ELON, N.C. – The Elon softball team returns to Hunt Softball Park this weekend for a pivotal three-game series versus Southern Conference foe Western Carolina. The Phoenix (12-25, 2-10 SoCon) and the Catamounts (15-28, 5-10 SoCon) will square off in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 13, beginning at 1 p.m. before concluding the series on Sunday, April 14, with the first pitch slated at 1 p.m.
Fans can follow the action of the game via live stats by going to the Elon softball schedule page at elonphoenix.com. Twitter updates will also be provided at @ElonScores.
The Phoenix will host its annual Pink Day game in the opening contest of the series on Saturday. Co-sponsored by the Little Pink Houses of Hope, the team and its coaches will wear pink jerseys and shirts in support of breast cancer awareness. There will be a pink balloon release in memory of those who affected by breast cancer with balloons being purchased with a donation at the Little Pink Houses of Hope table at the stadium entrance as well as the opportunity to make regular charitable donations to the Little Pink Houses of Hope.
Elon and Western Carolina have faced each other 19 times in a series that dates back to 2006 in the fast-pitch era. The Phoenix holds a 13-6 advantage in the all-time meeting between the two schools, despite being swept by the Catamounts in last year’s series in Cullowhee, N.C. Prior to last season’s matchup, the maroon and gold had won six straight over WCU.
Last Time Out
The Phoenix traveled to No. 25 North Carolina on Wednesday, April 10, for a non-conference contest versus the Tar Heels. Elon was not able to get the bats going offensively as the team was shutout for only the third time this season in the form of a 6-0 setback.
Junior pitcher Karen Berna fanned a career-high seven batters in that contest for Elon, tying the team-best for an individual this season. Tomeka Watson went 2-for-3 at the plate to raise her league-leading average to .450 on the year.
Scouting the Phoenix
Watson is currently the only player in the SoCon batting over .400 and continues to threaten Kelly Lloyd’s program’s single-season mark of .445 in 1997. Along with batting average, Watson leads the SoCon in seven total offensive categories; batting average, slugging percentage (.883), on base percentage (.548), home runs (13), total bases (98), walks (24) and stolen bases (20).
Junior Carleigh Nester has also performed at a high level during league play. The Kernersville, N.C., native is batting a team-high .400 (9-for-18) with three home runs, 11 RBI and six doubles in 12 SoCon games in 2013.
As a team, the Phoenix ranks fourth in the league with a .270 average and is second in home runs with 28 total on the year. Elon will also look to earn its 10th victory of the season at Hunt Softball Park.
Scouting Western Carolina
The Catamounts are 15-28 on the year with a 5-10 mark in SoCon play. Georgia swept WCU in a doubleheader in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday, April 10, in the recent contest for the Catamounts.
Senior Shemekia Scotton paces the Western Carolina offensive attack with a team-best .296 average along with four home runs and 21 RBI. Sophomore Heather Chastain leads WCU with seven homers and 22 RBI.
In the circle, four different players have seen time in the circle for the Catamounts, who hold a staff ERA of 3.89. Sophomore Jordan Garrett has been the team’s workhorse throughout the year with 151.0 innings pitched, a record of 10-9 and a team-low ERA of 3.29.
Elon will be off a week prior before its three-game series at Samford in Birmingham, Ala. The Phoenix and the Bulldogs will square off in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 20, beginning at 2 p.m.