ELON, N.C. – For the first time since 2014, the Elon University softball team travels to Farmville, Va., for a midweek matchup versus Longwood this Wednesday, April 4, in a nonconference tilt. The Phoenix and the Lancers are scheduled for a 5 p.m. first pitch at Lancer Field.
Both teams were originally scheduled for a doubleheader on Wednesday, but both programs agreed to reduce it to a single game.
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 at the program’s handle, @ElonUSoftball. For more on Elon softball, follow the program on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Inside the Series: Longwood (Series tied 11-11)
The Phoenix and the Lancers will meet for the first time since 2015 with Elon making its first visit to Longwood since 2014. The Lancers have had the recent upper hand in the overall series, which dates back to 1993 in Elon’s fastpitch era (since 1990). Longwood has won the past eight meetings with the Phoenix last earning a victory in 2009 in Farmville, Va.
Around the Horn
• The Phoenix is hitting .264 overall as a team and has scored 140 runs with 234 hits overall. Elon ranks third in the Colonial Athletic Association in doubles with 45 and is tied for second in triples with five.
• Kara Shutt leads the Phoenix with her .391 average as she is one of four players in the Phoenix’s lineup hitting better than .300. The Greensboro, N.C., native is also among the top-five in the CAA in total hits (45) and doubles (12).
• Shutt moved into sole possession of fourth all-time in school history in career hits this past weekend versus Hofstra. She now has 224 career base hits and trails Dani Concepcion ’05 for third all-time in school history at 229.
• Hannah Olson is second to Shutt with her .383 average, 41 hits and 11 doubles. She leads the maroon and gold with her 23 RBI.
• After only hitting eight home runs through its first 27 games, the Phoenix has dig the long ball more recently. Elon has recorded a round tripper in six of its past seven games with freshman Ally Repko providing three of those.
• The Phoenix will make its first foray into the state of Virginia on Wednesday, the home state of many members of the squad. Six members of the team, Olson (Yorktown), Repko (Broadway), Ashtyn Foddrell (Warrenton), Katrina Martin (Dayton), Kiandra Mitchum (Mechanicsville) and Elise Walton, hail from the “Old Dominion” state as does Phoenix head coach Kathy Bocock (Dayton).
• In the circle, the Phoenix holds a 3.31 ERA with 136 strikeouts in 232.2 innings of action. Four players have seen action toeing the rubber for 25 or more innings for Elon with the Phoenix ranking third in the CAA in total strikeouts, opposing batting average (.264) while tying the league-lead in total saves with five.
Scouting the Lancers (20-11, 6-2 Big South)
The reigning three-time Big South league champion, Longwood was tabbed to finish as the favorite for the fourth time in the league’s 2018 preseason poll. The Lancers currently have a 20-11 ledger so far in 2018 as they host future league foe Hampton on Tuesday, April 3, prior to facing the Phoenix on Wednesday. Kathy Riley is in her 21st season as the head coach of the Longwood softball program.
Longwood is batting .275 as a team and has four players hitting north of .300. Seven players have driven double-digit runs with Kaylynn Batten leading the squad with her 20 RBI. Batten also has a team-high .348 average while Jordan Clark has a team-best seven homers for the Lancers.
The Lancers’ pitching staff posts a 1.95 ERA with the duo of Sydney Gay and Sydney Backstrom seeing the post time in the circle. Gay is 14-7 on the season with a 1.81 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 108.0 innings while Backstrom has a 6-4 ledger with a 1.91 ERA in 77.0 innings.
The Phoenix returns to CAA play this weekend as Elon travels to Wilmington, N.C., for a three-game set at intrastate rival UNCW. Both teams open the series on Saturday, April 7, in a doubleheader before concluding with the finale on Sunday, April 8.