ELON, N.C. – Coming off its first Southern Conference victory of the season, the Elon softball team (10-11) will take a step outside of league competition this week and welcome North Carolina Central (2-19) to Hunt Softball Park on Wednesday, March 20. The single-game matchup is slated to begin at 4 p.m.
The contest was originally scheduled in Durham, N.C., at Parkwood Athletic Field, but due to facilities issues the contest was moved to Hunt Softball Park.
Fans can follow the action of the series via live stats by going to the Elon softball schedule page at elonphoenix.com. Twitter updates will also be provided at @ElonScores.
Elon and North Carolina Central have faced each other only four times prior to Wednesday’s meeting, with the Phoenix winning every contest in the series. The two teams last squared off in 2012 at the Elon Invitational, with the maroon and gold claiming an 8-2 win over the Lady Eagles.
Last Time Out
Elon earned its first conference win of the year on Sunday, March 17, at College of Charleston in the series finale of the three-game weekend slate. The Phoenix was able to plate two runs early in the top of the second inning to jump ahead 2-0 before CofC responded to take a 3-2 lead after the sixth. The maroon and gold rallied in the top of the seventh with three runs and held off the Cougars in the bottom half to earn a 5-4 win.
Sunday’s victory marked career win No. 270 for Phoenix head coach Kathy Bocock. Bocock is in her second year at the helm of the Elon softball program and has over 25 years of coaching experience, including 15 years as the head coach at Averett University.
Scouting the Phoenix
Elon improved to 10-11 and 1-5 in the SoCon after its weekend series versus College of Charleston. The Phoenix will look to build momentum moving forward after opening conference play versus last season’s league finalist, CofC and Georgia Southern.
The maroon and gold batted .274 in the three-game series against the Cougars and is second in the SoCon behind Chattanooga with a .298 average. Elon’s 22 homers and .465 slugging percentage are still the best in the conference.
Five players are hitting .300 or better in the Phoenix lineup. Johanna Spencer hit .667 (6-of-9) in the series against CofC raising her season average to .386, second on the team to Tomeka Watson’s .435. The duo is among the league leaders in home runs, batting average, slugging percentage, and RBI.
Freshman Kayla Caruso posted a 2.33 ERA versus the Cougars and is in the top-10 in the SoCon with an overall ERA of 2.95. The Kennesaw, Ga., native earned her first career save on Sunday in the win against the Cougars. Chelsea White picked up her second win of the year in the series finale against the Cougars on Sunday.
Scouting North Carolina Central
The Lady Eagles have posted a 2-19 record on the year and are a member of the MEAC Conference. NCCU played a midweek doubleheader last Thursday against Delaware State in Dover, Del., and fell to the Hornets, 9-1 and 14-0.
At the plate, the Lady Eagles are hitting .228 as a unit with Amber Kirkland batting a team-high .315. NCCU has only two home runs on the year, one by Camille Hampton who leads the team with six RBI. 17 players have seen action on the field for the Lady Eagles, with Kirkland and London Germ the only two to appear and start all 21 contests.
In the circle, London Booker has been the team’s workhorse throughout the season. The freshman has pitched 77.0 innings and has 42 strikeouts in her 18 overall appearances.
Elon will continue its road swing by heading to the Sunshine State this weekend, March 23-24, to play in the FAU Parents Weekend Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla. The Phoenix begins its four-game slate with a game against Dartmouth at 9 a.m. on Saturday.