GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Elon softball team fell to Samford in the form of an 8-0 setback in the opening single-elimination game at the 2013 Southern Conference Softball Championships on Wednesday, May 8. The Phoenix (21-31) could not overcome a 2-0 deficit in the opening frame as its season came to an end at the hands of the Bulldogs (15-33) at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
Elon recorded five hits against the Bulldogs, but left 11 runners on base. The Phoenix also had four miscues in the field in its third loss of the season to the Bulldogs.
Tomeka Watson went 2-for-3 in her final game for Elon and also drew a walk. Carleigh Nester, Grace Eng and Ali Ford also recorded a hit for the Phoenix.
The Elon pitching duo of starter Chelsea White and Kari Pervell struck out a combined 10 batters for the Phoenix, with both contributing with five apiece. White (7-15) took the loss for Elon after going 3.1 innings and allowed five runs, four earned, on four hits. Pervell allowed two hits and no earned runs in her 3.0 innings of work in relief.
Samford started the game quickly as the first two batters reached on singles. After White struck out the next batter, Alex Adams doubled down the left field line to drive in two runs and gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
After two and a half scoreless innings for both teams, Samford plated three more runs in the top of the fourth. Abby Adams hit a one-out three-run home run into left center that pushed Samford’s lead to 5-0. Pervell relived White in the circle and the senior induced the final two outs to escape the top of the inning.
In the bottom half of the fourth, Eng reached on an error by the shortstop and Johanna Spencer joined her on the bases on a hit-by-pitch. Lauren Oldham drew a free pass to load the bases for the Phoenix with no outs, but three consecutive grounders left them stranded and ended the threat.
A three-run top of the seventh inning for Samford increased Elon’s deficit to eight heading into the bottom half. The Phoenix was able to load the bases again with two outs, but Samford forced the final out of the game and advanced on an 8-0 victory.
Samford’s Misha Aldridge (3-4) earned the win in relief after pitching 4.0 innings and allowed four hits. Starter Shelby Scott went 3.0 scoreless innings and allowed only a hit.
The loss ended the careers of Ford, Pervell, Watson and Camille Hill for the Phoenix. Watson finishes her illustrious career as the all-time leader in hits, home runs, RBI’s. Hill finishes among the top-five in career fielding percentage and Pervell is tied for fourth in career saves. Ford was a two-year starter for the Phoenix after splitting time between softball and women’s basketball team.