CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Elon softball team lost an out of conference contest on Wednesday, April 10, to 25th-ranked North Carolina in the form of a 6-0 setback. The Phoenix (12-25) registered only four hits against the Tar Heels (32-13), despite a season-high seven strikeouts from junior Karen Berna.
Berna (3-2) took the loss for Elon after pitching 4.0 innings with six runs allowed, four earned, on seven hits. Caitlin O’Shea pitched 2.0 scoreless innings in relief for the Phoenix.
Tomeka Watson recorded half of Elon’s hit total, going 2-for-3 with a double. Grace Eng and Carleigh Nester had the other hits for the maroon and gold.
A three-run home run by UNC’s Constance Orr helped the Tar Heels get on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the opening frame. Orr hit a two-out shot to left center to give UNC an early 3-0 lead after the first.
The Tar Heels plated three more runs in the bottom of the third. Amber Parrish hit a one-out two-run homer to left center to push UNC’s advantage to 5-0. Another run would cross the plate as the Tar Heels increased their lead to six, 6-0.
After a scoreless fourth, Elon had an opportunity to put some runs on the board in the top of the fifth. Grace Eng doubled to center on a full count and moved over to third on an Ali Ford sacrifice bunt. The next two Phoenix batters could not drive her in, as UNC was able to maintain its 6-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth, Elon again placed runners into scoring position. Carleigh Nester hit a one-out single to center and advanced to third on a Tomeka Watson two-out double down the left field line. UNC pitcher Tori Spingola converted her 11th strikeout of the game to end the inning and the Phoenix’s threat.
Neither team plated another run, as the Phoenix would fall to the Tar Heels after O’Shea flied out to end the game in the top half of the seventh.
Spingola (22-10) earned the win after going 6.0 innings with no runs allowed on four hits with those 11 strikeouts.
Elon returns home to Hunt Softball Park for a three-game series with SoCon foe Western Carolina beginning this weekend, April 13-14. The Phoenix and the Catamounts will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 13, with the first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. The first contest is also the Phoenix’s annual Pink Day game.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E Elon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1 North Carolina 3 0 3 0 0 0 X 6 7 1
Win – Spingola (22-10). Loss – Berna (3-2). Save – None.
Inherited runners/scored: None. Pitches/strikes: Berna 88/55; O’Shea 32/11; Spingola 92/69; Buchholz 13/10.
Umpires – HP: Randy McLamb 1B: David Brewer 3B: Roberto Capuno
Start: 6:00 PM Time: 1:48 Attendance: 67
Weather: Sunny, 86 degrees