COLUMBIA, S.C. – After three straight cancelled games, the Elon softball team got back on the field today, Feb. 25, with two wins in the Gamecock Invitational. The Phoenix (7-2) defeated George Washington (0-5) by a score of 4-1 and Presbyterian (2-5), 11-5, to end the day at Beckham Field.
The Phoenix got things going right away by scoring two runs in the top of the first. After Camille Hill grounded out to Clauss to start the inning, Tomeka Watson singled down the left field line to put a runner on for Elon. Both Cyra Cottrell and Watson found themselves safe at second and third on a failed fielder’s choice as Carleigh Nester came to the plate. A walk to Nester loaded the bases for the Phoenix with just one out. Erin O’Shea sent Clauss’ first pitch to GWU shortstop Victoria Valos whose error let her reach and scored Watson and Cottrell, putting the maroon and gold up 2-0 early.
After E. O’Shea retired all three batters in order in the bottom of the first, Elon went back to work in the second inning. Danielle Lafferty singled to right field and Hill executed a bunt to third that moved Lafferty to second and left her safe at first. With a full count, Watson singled to right field to score both Lafferty and Hill to give the Phoenix a four-run advantage.
E. O’Shea pitched five hitless innings before a giving up a run on the bottom of the sixth. A single by Valos to center field scored Lauren Wilson who had reached on a walk and advanced to second on a throwing error by Elon third baseman Johanna Spencer.
Caitlin O’Shea relieved E. O’Shea in the bottom of the seventh and sent all three Colonials back to the dugout in order to end the game with a 4-1 victory.
E. O’Shea (4-1) went six full innings for the win, facing 24 batters and giving up one unearned run off one hit, while striking out five. C. O’Shea closed out the game by retiring all three batters she faced in the seventh, including one strikeout. The Colonials Kara Clauss (0-4) took the loss after pitching all seven innings and giving up four runs, two unearned, off six hits.
Both Watson and Hill went 2-for-4 at the plate and scored one run. Watson also record two RBI.
After Watson reached on a fielder’s choice at the beginning of the first inning, both Nester and E. O’Shea were walked by Kensley Loudermelk to load the bases. Cottrell then reached on a fielder’s choice that advanced Nester and E. O’Shea but found Watson out at home. With two outs and the bases loaded, Aly Quintana received a walk, which walked home Nester for the first score of the game. On a full count, Lafferty then singled through the right side and then advanced to second on a throwing error by first baseman Mary Ellen Morris. The error scored Quintana, Cottrell and E. O’Shea, giving the Phoenix a 4-0 lead.
In the top of the second, Elon loaded the bases with only one out after Hill reached on a bunt, a single by Watson and walk to Nester. E. O’Shea got to first on a bunt that scored Hill after an error by PC’s Loudermelk. A wild pitch then brought home Watson to make it 6-0 for the Phoenix and moved E. O’Shea and Nester to second and third. Nester scored another run for Elon off a throwing error by Blue Hose shortstop Jill McLean, which put Quintana on first safely, giving the Phoenix a 7-0 lead.
The Blue Hose answered in the bottom of the inning with five runs. Lyndsey York reached with one out off a single to center, followed by Morris, who singled up the middle and moved York to second. Both runners advanced after a bunt by McLean that loaded the bases for PC. York scored off a groundout to second by Tera Powell for the first Blue Hose run of the day. Morris made it a 7-2 game, scoring an unearned run off a muffed throw to first by Cottrell in an attempt to get out Shelby Petik. With two on, Morgan Durham hit a home run to left field to score three more runs for the Blue Hose and cut the Phoenix lead to two, 7-5.
Morgan Wright started the third inning off for Elon by doubling to right field and then advanced to third off a ground out to third by Lauren Oldham. Wright was brought home off a single through the right side by Nester to put the maroon and gold up 8-5.
After a scoreless fourth inning, the Phoenix put three more runs on the board in the top of the fifth. With two outs. Hill reached on a bunt and then stole second. Watson then reached on a fielding error by McLean, advancing Hill to third. Nester was then walked for the third time of the game to load the bases for E. O’Shea, who doubled to left field for three RBI to increase the Elon advantage to six, 11-5.
Elon starter Kari Pervell gave up only one hit and struck out four in the final three innings to preserve the 11-5 victory for the Phoenix over the Blue Hose. The junior now owns a 2-0 record on the season after allowing six hits and one earned run in the complete game. Loudermelk (1-1) took the loss, also pitching a complete game, allowing four earned runs off nine hits and striking out three.
Hill went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored, while E. O’Shea’s one hit of the game gave her three RBI. Nester, who drew three walks in four at bats, also recorded one hit, one RBI and three runs.
Elon will play Presbyterian again tomorrow, Feb. 26, in the final game of the Gamecock Invitational at 5 p.m.