ELON, N.C. – Amanda Allen’s walk-off solo home run in game two capped off a pair of much needed victories for the Elon softball team on Saturday, May 4. The Phoenix (20-30, 7-14 Southern Conference) swept Chattanooga (26-25, 10-10 SoCon) in a doubleheader today with the Phoenix winning the opening game, 6-4, before taking game two, 2-1, on Allen’s heroics in the bottom of the seventh at Hunt Softball Park.
The win snapped Elon’s nine-game losing streak to the Mocs dating back to 2011. Both squads return to the diamond tomorrow at 1 p.m. as Phoenix celebrates Senior Day for its 2013 class of Ali Ford, Camille Hill, Kari Pervell and Tomeka Watson.
Elon 6, Chattanooga 4
The Phoenix offense started very quickly as Watson led off the game with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a Aly Quintana sacrifice bunt. Carleigh Nester’s sac fly to left on the following at bat enabled Watson to cross home plate and put Elon on the scoreboard. After Grace Eng singled through the left side, Johanna Spencer doubled into left center to drive her in and gave Elon a 2-0 lead after the bottom of the first.
Chattanooga responded with two runs of its own in the top half of the second. Ninjja Suetsugu reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to second after Alyssa Taylor singled to the shortstop. The pair moved into scoring position on a wild pitch before Sam Taylor drove them both in with a two-out double into left center to tie the game at 2-2. Elon starter Chelsea White walked the next batter before striking out Anyssa Robles to end the inning.
Elon regained the lead in the bottom half of the third. Nester hit a solo home run down the left field line to give Elon a 3-2 advantage. The reigning SoCon Player of the Week and the league’s Player of the Month in April hit her 11th homer of the season off a 1-1 pitch.
Both teams went scoreless in the fourth, but the Mocs tied the game on a Robles solo home run in the top of the fifth. Roble took a 1-1 pitch from White into left center that tied the game for a second time.
In the bottom half, Elon took charge and regained the lead for good. Both Watson and Quintana singled to lead off the inning with Watson advancing to third on a stolen base. Watson was called out at home trying to score from third on a Nester fielder’s choice. The bases became loaded after Eng was walked and Spencer cleared them on a two-out single into right field. An error on the right fielder provided all three runs to score and gave the Phoenix a 6-3 advantage.
Chattanooga was able to plate another run in the top of the seventh to cut its deficit to two, 6-4, on a two-out single by Suetsugu before White induced the final out on a pop up.
White (6-14) picked up the complete game win for the Phoenix. The sophomore allowed four runs on 12 hits while striking out five. The loss went to Chattanooga’s Taylor Deason (16-11) who went 6.0 innings and gave up eight hits that led to six runs, five earned.
Watson was 3-for-4 at the plate with a run scored. Spencer added a pair of base hits while Nester, Eng and Quintana added a hit each.
Elon 2, Chattanooga 1
Elon again plated the first runs of the game at start the second contest. In the bottom of the second inning, Ford hit a one-out single up the middle and advanced to second after Allen grounded out to the pitcher. Ford crossed the plate for Elon’s first score after Hill reached on an error by the second baseman and the Phoenix took a 1-0 lead.
Phoenix game two starter Kayla Caruso cruised through the first three innings, scattering two hits over that span. The Mocs however were able to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth on a Stepanie Rieck two-out single to right field.
The Phoenix looked to regain the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Spencer singled through the left side to lead off the inning and Lauren Oldham drew a free pass to give Elon two on base. A Ford sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position with only one out, but the Mocs were able to escape the inning after the next two batters went down in order.
The game became a pitchers’ duel after the top of the fifth as neither team recorded a hit until the seventh. Caruso retired seven straight batters and kept the Phoenix in it after she pitched her sixth scoreless inning after the top of the seventh.
The Phoenix did not wait long as Allen took a 3-1 pitch from Chattanooga’s Kaisey Carson over the center field fence to give the maroon and gold the 2-1 win. The one-out solo shot was Allen’s second homer on the year, with both coming in walk-off fashion.
Allen was one of four Elon players who recorded a hit in the second game versus the Mocs. Caruso (10-12) earned the win after going 7.0 innings with one run allowed, unearned, on five hits.
Carson (4-9) took the loss for Chattanooga after giving up four hits and two runs, one earned, on the afternoon.