Elon Softball Fall Short in Home Opener

ELON, N.C. – Tomeka Watson hit her 23rd career home run, but the Elon softball team suffered a 7-5 setback to Campbell on Wednesday, Feb. 20, spoiling the Phoenix’s first game in its new stadium at Hunt Softball Park. The Camels improved to 7-2 while Elon falls to 1-4.

Watson hit her third homer of the season with a solo shot down the left field line that was originally ruled foul. After a brief discussion with Phoenix head coach Kathy Bocock, the umpire overturned the call pulling the Phoenix within one, 2-1. The next two batters were walked, but Campbell was able to maneuver out of the inning clinging to its one-run lead.

After a scoreless top of the second, Elon added two runs in the bottom half. Grace Eng homered over left center to tie the game at 2-2 and ending the day for Camels’ starter Courtney Roberts, who was relieved in the circle by Olivia Scarborough.

Lauren Oldham hit a two-out single then stole second to move herself into scoring position with Camille Hill coming to the plate. Hill was able to reach on an error by the second baseman enabling Oldham to score after the catcher could not control the ball on the tag at the plate. Hill would be called out in a rundown between second and third, but the Phoenix went into the top of the third ahead 3-2.

The Camels plated four runs in the top of the fourth to pull back ahead 6-3. Stephanie Jones singled to drive in Ericka Nesbitt to tie the score at 3-3. Raven Lee added a three-run homer over right center to push Campbell ahead 6-3. Karen Berna relieved starter Kayla Caruso and was able to get out of the remainder of the inning.

Elon would threaten in the bottom of the third with runners in scoring position, but was unable to muster any runs on the board. Both squads will go scoreless in the fourth, but Campbell plated its final run in the top of the fifth after Shaela Churchill earned a two-out walk with the bases loaded, scoring Kerstine Womack. Nesbitt would ground out to end the inning, with Campbell ahead 7-3.

The Phoenix would answer with Watson leading off the bottom with a double and then was driven home by Johanna Spencer’s home run over center field to pull Elon within two, 7-5. Emily Cameron earned a free pass on the next at bat, forcing Campbell to make a pitching change with Julia Callicutt relieving Scarborough in the circle.

The Phoenix would add another runner on the base paths after Aly Quintana walked, but Callicutt would retire the next three batters to end the inning.

Elon’s last chance came in the bottom of seventh with two on and one out, but Calicutt would sit down the next two batters to end the game.

Scarborough (3-0) would earn the win after 3.0 innings of work while Calicutt recorded her first save of the season.

Caruso (0-2) took the loss for Elon after pitching 2.2 innings. Berna allowed only one earned one in 4.1 innings of action with two strikeouts.

The Phoenix return to the field to host the Phoenix Softball Clash beginning on Friday, Feb. 22, at 4:30 p.m. versus Saint Peter’s.