ELON, N.C. – The Elon softball team was able to score two early runs in the first inning, but could not prevent Georgia Southern from claiming the series sweep today, March 10, at Hunt Softball Park. The Eagles (14-10, 3-0 Southern Conference) took the win over the Phoenix (9-9, 0-3 SoCon), 5-2, in the first series of conference play for both teams.
Sarah Purvis (7-6) earned the win after holding the maroon and gold to just three hits in her 5.0 innings of action. Allie Miles earned her third save of the year in relief of Purvis while Elon’s Chelsea White (1-3) took the loss. White pitched all 7.0 innings for the Phoenix and allowed four earned runs with four strikeouts.
Elon’s Tomeka Watson went 1-for-2 at the plate and drew two walks. Emily Cameron also earned two free passes for Elon, as the Phoenix offense could only generate four hits on the afternoon.
Georgia Southern got on the board first on a Kortny Thomas two-run home run to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
The Phoenix responded in the bottom half to tie the score at 2-2. Camille Hill and Watson both singled to reach base and advanced into scoring position after Cameron grounded out to first base. Hill would score on a passed ball followed by Watson crossing the plate and avoiding the tag on the throw. Elon would get one more on base before striking out to end the inning.
In the top of the third, Georgia Southern added the go-ahead run on a Shelby Morrill sacrifice fly into center field to score Breanna McLendon and give the Eagles a 3-2 advantage.
After Elon went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the third, Georgia Southern plated another run in the top of the fourth to give itself a 4-2 cushion. Breigh Findlay hit a two-out single into left field to score Andrea Tarashuk from third. Nicole Benton tried to add to the Eagles’ lead after hitting a fly ball into center field, but was robbed by Elon’s Carleigh Nester, who made a great diving catch to end the inning.
Nester would continue her defensive prowess in the top of the fifth. With two on and two outs, Tabby Douberley hit a shot into left center before Nester made the running catch to keep the Phoenix within distance.
Both teams went scoreless until the top of the seventh as Georgia Southern added an insurance run to make the score 5-2. Pinch runner Dominique Grossman scored on a Douberley ground out to second, but White was able to force Tarashuk to pop up to the shortstop to give Elon a final chance in the bottom of the seventh.
Nester hit a one out single into left field and advanced into scoring position after Watson drew a two-out walk. Both players would be stranded however as Elon went down on strikes to end the game.
Elon travels to the College of Charleston next weekend for a three-game series with the Cougars. Both squads will matchup in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 16 at the Patriots Point Athletics Complex in Mt. Pleasant, SC.