JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Elon softball team fell in a couple of contests today, March 26, to Jacksonville in a doubleheader at the JU Softball Complex today. The Phoenix lost game one, 7-2, then fell in the final game of the day, 11-1, to fall to 11-17 on the season.
Jacksonville quickly got on the board in the bottom half of the first on a Victoria Brown solo shot into center field for the first run of the game. Codi Kelly earned a free pass on the next at bat then stole second to move into scoring position. Ashley Simon drove her home on a single up the middle to push the lead to 2-0 after one.
Both teams went scoreless in the second inning before Elon registered its first hit on the day off a Caitlin O’Shea single in the top of the third. Carleigh Nester’s sacrifice bunt advanced O’Shea to second with Camille Hill up to bat. Hill hit a two-out single up the middle then advanced to second after a errant throw to first that scored O’Shea to bring the Phoenix within one, 2-1.
Elon starter Chelsea White and the Phoenix defense got into some trouble in the bottom half of the third. Brown hit a one-out single up the middle then advanced into scoring position after stealing second. Kelly would fly out on the next at bat, but Brown moved over the third on a wild pitch. Sarah Simon was walked to give the Dolphins runners at the corners, but White induced the final out to escape the inning.
In the top of the fourth, Emily Cameron led off with a free pass and nearly scored on a Grace Eng double into right center. The second baseman was able to take the relay front the right fielder and throw out Cameron at home. The Dolphins went with a pitching change as Taylor Rossman relieved starter Cecile Gomez in the circle, but she walked the next two batters for the Phoenix to load the bases. O’Shea was able to take advantage and drove in Eng on a two-out single to left center to tie the game at 2-2.
The Dolphins were quick to put runners on the corners in the bottom half of the fourth. Karson Tuck singled through the right side to reach base then advanced to second on an Emily Sanchez sacrifice bunt. Meagan Balding’s one-out single through the left side moved Tuck to third, but White was able to strike out Sable Lee and get Jacey Warner to ground out to the second baseman to keep the score tied at 2-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, JU plated three runs to move back in front. Codi Kelly reached on a one-out double to right center then scored after Sarah Simon laced a single up the middle. Pinch runner Jackie Dipiazza scored from second after Tuck reached on an error to push the Dolphins’ lead to two. Elon made a change in the circle as Karen Berna came on in relief for White, but JU added another run to move ahead 5-2.
JU added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth for a five-run lead over the Phoenix, 7-2.
Elon would get runners at the corners in the top of the seventh with one out, but the Phoenix would leave them stranded as the game ended at 7-2.
Brown (8-4) earned the win after pitching 3.0 innings in relief for JU, allowing only one hit. White (2-7) took the loss for Elon after going 4.2 innings with five runs allowed, four earned, on eight hits.
O’Shea led Elon with two hits, going 2-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI. Eng, Hill and Nester and had a hit for the Phoenix.
Elon was the first to mark a run on the scoreboard in the top of the first. Watson drew a two-out walk from Dale Tillman and advanced to second after stealing her 13th base of the year. Nester was able to hit a bloop single into left center to score Watson and give Elon an early 1-0 lead after the top half.
Jacksonville answered in the bottom half with back-to-back one-out home runs to jump ahead 4-1. Berna relieved starter Eve Clausen and was able to force the final two outs of the inning.
JU added another two runs in the bottom of the second. Brown hit a one-out single through the right side to advance Warner to second, who reached earlier on a fielder’s choice. Kelly doubled to right field to score Warner and move Brown to third. After Sarah Simon reached on a fielder’s choice, Ashley Simon singled up the middle to drive in Kelly and make the score 6-1.
The Dolphins continued to pad to its lead in the bottom of the third. Balding hit a one-out home run to left center to make the score 7-1. Lee then singled through the left side to reach and advanced to second after a wild pitch. Warner followed with a single to right center then advanced to second after a throwing error that scored Lee. After Brown reached on a single, Kelly singled to center to score Warner, giving JU an eight-run advantage. White took over in the circle for Berna and the Phoenix was able to get out of the inning.
Another two runs would cross the plate for Jacksonville in the bottom of the fourth, extending the lead to 11-1. The game would end in that score after the Phoenix went down in order in the top of the fifth.
Tillman (6-2) earned the win after going all five innings and allowing only one run off two hits. Clausen (1-2) took the loss for Elon.
The Phoenix will return to the confines of Hunt Softball Park for a three-game series with local rival and Southern Conference foe UNCG beginning with a single-game matchup on Friday, March 29. That game is scheduled for 5 p.m.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E Elon 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 5 3 Jacksonville 2 0 0 0 3 2 X 7 12 2
Win – BROWN, V. (8-4). Loss – White (2-7). Save – None.
Start: 1:00 pm Time: 2:15 Attendance: 89
Weather: 53 Degrees & Windy
1 2 3 4 5 R H E Elon 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 Jacksonville 4 2 3 2 X 11 15 0
Win – TILLMAN, D. (6-2). Loss – Clausen (1-2). Save – None.
Start: 3:50 pm Time: 1:20 Attendance: 102
Weather: 56 degrees
White faced 3 batters in the 4th.