ELON, N.C. – Thanks to a three-run bottom of the seventh with two outs, the Elon University softball team rallied to earn a 5-4 win versus Duke on Wednesday, March 6, in a midweek contest at Hunt Softball Park.
Trailing 4-2 going into the bottom of the seventh, Elon (11-6-1) was down to its final out before Erica Serafini tied the game with a two-RBI double down the right field line. Keagan Goldwait provided the heroics with the walk-off RBI single to plate the winning run for the Phoenix’s first-ever win over the Blue Devils (9-12).
At the Plate: Elon had seven hits at the plate with Ashtyn Foddrell going 2-for-3 with a double…Ally Repko had a homerun in the contest, her team-best third of the year…Serafini led the Phoenix with two RBI and a double while Tia Mitchell also added a double to her stat line.
In the Circle: Abby Barker went the distance for the maroon and gold, giving up eight hits, four runs with two strikeouts and improved to 7-2 on the season…Her seven wins matches her single-season high and leads the Colonial Athletic Association.
Duke scored the opening run of the game in the top of the second. The Blue Devils led off the inning on a single and had the runner move to second on a sacrifice bunt. An RBI single allowed her to cross the dish as Duke took the 1-0 lead.
Elon responded quickly in its home half of the second thanks to the bat of Repko. The sophomore worked a full count at the plate and drilled a high solo shot over the left center wall to tie the game at one-all. Rebecca Murray and Foddrell followed with a singles to give the Phoenix runners on first and second before Mitchell’s double plated Murray to put the maroon and gold ahead 2-1.
The Blue Devils added two runs in the top of the third to retake the lead. Duke tied the game at 2-2 on a one-out, solo homerun before going ahead on a RBI double two batters later.
The Phoenix bats were quieted over the next three innings as Duke’s Brianna Butler set the Phoenix down in order for three straight frames. Grace Sherron drew a walk in the top of the sixth to give Elon its first base runner since the bottom of the second, but the Phoenix could not move her as the contest went to the seventh.
After Barker set the Blue Devils down in order in the top half of the frame, Elon looked to rally for the tie or walk-off win. Foddrell started the run with a leadoff double to center and gave the Phoenix the tying run at the plate. However, the Blue Devils struck out the next two batters and left the Phoenix down to its final out. Elon persevered, drawing walks on the next two at bats and loading the bases with Serafini stepping to the plate.
After working into a full count, Serafini hit a double down the right field line, plating the tying runs and giving the Phoenix a chance for the walk-off with the winning run 60-feet away at third. That set the stage for Goldwait, as the Sugar Land, Texas, native hit a sharp ball towards the second baseman that enabled the winning run and the 5-4 victory for the Phoenix.
Elon heads to Athens, Ga., for the UGA Classic this weekend, March 8-10. The Phoenix will face the field of Bowling Green, Western Illinois and eighth-ranked and host Georgia.