons. The Phoenix’s winning percentage of .604 was its highest since 2010.
• The maroon and gold also brings back all of its pitching from last season. As a unit, the Phoenix posted a 2.86 ERA – its best since 2010 – and struck out 233 batters, the team’s highest total since 2012.
• The Phoenix welcomes back 58.4 percent of its hitting, 63.0 percent of its scoring and nearly 52 percent of its RBI production. The maroon and gold also return the 2017 leaders in runs scored, doubles, triples and walks.
• Four players from last year’s team earned All-CAA honors including returners in senior pitcher Kiandra Mitchum and senior outfielder Kara Shutt. Mitchum became Elon’s first first team all-conference pitcher at the Division I level while Shutt garnered her second first team All-CAA recognition.
• Mitchum went 18-13 in the circle for the maroon and gold in her 43 appearances with 35 starts. The Mechanicsville, Va., native posted a 2.18 ERA and struck out 180 batters while tossing 211.2 innings. Mitchum’s strikeout total was the second-best single-season performance in school history while her ERA and wins were the best for an Elon pitcher at the Division I level.
• Shutt batted .333 overall during her junior season, but raised that average to a team-best .375 during conference play. The Greensboro, N.C., native is the Phoenix’s returning leader in hits, slugging percentage and home runs.
• Other team leaders returning for the Phoenix includes senior Hannah Olson, who scored a team-high 40 runs last year and was fourth on the squad in average at .276. Fellow senior Kristin Hoover had 11 doubles to lead the Phoenix while junior Erica Serafini is the returning run producer with her 22 RBI.
• Bocock is in her seventh season with the Phoenix with a record of 158-157-1 during her helm at Elon. She’s currently sitting on 395 career victories.

Scouting the Eagles
North Carolina Central is coming off a 13-30 season a year ago and had a program-best 7-8 mark during league play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Only seven members of that team returns from 2017, but the Eagles have added 10 newcomers to its squad for 2018 including two transfers for second-year head coach Vashion Johnson.

NCCU was selected to finish fourth out of six teams in the 2018 MEAC Preseason poll. Miriam Duen is the top returning hitter for the Eagles with her .256 average while Ava Dolan is the top returning run producer for N.C. Central with four homers and 11 RBI.

In the circle, the Eagles posted a 4.90 team ERA in 258.2 innings pitched last season with four shutouts. NCCU’s pitching staff will be bolstered by the arrival of NC State senior transfer Courtney Mirabella to the program. Mirabella pitched in 83 games for NC State and has 26 career wins, 376 strikeouts in 373.1 innings and a cumulative 4.01 ERA.

On Deck
Elon welcomes North Carolina to Hunt Softball Park for a midweek matchup next Wednesday, Feb. 14. That game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start.


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