BOONE, N.C. – The Elon softball team’s season ended tonight, May 11, after falling to College of Charleston, 4-2, in its fourth game of the 2012 Southern Conference Softball Championship. The seventh seeded Phoenix finishes the year 24-27, while the third seeded Cougars move on with a 35-22 record.
Hope Klicker (17-9) earned the win after pitching the complete game and allowing two runs off six hits. The loss went to Erin O’Shea (16-15), who pitched two innings and gave up three hits and two earned runs. Kari Pervell pitched five innings in relief for Elon, giving up one run and striking out seven.
Kaitlyn Piazzolla went 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and one RBI. Camille Hill also added a pair of hits in her four appearances, while Danielle Lafferty recorded an RBI.
The Cougars got on the board first with two runs in the top of the first inning. A one-out single through the left side by Ashton Jarrett, followed by walks to Kelsey Hodgson and Mackenzie Maples loaded the bases for Amanda Lonergan. Lonergan grounded out to first but the throw to home went over Elon catcher Piazzolla’s head and allowed two runs to score.
CofC added another run off a one out solo home run to left by Klicker in the top of the second to make it 3-0.
Elon closed the gap in the bottom of the second, making it 3-1, courtesy of a two out single up the middle by Lafferty. Piazzolla had hit a one out double to left to reach before scoring on Lafferty’s hit.
The Phoenix had a chance in the bottom of the third with two on and only one out. Hill had bunted to safely reach first and moved to second after the Cougars’ right fielder was not able to catch a ball hit by Tomeka Watson. Hill was called out at third on a fielder’s choice that left E. O’Shea safe at first and Watson on second. However, the maroon and gold were not able to score any runs and remained in a two-run hole.
A leadoff homer by Kelsey Hodgson, her 11th of the season, in the top of the fifth moved Charleston up by three, 4-1.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Piazzolla hit a pitch from Klicker just fair of the left field foul pole for her third home run of the year and second of the tournament, pulling Elon within two, 4-2.
Elon would not give up and made a strong comeback attempt in the bottom of the seventh. After Grace Eng drew a leadoff walk, Morgan Wright singled through the left side and moved Charyssa Parent, a pinch runner for Eng, to second. A fly ball to right by Carleigh Nester advanced both runners to second and third with one out. The Cougars then intentionally walked Watson to load the bases and bring E. O’Shea to the plate. However, the Phoenix were not able to push any runs across the plate the senior as the Cougars claimed the 4-2 win.
E. O’Shea finishes her career as Elon’s all-time leader in game appearances with 128 and second all-time in strikeouts with 464. Piazzolla leaves third in homeruns (23) and fourth in putouts (823), while Lafferty is fourth all-time in career assists 325.