FARMVILLE, Va. – A four-hit outing including two triples by senior Kara Shutt was not enough to help the Elon University softball team in its midweek contest at Longwood as the Phoenix fell to the Lancers, 10-7, on Wednesday evening, April 4, at Lancer Field.
Elon (18-17) fell to Longwood (22-11) for the ninth straight meeting as the Lancers extended the Phoenix’s overall losing streak to four games. Longwood took the overall lead in the all-time series, 12-11.
At the Plate: Shutt had a monster day at the plate as the Greensboro, N.C., native went 4-for-4 with two triples and three RBI in the game…She is now one hit shy for tying Dani Concepcion for third all-time in school history in career hits with 229…Hannah Olson went 2-for-3 with two RBI…Longwood outhit the Phoenix 10-9…The two triples also moved Shutt to sixth all-time in school history with 12 in her career.
In the Circle: Elise Walton (2-1) received the loss for the Phoenix, pitching only a third of an inning…Kenna Quinn threw 3.1 frames in relief while Hailey Jomp tossed the remaining 2.1 innings…Overall, the Phoenix surrendered eight earned runs with one strikeout and five walks.
Two fielding miscues by the Lancers in the top of the first gave the Phoenix the early advantage. Shutt led off on a single to left to give Elon a runner on. Olson moved her over on a sacrifice bunt, but she would reach on the play on an errant throw to first by the catcher as the Phoenix would have runners at the corners. Another sacrifice bunt by Erica Serafini advanced Shutt home as she avoided the tag by the catcher at the plate to score a run with Olson moving to third. Down to its final out, another fielding error by the Lancers led to Olson scoring the second run of the inning as the Phoenix went ahead 2-0.
That lead would be short-lived as Longwood answered with a five-run bottom of the first. The Lancers tied the game with a couple of one-out RBI singles while loading the bases. The Phoenix went with a pitching change which was able to help induce an out on a fielder’s choice, but a bases-clearing double down the left field line pushed Longwood’s lead to 5-2 to close out the opening frame.
A couple of Phoenix errors in the bottom of the second added another run for the Lancers. Longwood led off the inning with a walk and stole second to move into scoring position. An attempted throw to second got away which helped the runner move to third. Longwood scored its sixth run of the game as a fielding error enabled the runner to score from third.
Longwood added another run via a solo homerun in the bottom of the third. The Lancers’ Jessica Smith took the first pitch she saw and launched it over the left field wall for her fourth of the season. Elon would recover to hold the rest of the lineup off the board, but faced a 7-2 deficit after the end of the third.
Elon battled back with a three-run top of the fourth. Walton led off the inning with a single and was joined on the bases by Katrina Martin on a one-out bloop single to shallow left. After a foul out gave the Phoenix two outs, Elon loaded the bags after Callie Horn received a hit-by-pitch with the lineup returning to the top of the order. Shutt responded with a two-RBI single up the middle to bring the Phoenix within three while moving runners to first and second. Olson followed with a RBI single to score Horn as Elon brought itself back within two, 7-5.
The Lancers doubled that lead in its home half of the fourth. Destiny Martinez reached on a one-out single and stole second to move into scoring position. She was joined on the bases by Kaylynn Batten on a walk with Martinez eventually moving to third on a fly out. A double steal scored Martinez from third while Batten moved to second. Another errant throw from the Phoenix to home plate advanced Batten to third, where she would score the second run of the inning on a RBI single to put the Phoenix in a 9-5 disadvantage.
The Phoenix refused to go away quietly, responding with a two-spot in the top of the sixth. Elon reached on a one-out hit-by-pitch before Shutt added her second three-bagger of the game to drive in her third run of the contest. Olson added her second RBI of the contest with a two-out single to bring the Phoenix again within two, 9-7.
Longwood added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth to regain a three-score lead, 10-7. That would be set as the final score as the Phoenix was retired in order in the top of the seventh to fall to the Lancers.
The Phoenix continues its road swing this weekend, returning to Colonial Athletic Association play with a three-game set at intrastate foe UNCW. The Phoenix and the Seahawks are set for a doubleheader on Saturday, April 6, starting at 12 p.m. before closing the series with a game on Sunday, April 7, also with noon start.