ELON, N.C. – The Elon softball team faces a five-game slate this week, beginning with a pair of early week contests versus in-state rivals North Carolina Central and NC State. The Phoenix (15-28) will battle the Lady Eagles (4-39) in Durham, N.C., on Tuesday, April 23, before hosting the Wolfpack (26-18-1) on Wednesday, April 24, at Hunt Softball Park. Both games are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Fans can follow the action of the games via live stats by going to the Elon softball schedule page at elonphoenix.com. The NC State game will be streamed live online on the Elon Phoenix channel at ustream.tv as well as live audio provided by WSOE. Twitter updates will also be provided at @ElonScores.
Series History vs. N.C. Central
The Phoenix and the Lady Eagles have squared off five times in the all-time meeting between the two schools with Elon winning every contest. Both teams met earlier in the season on March 20, with the Phoenix defeating the Lady Eagles, 6-3, at Hunt Softball Park. Tomeka Watson hit 2-for-3 with a home run in the contest for Elon.
This is the first game of the series that will be played outside of Elon. N.C. Central was originally scheduled to host the March 20 contest, but both schools swapped its home games after facilities issues at the Eagles home field at Parkwood Athletic Field forced the change.
Series History vs. NC State
Wednesday will be the 13th meeting between Elon and NC State with both schools deadlocked at 6-6 in the all-time series. Last season, the Phoenix snapped a six-game losing skid to the Wolfpack after earning a 7-1 victory in Raleigh. Watson and Carleigh Nester homered in the game for Elon with Nester also driving in four RBI.
Last Time Out
The Phoenix is coming off a Southern Conference road contest at Samford this past weekend, April 20-21. Elon was able to split its doubleheader with the Bulldogs on Saturday, April 20, earning a 2-0 victory in the second game. Sophomore Chelsea White pitched a complete game shutout for the Phoenix while scattering six hits in her 7.0 innings of work. Nester’s two-run home run in the top of the third provided the lone scores in the contest, with the junior setting a new single-season total for homers with six.
Scouting the Phoenix
White’s shutout win on Saturday was the first of her career and the second on the season for the Elon pitching staff. The Salisbury, N.C., native had an ERA of 2.03 in the two games versus the Bulldogs and walked only one batter in her 10.1 innings pitched.
Nester’s home run gives her 16 total in her career, tied for eighth on the program’s all-time list. The center fielder is also a double shy of becoming the fifth player in school history to record 40 or more in a career.
Watson is currently the lone player in the SoCon batting over .400, with a league-best average of .442. The Jackson, Ga., native will look to become only the second player in school history with over 100 career stolen bases as she is just three shy of the accolade. Like Nester, she also has a chance to reach 40 career doubles, just four shy of the mark.
Scouting North Carolina Central
The Lady Eagles are 4-39 on the year, but was able to earn a victory in its last contest at Florida A&M, 6-4, on Sunday. Theresa Stephens is in her second year as the head coach of the NCCU softball program. Prior to the N.C. Central job, Stephens was an assistant coach at Campbell.
At the plate, the Lady Eagles are batting .216 as a team with Amber Kirkland and Emerie Germ leading the way with averages of .286 and .280, respectively. Camille Hampton is the only player on the squad with more than one homer and 10 RBI as she paces the team in both categories with four homers and 14 RBI.
In the circle, five players have seen action for the Lady Eagles in 2013. Freshmen London Booker has been the staff workhorse this season, leading the team in innings pitched (151.2) and complete games (14).
Scouting NC State
The Wolfpack has posted a record of 26-18-1 under first-year head coach Shawn Rychcik in 2013. A member of the ACC Conference, NC State has won five in a row, including a sweep of Virginia on the road last weekend.
As a team, the Wolfpack has hit 62 home runs on the season and are led by sophomore Renada Davis (20) and senior Caitlin Dent (10). The duo also paces the program in RBI with Dent contributing a team-best 39.
Two pitchers have seen action toeing the rubber this season for NC State, but sophomore Emily Weiman figures to see the most action. Weiman has started all but four games for the Wolfpack in 2013 and has a record of 24-16 in 255.0 innings pitched and an ERA of 1.98.
Elon takes another SoCon road trip this weekend, April 27-28, as the Phoenix travels to Furman for a three-game series versus the Paladins. A doubleheader on Saturday, April 27, at 1 p.m. kicks off the matchup followed with the conclusion of the series on Sunday, April 28, at 1 p.m.