RALEIGH, N.C. – It had been seven years since the Elon softball team recorded a win against North Carolina State, but tonight’s 7-1 Phoenix victory at Dail Stadium changed that and snapped a six-game losing skid to the Wolfpack. The win moves the maroon and gold to 20-14 on the season and drops the Wolfpack to 21-25.
Erin O’Shea (13-7) earned the win after pitching four shutout innings for the Phoenix, giving up four hits and striking out three. The loss went to Morgan Peeler (7-8) who allowed four runs off five hits in 3.2 innings. Emily Weiman pitched 2.1 innings for the Wolfpack and gave up the other three runs, one unearned, off four hits.
Carleigh Nester and Tomeka Watson both went 1-for-4 at the plate but recorded two of Elon’s most important hits of the game. Nester scored one run and four RBI, while Watson also tallied one run and two RBI. Ali Ford recorded two hits in the game and knocked in Elon’s seventh run of the game.
The Phoenix broke the game open in the top of the fourth to put the first runs of the game on the board. With one out, Johanna Spencer hit a bullet through the left side that was stopped by State’s shortstop but allowed Spencer to reach first on the play. Danielle Lafferty then hit a single to second that advanced Spencer to second. After Camille Hill drew a walk to load the bases, Nester hit a two-out grand slam to center field to put the maroon and gold up 4-0.
The Wolfpack then made a change at pitcher, bringing in Weiman for Peeler. After Lauren Oldham drew a two-out walk, Watson hit Elon’s second home run in three batters to left center field for two more runs to increase the Phoenix advantage to six. The home runs marked Nester’s second of the season and Watson’s fourth.
NC State had a chance to answer in the bottom of the fourth after a leadoff single by Renada Davis. After back-to-back pop outs to the infield, Katie Mansilla singled to third and Scout Albertson drew a walk to load the bases. With two outs and a full count, E. O’Shea got Caitlin Dent to strike out looking to end the inning and keep the shutout alive.
Elon added another run in the top of the fifth off a two-out single by Ford through the left side to score E. O’Shea from third and make it a 7-0 lead. E. O’Shea led the inning off with a single that dropped in the gap in right field and moved to third off an error by Wolfpack right fielder Sara Lippard.
In the bottom of the inning, Watson relieved E. O’Shea in the circle for the Phoenix. State scored its one run of the game off a hit by Davis that was misfielded by Lafferty at short and scored Landon Warren from second. Warren drew a one-out walk to reach base and moved to second off a single to right by Toni Ann Williford. Watson ended the inning by striking out Leah Jones to keep it a six-run game, 7-1.
Kari Pervell replaced Watson in the bottom of the sixth and pitched the final two innings to preserve the 7-1 win.
Elon will return to Southern Conference play with a three-game set at Western Carolina beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 21.