ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team continues play this weekend when it travels to Tallahassee, Fla., for the Unconquered Invitational, hosted by No. 1 Florida State on Feb. 22-24, at the Seminole Softball Complex
Elon will open the tournament versus Samford on Friday at 12:30 p.m. before facing the Seminoles later on that day at 3 p.m. A rematch between the Phoenix and the Bulldogs starts the second day of the tournament on Saturday at 10 a.m. followed by a matchup against Lipscomb at 5:30 p.m. Elon concludes the weekend with a rematch versus the Bison on Sunday at 10 a.m.
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, @ElonSoftball.
Versus the Field
Samford (Samford leads 13-8)
Elon and Samford will meet for the first time since 2014 when both programs were members of the Southern Conference. The Phoenix has won the previous two meetings, but the Bulldogs had won six of the previous nine.
No. 1 Florida State (FSU leads 2-0)
The Phoenix and the Seminoles are facing each other on the softball diamond for the first time since 2003 where Florida State swept the Phoenix in a doubleheader in Elon.
Lipscomb (Series tied 1-1)
This weekend will be the first meeting between the Phoenix and the Bison since 2007 where both teams split a twin bill in Conway, S.C.
Last Time Out
The Phoenix last played on Saturday, Feb. 16, splitting contests versus Virginia and Hampton at its home tournament, the Elon February Classic. The maroon and gold fell in its first contest of the day versus the Cavaliers, 7-3, before rebounding with a 9-7 victory against the Lady Pirates in its nightcap. Inclement weather forced the cancellation the Phoenix’s final game of the tournament originally versus North Carolina Central and a rescheduled contest against Virginia. Elon’s midweek contest against NC State on Wednesday, Feb. 20, was also postponed due to weather to April 17.
Around the Horn
• Elon is 6-2 on the young season after going 2-1 at its home tournament, the Elon February Classic, last weekend. The Phoenix picked up wins versus Northern Kentucky and Hampton while suffering a setback against Virginia.
• As a team, Elon is batting .295 on the season with 49 runs scored, 14 doubles, six homeruns and 44 RBI. The Phoenix currently leads the Colonial Athletic Association in on-base percentage at .411 and walks drawn with 38.
• Morgan Reich leads the Phoenix with her .350 batting average while Elise Walton had driven in a team-best eight runs. Ally Repko leads the CAA in on-base percentage at .556 while Allie Eith is tied for the league-lead in runs scored at eight.
• In the circle, the Phoenix has posted a 2.77 ERA as a team with three players seeing time toeing the rubber so far in 2019. Kenna Quinn and Abby Barker have carried most of the load this season, combining for 46.1 or the 53.0 innings pitched so far this season for Elon. Barker currently boasts the lowest ERA in the CAA this season at 1.86.
• Elon assistant coach Mallory Borden will be returning to her alma mater of Florida State this weekend. Borden played with the Seminoles from 2009-12.
• The Phoenix is in its 30th season of as a program at the fastpitch level (since 1990) and the 20th year at the Division I level. Since beginning fastpitch play, the Elon softball program has posted 754 victories and 471 at the Division I level.
• Elon returns 11 letterwinners from its 2017 roster while also adding eight talented newcomers into the fold. Among the notable returners includes sophomore Ally Repko, who was a Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie selection in 2018. Repko led the Phoenix with six home runs as a rookie.
• The Phoenix will have a unique blend of a large senior class (seven) to go with a large freshman group (eight). In between, the maroon and gold only have two juniors and two sophomores.
• Elon eighth-year head coach Kathy Bocock has won 188 games in her tenure with the Phoenix.
Elon Tabbed Sixth in 2019 Preseason CAA Poll
Elon was selected to finish sixth in the 2019 Colonial Athletic Association Preseason poll as chosen by the league coaches. James Madison was selected as the unanimous favorite to win the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) softball championship by a vote of the league’s eight head coaches. The vote marks the fifth straight season in which the Dukes have sat atop the CAA’s preseason poll. James Madison collected seven first-place votes and 49 total points, and College of Charleston was picked second with 39 points and a first-place vote. UNCW was picked third with 33 points, while Hofstra and Towson were picked tied for fourth with 28 points each. Rounding out the poll was Elon with 21 points, Delaware with 14 points and Drexel with 12 points.
Scouting Samford (4-7)
The Bulldogs are led by eighth-year head coach Mandy Burford as Samford heads into this weekend with a 4-7 record after winning three out of four at its home tournament, the Samford Classic, last weekend. Prior to last weekend, Samford’s lone win came at McNeese State on Feb. 8. Coming off a 19-38 record in 2018 and a 7-9 conference record, the Bulldogs were tabbed to finish fourth in the 2019 SoCon Preseason Poll. Samford is hitting .221 on the season with four players hitting better than .300 in its lineup. Merritt Cahoon holds a team-best .357 average while Madison Couch is the main run producer with two homers and six RBI. Five players have taken turns toeing the rubber this season for the Bulldogs, who have a cumulative ERA of 3.72 as a staff.
Scouting No. 1 Florida State (12-0)
Coming off earning its first NCAA Tournament title last season, the Seminoles are undefeated on the season at 12-0 with its last win being a 4-1 victory over South Alabama on Wednesday, extending its winning streak to 18 games dating back to last season. As a team, FSU is hitting .360 on the season with every player in its normal lineup hitting .300 or better including two north of .500. The trio of Sydney Sherrill, Cassidy Davis and Zoe Casas have combined for 36 RBI and eight homeruns this season. Pitcher Meghan King continues to lead a Seminole pitching staff with her 0.96 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 36.1 innings of action. Seminoles’ head coach Lonni Alameda is in her 11th season as the head coach for at FSU.
The Bison went 3-2 at the South Alabama Jaguar Classic last weekend, with a pair of wins versus Mercer and another against North Dakota. After going 33-17 overall in 2018 and 9-8 in the Atlantic Sun, the Bison were tabbed fourth in the 2019 A-Sun Preseason poll for 14th-year head coach Kristin Ryman. For the season, Lipscomb is hitting .301 on the season with Katie Turner leading the team with her .421 average. She also has seen duty in the circle for the Bison, pitching a team-high 22.2 innings and posting a 1.99 ERA with a 4-1 record.
The Phoenix travels to North Carolina next Wednesday, Feb. 27, with the opening pitch set for 4 p.m.