ELON, N.C. – After taking the first two games of its conference-opening series against Furman yesterday, the Elon softball team won today’s finale, 3-0, to complete the sweep at East Field. The Phoenix improve to 14-3 overall and 3-0 in the Southern Conference, while the Paladins fall to 7-13 (0-3 SoCon).
Erin O’Shea (8-1) recorded her sixth complete game and fourth shutout of the year in the win. The senior gave up five hits in the seven innings and struck out six. Furman’s Lakyn Shull (4-3) took the loss after six innings and two earned runs off five hits.
Johanna Spencer scored one run and recorded one RBI for the Phoenix, while Carleigh Nester and Danielle Lafferty scored the other two Elon runs on the day.
With two outs in the bottom of the second, Lafferty drew a walk to keep the inning alive for the Phoenix. Lafferty scored on a double to centerfield by Spencer, while Spencer advanced to third on an error by Furman second baseman Emily Boyer. Lauren Oldham then singled to second to bring home Spencer and put the Phoenix up 2-0.
The next inning, Elon found itself with two runners in scoring position after a one-out double up the middle by Nester and a single through the right side by E. O’Shea. After E. O’Shea stole second, Cyra Cottrell sent a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Nester, the maroon and gold’s third run of the day.
After three scoreless innings, the Paladins used every last opportunity to attempt a comeback in the top of the seventh. With two outs, Stephanie Spain singled to the shortstop and Alexis Galinski singled to centerfield to bring the potential tying run to the plate. Nikki Legg then drew a walk to load the bases. With a 2-2 count, E. O’Shea was able to get Alex Bimonte to pop up as Cottrell made an impressive catch in shallow centerfield to end the game.
Elon will return to East Field on Wednesday, March 14, to take on the No. 23 North Carolina Tar Heels at 4 p.m.