STATESBORO, Ga. – Carleigh Nester became the program’s all-time leader in RBI, but the Elon University softball team dropped its Southern Conference series finale at Georgia Southern on Sunday, March 23, 9-1, in a six-inning affair. The Phoenix fell to 16-12-1 and 1-5 in SoCon play while the Eagles improved to 21-10 and 5-1 in league play.
Nester and Phoenix plated the first run of the game in the top of the opening frame. The senior outfielder hit a two-out solo shot to left field for her 11th home run of the season and an early 1-0 lead. The RBI was the 126th in Nester’s career, moving her past former All-American Tomeka Watson (2010-13) on the program’s all-time list.
Georgia Southern responded in the bottom half of the first inning to tie the game at 1-1. Taylor Rogers led off with a single and stole second, moving into scoring position. She was driven in on a sacrifice bunt by Emily Snider. The Eagles would have another runner reach base in the inning before the Phoenix recorded the final out on ground out to first.
Rogers would score again for the Eagles in the bottom of the third to give Georgia Southern the lead. Rogers beat out a single to first then stole second before reaching third on a grounder to the pitcher by Snider. Kourtny Thomas reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Rogers to put the Eagles up front by one. A double by Kaitlyn Johnson drove in Thomas and Shelby Morrill, who had reached earlier on a walk, to put the Eagles up 4-1 after the third.
The Eagles added four more runs to the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth to take a commanding 8-1 lead. The Eagles added its final run in the bottom of the sixth to move the score to 9-1, ending the game in a run-rule.
Elon starter Caitlin O’Shea received the loss after going 5.2 innings with nine hits allowed. Six different players plated a hit for the Phoenix, who left six runners on base and struck out 12 times.
The Phoenix continues its trip on the road next Wednesday, March 26, as Elon travels to NC State for a single midweek game in Raleigh, N.C. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E Elon 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 1 Georgia Southern 1 0 3 0 4 1 9 9 0
Win – Purvis (11-4)
Loss – O’Shea (4-6)
Save – Red (1).
Umpires – HP: Dennis Talley 1B: Nelson Rosa 3B: Heath Walker
Start: 11:00 am Time: 2:01 Attendance: 222
Weather: 74deg, MSunny, 6mph SSW