Phoenix Softball Blanks Owls to Start Buzz Classic

WOODSTOCK, Ga. – The Elon softball team made it four straight wins after earning a 5-0 victory of Kennesaw State today, March 2, in the Buzz Classic. The Phoenix improves to 9-2 on the season, while the Owls drop to 9-6.

Erin O’Shea (5-1) earned the shutout win for Elon, going six innings and giving up only three hits. The loss went to Jessica Cross (3-4) who allowed four runs, two unearned, off five hits.

Freshman Cyra Cottrell went 2-for-3 on the day and recorded two RBI. Carleigh Nester recorded one hit in two at bats, while scoring one run, earning one RBI and stealing two bases.

A leadoff single to left field by Morgan Wright got everything started for the Phoenix in the top of the third. Lauren Oldham then reached on a fielder’s choice as Charyssa Parent, a pinch runner for Wright, advanced to second safely on a throwing error by Cross. Camille Hill loaded the bases with a single down the left field line as Elon scored its first run after Tomeka Watson reached on a fielding error by KSU shortstop Carly Van Auken. With no outs, Nester singled down the right field line to score Oldham and leave the bases loaded. E. O’Shea singled to left center to push Hill across the plate for a 3-0 lead and advance Watson and Nester. After Cross came in to relieve Vickery, Cottrell drew a walk to bring home Watson for a 4-0 edge.

E. O’Shea and the rest of the defense retired all six batters in the bottom of the third and fourth innings, keeping off any threat from KSU. The Owls had their best chance to score in the sixth when Jensen Hackett reached on a bunt that was mishandled by Cottrell. After Cross was hit by a pitch, KSU had runners at first and second with two outs. E. O’Shea got Sharon Swanson to pop up to Wright at first base to end the inning, preserving the shutout.

The Phoenix added another run in the top of the seventh off an RBI by Cottrell. Nester drew a walk to start the inning, stole second and then advanced to third off a sacrifice bunt by Mackenzie Harrelson. A double to left center by Cottrell brought home Nester and increased the maroon and gold advantage to five.

Caitlin O’Shea relieved E. O’Shea in the bottom of the seventh, allowing only one hit and getting four of the final three batters to ground out to finalize Elon’s 5-0 victory.

Elon will continue play in the Buzz Classic with a game against Southeastern Louisiana at 1 p.m. and Georgia State at 4 p.m. tomorrow, March 3.