ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team split its doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 16, on the second day at its home tournament, the Elon February Classic. The Phoenix fell to Virginia, 7-3, in its opening game before rebounding with a 9-7 win versus Hampton in the nightcap at Hunt Softball Park.
Game One: Virginia 7, Elon 3
The Phoenix jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against the Cavaliers in the opening frame. Rebecca Murray drew a walk to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a single by Erica Serafini. After Megan White drew a one-out walk to load the bases, Keagan Goldwait’s single down the right field line drove in Murray and Serafini as the Phoenix took the early advantage.
Virginia tied the game in the top half of the third. The Cavaliers got on base via a one-out walk and advanced to second on a stolen base. A single to left field scored the runner to plate Virginia’s first run of the game with the batter advancing to second on the throw. Another single tied the contest at two-all before a double play converted by the Phoenix ended the inning.
The Cavaliers continued its scoring run with two more runs in both the fourth and fifth innings extending its lead to 6-2. UVA would tack on another run in the top half of the seventh to move its advantage to 7-2 going into the Phoenix’s home half of the frame.
Elon would respond with a run of its own in the bottom of the seventh. Grace Sherron led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. She would come across the dish on another wild pitch to make the score 7-3, but the Phoenix could not overcome the deficit and eventually fell to the Cavaliers, 7-3.
The Phoenix was held to five hits versus Virginia with five different players earning a base hit. Goldwait was 1-for-1 with three walks and two RBI for the maroon and gold. Kenna Quinn (2-1) received the loss in the circle for Elon, pitching 3.1 innings and allowing eight hits, four runs, while walking two.
Game Two: Elon 9, Hampton 7
Elon put up three runs in both the first and second innings to get off to a fast start against the Lady Pirates in the second game of the day. Elise Walton drove in the first run of the day on a double to center field, scoring Serafini, who reached earlier in the inning on a fielder’s choice. Goldwait followed with an RBI single to left center before another RBI single from Callie Horn added to the Phoenix’s lead.
In the second inning, Murray drove in Morgan Reich, who led off the inning on a single, to make the score 4-0 in favor of Elon. Two more runs came across the dish on a Serafini fielder’s choice as the Phoenix expanded its lead to 6-0 after two complete.
Both teams went scoreless in the third and fourth frames, but Hampton battled back with a four-spot in the top half of the fifth. The Lady Pirates drove in a pair of runs on a two-out triple into left center and added two more to the scoreboard off a homerun to right field, pulling Hampton within two, 6-4.
Hampton added another run in the top of the sixth to make it a one-run game. The Lady Pirates added their second homer of the day on a solo leadoff shot down the left field line. Hampton then added the tying run on base after a walk with the runner advancing all the way to third with two outs. Elon was able to finagle its way out of the jam with the final out going to the home half of the sixth.
Elon extended its lead in the bottom of the sixth behind a clutch hit from Walton and some Hampton fielding miscues. With runners in scoring position with one out, Walton singled to left center, clearing the bases and putting the Phoenix up 8-5. Walton herself would score after a fielding error by the Lady Pirates as Elon went up 9-5.
The Lady Pirates made things interesting in the top of the seventh, fighting until their final out. Hampton got a runner on via a one-out single and moved to second on a stolen base. After a walk, Hampton scored its sixth run of the game off a Phoenix fielding error and loaded the bases on the next at bat, a single to right center. A fielder’s choice plated another run for the Lady Pirates, who now had the tying runs on first and second and were down to their final out. The Phoenix induced the final out on a fly out to right to escape with the 9-7 victory.
Elon edged Hampton in hits for the game, 9-8, with Serafini and Walton leading the way for the Phoenix, going 2-of-4 with a pair of RBI. Abby Barker (4-0) went the distance for the Phoenix in the circle, allowing eight hits, seven runs, one earned, with two strikeouts.
Elon concludes its home tournament on Sunday, Feb. 17, with a contest versus North Carolina Central at 2:30 p.m.