ELON, N.C. – In its final week of the regular-season, the Elon softball team will take a break from Southern Conference play to host North Carolina A&T in a doubleheader on Wednesday, May 1. The Phoenix (16-30) and the Aggies (7-30) are slated for a 4 p.m. start in the opening game at Hunt Softball Park.
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.
Going into Wednesday’s twin bill, the Phoenix and the Aggies have faced each other 42 times in the all-time series that dates back to 1991 in the fast-pitch era. The two teams split in their meeting last season in Greensboro, N.C., but the Phoenix hold a commanding 33-9 advantage all-time over the Aggies.
Last Time Out
Elon traveled to Furman last weekend, April 27-28, but inclement weather forced the schools to complete only a single contest in the original three-game SoCon series on Saturday. The Paladins took an early 1-0 lead after the bottom of the first inning before the game was halted due to a three-hour rain delay in the bottom half of the third. Furman added another run to the scoreboard after the delay to move ahead 2-0.
Carleigh Nester tied the contest at 2-2 after hitting a two out two-run home run in the top of the seventh that gave the Phoenix hope, but Furman responded with a walk-off homer in the bottom half of the frame to give itself the 3-2 win.
Scouting the Phoenix
Nester’s home run was the junior’s third in as many games and further extending her single-season high in the category. The Kernersville, N.C., native has hit nine homers on the season, including seven in the month of April. She has also continued her stellar play against league competition, leading the team in hits (24), runs scored (14), RBI (20), home runs (five) and slugging percentage (.708) while ranking second in batting average (.369) in 19 SoCon contests. She has also posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage throughout the season.
On Monday, April 29, Nester was honored as the SoCon’s Player of the Week, the first league Weekly honor in her career. Last week, Nester hit .556 (5-for-9) with three home runs, six RBI and three runs scored versus N.C. Central, NC State and Furman.
Senior outfielder Tomeka Watson continues to pace the SoCon in several categories this season. The Jackson, Ga., is the only player in the league with a .400 batting average (.435), .800 slugging percentage (.812), .500 on-base percentage (.524) and more that 20 stolen bases (23).
In the circle, sophomore Chelsea White continues to pitch well down the stretch after posting an ERA of 2.03 last week in her two starts. In her last five outings, White has posted an ERA of 2.02 in her 27.2 innings pitched with 14 strikeouts with a record of 2-3.
Scouting North Carolina A&T
N.C. A&T is 7-30 on the year and is a member of the MEAC Conference. The Aggies fell in a doubleheader to its most recent opponent, Appalachian State, last Wednesday, April 24. The Mountaineers took game one, 1-0, and completed the sweep with a 5-3 victory in the second game over the Aggies.
At the plate, the Aggies are batting .255 as a unit and have four players with at least 20 at bats hitting over .300. Sabrina Edmonds has a team-leading .383 average on the year and is one of three players with 20 or more RBI for the Aggies. Jax Kaye Woodard paces the team in RBI (27) and is tied with Raven Smith for the team-lead in home runs (seven).
Three hurlers have seen time in the circle for the Aggies this season, who come into Wednesday’s matchup with a 6.77 team ERA. Shelby Snyder heads the staff with a 4-4 record and an ERA of 4.57 while Ashira Dobson is the team’s workhorse with 97.2 innings pitched this season.
Elon hosts its final series of the regular-season with a showdown versus Chattanooga on May 4-5. The three-game slate is slated for a 1 p.m. start on Saturday, May 4, with a doubleheader before concluding the series on Sunday, May 5. The team will honor its four seniors on that day with Ali Ford, Camille Hill, Kari Pervell and Tomeka Watson comprising the 2013 senior class.