ELON, N.C. – Abby Barker threw her second one-hitter of the weekend as the Elon University softball team split its Colonial Athletic Association doubleheader versus UNCW on Saturday, March 30, at Hunt Softball Park. The Phoenix fell in the opening game, 6-3, before winning the nightcap and the series over the Seahawks with a 1-0 shutout in game two.
Elon improved to 19-14-1 overall on the season and 3-3 during CAA play. UNCW closed out the weekend with a 21-16 overall ledger and also a 3-3 mark in the league.
Game One: UNCW 6, Elon 3
The Seahawks put up a four-spot in the top of the first to take an early lead over the Phoenix. UNCW had its leadoff batter reach on a walk and advanced to second on a one-out hit-by-pitch. A double and a sacrifice fly plated two runs before two more came across the dish on a two-RBI single to put the Seahawks ahead 4-0.
Elon tried to make up the deficit in its home half of the first. After the first two batters were retired for the Phoenix, Erica Serafini reached on a single to give Elon a runner on. Ally Repko then took a 2-0 offering over the wall in left field, scoring Serafini, but Repko failed to touch home plate on the play, resulting in her being called out on the play at home with only Serafini’s run counting making it a 4-1 game.
The Phoenix came back with another run in the bottom of the second. Keagan Goldwait doubled down the left field line to leadoff the inning and scored on another double from Ashtyn Foddrell to cut UNCW’s lead in half, 4-2. The Seahawks made a pitching change and it proved to be effective as the next three batters were retired to leave Foddrell stranded.
Serafini reached again in the bottom of the third with two outs this time on a walk. Repko hit a double into the gap in right center moving Serafini all the way around the bases and heading home. UNCW was able to relay the ball quickly back to the catcher as Serafini was tagged out at the plate to end the inning.
UNCW added a couple of insurance runs in the top half of the seventh. A throwing error and a double gave the Seahawks a pair in scoring position to open the inning. A pair of RBI singles drove the runners in as Elon saw its deficit grow to four, 6-2.
Elon got a run back in the home half of the seventh. Megan White hit a one-out double down the left field line to give the Phoenix a base runner. After a fly out to left put the Phoenix down to its final out, the game continued after Morgan Reich reached on an error and advanced a runner to third. An infield single by Rebecca Murray scored the runner and brought the Phoenix within three, but the game would end on a groundout to the pitcher.
At the Plate: Elon had seven hits in the contest overall…Repko was perfect at the plate as she went 2-of-2 with an RBI…The Phoenix left six runners on total.
In the Circle: Elise Walton was saddled with the loss, going to 2-3 on the year…Three pitchers saw time in the circle for the Phoenix with Hailey Jomp seeing the most time in the circle going 3.2 innings with three hits allowed.
Game Two: Elon 1, UNCW 0
Elon bounced back in its second game of the day, behind a dominating performance from Barker in the circle. The Phoenix took care of the scoring in the game in the bottom half of the first. Reich opened the inning on a walk and moved all the way to third on back-to-back ground outs. Repko drove a two-out single through the left side to score Reich and put the Phoenix ahead 1-0.
The Phoenix would look to add more runs to the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth as Elon loaded the bases with two outs. Reich singled with one out and moved to second on a fielding error with two outs. Repko drew a free pass to load the bags for the Phoenix, but a fielder’s choice ended the threat and left the runners stranded.
Barker however had control of the contest with her second one-hitter of the weekend and the fourth of the season. After opening the game with a walk to UNCW’s leadoff batter, the Granville, Ohio, native retired the next seven batters she faced and 11 out of the next 12 with the lone blemish being a single given up in the top of the third.
UNCW however did not get a runner to scoring position the entire game as Barker cruised to the 1-0 shutout victory.
In the Circle: Barker moved to 11-5 on the season with her 11th complete game…It was also her third shutout of the year as she also had three strikeouts to her stat line in the contest.
At the Plate: The Phoenix plated six hits in the game, each from six different players…Repko had the lone RBI in the contest while Lauryn Clarke had a double for the maroon and gold.
The Phoenix will return to action next weekend, April 6-7, as Elon travels to College of Charleston for its three-game CAA series. The start of that series is slated for Saturday, April 6, with a doubleheader set for a 4 p.m. start.