ELON, N.C. – The Elon softball team end its five-game slate this week with three contests this weekend at Southern Conference foe Furman. The Phoenix (16-29, 5-13 SoCon) and the Paladins (24-24, 7-10 SoCon) will face each other in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 27, at 1 p.m. before concluding the series on Sunday, April 28, also at 1 p.m., at the Pepsi Softball Stadium.
Fans can follow the series via live stats by going to the Elon softball schedule page at elonphoenix.com. Twitter updates will also be provided @ElonScores.
Both schools have met 37 times heading into this weekend’s series, with the Paladins holding a 21-16 lead in the all-time matchup. The Phoenix swept Furman last season in Elon and outscored Furman 25-9 in the three-game series.
Last Time Out
Elon split on a pair of early week games at North Carolina Central and versus NC State. The Phoenix defeated N.C. Central, 9-1, on Tuesday, April 23, in Durham, N.C., behind a pair of Carleigh Nester home runs. Elon’s offense was quieted on Wednesday, April 25, versus NC State as the maroon and gold fell to the Wolfpack in an 11-0 setback at Hunt Softball Park.
Scouting the Phoenix
Nester has come on strong recently and has established a new single-season high in home runs with eight on the year. The junior center fielder is batting .800 (4-for-5) in both games this week with two runs scored and four RBI. The Kernersville, N.C., native is hitting .377 during SoCon play and has a team-best four home runs and 18 RBI.
Fellow junior Lauren Oldham has also been hot at the plate this week. The Pittsboro, N.C., native had a season-high three RBI versus N.C. Central, is hitting .571 (4-for-7) on the week and is one of two Phoenix players to have multi-hits in both contests versus the Lady Eagles and the Wolfpack along with Nester.
In the circle, Chelsea White allowed only one run on Tuesday versus N.C. Central in her 4.0 innings of work. The staff also welcomed the return of senior Kari Pervell versus the Lady Eagles after missing the beginning of the 2013 campaign because of injury. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native pitched 1.0 inning against the Lady Eagles without allowing a hit and recording a strikeout.
Furman’s record currently sits even at 24-24 after the Paladins earned a sweep at South Carolina State on Wednesday, April 24. The Paladins took game one, 6-2, before concluding the doubleheader with an 11-1 victory in the second contest.
Offensively, Furman is batting .255 as a team with one player, Ambree Mueller, batting over .300 and six others hitting between nearly .260 to .280. Mueller also leads the team with eight home runs on the year.
The Paladins have seen three pitchers make at least 26 appearances this season while leading the SoCon with a 2.34 ERA. Lauren Collier leads the staff with a 12-10 record and an ERA of 1.93 in her 137.2 innings this year.
Elon returns home to close out the 2013 regular-season next week with a game on Wednesday, May 1, versus North Carolina A&T at 4 p.m. and hosts Chattanooga in its final SoCon series of the year next weekend, May 4-5.