ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team will kick off the 2013 campaign in Athens, Ga., at the Red and Black Showcase hosted by the University of Georgia. The Phoenix will open the tournament against Ohio State on Friday, Feb. 8, at 12:30 p.m. followed by a match-up with host No. 8 Georgia at 3 p.m. at Jack Turner Stadium.
The maroon and gold closes the tournament on Saturday, Feb. 9, with a rematch against the Bulldogs at 12:30 p.m. followed by Winthrop at 5:30 p.m.
Elon vs. the Field
The Phoenix will face the Buckeyes for the first time, while the matchup against Georgia will be the seventh and eighth meeting between the two schools. Elon last faced the Bulldogs on May 21, 2010, in the NCAA Regionals. The maroon and gold will face Winthrop for the 20th time, marking the first meeting since defeating the Lady Eagles, 8-6, in 2010.
A Look at the Phoenix
Elon returns 14 players from 2012, including six starters at the field positions. Head coach Kathy Bocock also returns for her second season at the helm of the program after leading the team with the interim tag last year. The Phoenix finished 2012 with a 24-27 overall record and a 9-15 mark in Southern Conference play.
Senior and All-SoCon first-team selection Tomeka Watson returns after leading the team in a number of offensive categories last season, including batting average (.371), home runs (seven), RBI (34) and stolen bases (27). She will look to etch her name in the Elon record books as she sits second in career stolen bases (75) and needs seven homers to become the program’s all-time leader.
Junior Carleigh Nester also returns after hitting .338 with 34 hits, 33 RBI, and pacing the squad in doubles (10) and triples (2) in 2012. Nester and Watson were selected to the 2013 preseason All-SoCon teams last week.
On the pitching side, senior Kari Pervell is the leading returning pitcher after pitching 58.2 innings and posting a 2-3 record with a 2.74 ERA in 22 appearances last year. Three other players who saw time in the circle – junior Karen Berna, sophomores Caitlin O’Shea and Chelsea White – will look to make an impact for the Phoenix this season.
Adding depth and competition to the 2013 squad are six newcomers who look to make an impact with their first year in the program; freshmen Emily Cameron, Kayla Caruso, Emilie Rowand and Marissa Stefanelli, along with sophomore transfers Amanda Allen (Kentucky) and Eve Clausen (Hartford).
After the Red and Black Showcase, Elon will take a break before its home opener against Campbell in its new stadium, Hunt Softball Park, on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 4 p.m.