PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Eight home runs including four in the top of the seventh inning helped the Elon University softball team rally to a 13-10 victory Colonial Athletic Association at Drexel on Saturday, April 20, at the Drexel Softball Field.
Trailing six runs going into the seventh, the Phoenix (25-16-1, 8-5 CAA) belted four home runs in the frame to force extras and eventually overtake the Dragons (27-16-1, 8-5 CAA) in a battle between two of the top three teams in the league standings.
Both teams were originally scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday, but the second game was postponed due to darkness. The series will now conclude with a doubleheader on Sunday, April 21, beginning at 11 a.m.
At the Plate: Elon ended the day with eight home runs, setting a new program record and tying for the most by a team this season in the country…Megan White had three of those home runs, including the game-winning three-run round tripper in the top of the eighth…The Creedmoor, N.C., native went 5-for-5 at the plate with five RBI…Ally Repko also had a multi-homer game with two and was 2-for-3 with three runs scored…The Phoenix had 18 hits – the most for the team in a single game this season – with six players having multi-hit efforts.
In the Circle: Elise Walton (3-3) took the win for the Phoenix in the circle, pitching 6.0 innings in relief and giving up three runs and seven hits while striking out five.
The Dragons got off to a hot start in the home half of the first. Kristi DiMeo hit a one-out, two-run home run to put Drexel ahead early, 2-0. Another two-run homer increased Drexel’s lead to 4-0 with two outs before Elon was able to retire the side.
Elon came back to get two in the top of the second. White reached on a leadoff single up the middle before Callie Horn came up to the plate. The Durham, N.C., native lined a shot over the fence to left field to cut into the Dragons’ lead, 4-2.
Drexel put up three more runs in the bottom of the second. The Dragons loaded the bases with one out after a walk to DiMeo before a sacrifice fly to left drove a run across the dish. A wild pitch moved runners to scoring position before a two-RBI single up the middle increased Drexel’s lead to 7-2.
The Phoenix had an opportunity to respond in the top of the third. Rebecca Murray reached on a one-out walk and was joined on the bases by Ally Repko on a walk. Elon loaded the bases on White’s second hit of the game, putting the Phoenix in a great spot to cut into its deficit. A fielder’s choice and a strikeout looking ended the threat and got the Dragons out of the jam.
Two more runs were added to Drexel’s lead in the bottom of the third. The Dragons led off with a single and moved all the way to third on a sac bunt and a wild pitch. Another runner joined her on the bases on a walk with one out before a sacrifice fly scored a run. A two-out RBI single pushed the Dragons’ advantage to 9-2 before the end of the frame.
Elon came back with two runs in the top of the fifth. One out solo home runs from Repko and White cut the Dragons’ lead to five, 9-4, but the Phoenix could not add to it as the inning came to a close.
Drexel added what seemed to be an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. A two-out RBI double to left center put the Dragons ahead 10-4 as the game moved to the seventh frame.
Elon struck out to open the seventh, but started to chip away at the Dragons’ lead with the next two at bats. Repko and White provided back-to-back solo home runs for the second time, making it a four run game. Horn and Walton followed with consecutive singles to give the Phoenix runners on with one out as Keagan Goldwait took position in the batter’s box. The Sugar Land, Texas, native provided the third homer of the inning on a three-run blast to left, cutting Drexel’s lead to one. Undaunted, that set the stage for Tia Mitchell, who tied the contest at 10-all on her first home run of the season to center and eventually forced extras.
The Phoenix carried its momentum into the top of the eighth. Murray opened the inning with a single and was joined on the base paths by Repko, who received a free pass. White then put the Phoenix in front with her third home run of the game, a three-run blast lined to center field, that put the Phoenix ahead 13-10.
Walton was able to work around a one-out walk in the bottom of the eighth and retired the side to complete the comeback for the Phoenix.