ELON, N.C. – Following a scoreless opening frame, Furman scored runs in the next four innings as the Paladins handed the Elon University softball team a 9-0 setback in the Phoenix’s Southern Conference home opener on Saturday, March 29, at Hunt Softball Park. Originally scheduled as a doubleheader, the opening day of the series was reduced to a single game due to heavy rainfall in the area.
Furman’s Lauren Collier (9-8) held the Phoenix (16-15-1, 1-6 SoCon) to only two hits while earning the complete game, shutout win for the Paladins (15-16, 3-3 SoCon). Elon’s Carleigh Nester and Ali Ford registered the only hits of the afternoon for the maroon and gold.
Collier helped her own cause in the top of the second, hitting a solo home run to center field off Phoenix starter Chelsea White to put Furman up 1-0 for the first run of the game. White then allowed a single on the next at bat, but retired the next three batters to escape the inning.
The Paladins added two more runs in the top of the third inning, increasing their lead to 3-0. Sieara Bishop singled to lead off the inning and would later score thank to an Elon error on a Taylor Jenkins single to left field. Jenkins would advance to second on the miscue and later score on a Natalie Clemmons single to left field.
Furman’s offense continued to ignite in the top of fourth and fifth frames. A triple by Elise Smith scored Andrea Abbatiello, who had reached earlier on a single, in the fourth. Smith would then cross home plate behind a Ambree Muller home run to right field to put the Paladins up 6-0 after the end of the fourth.
After Elon went down in order in the bottom half of the fourth, Furman continued to plate the runs in the fifth. Clemmons led off with a solo home run to center field followed by Collier driving a single to left. The Phoenix would record the first out of the inning on a fielder’s choice with the next at bat, but Furman added two more runs on a Nikki Legg two-out single up the middle that gave the Paladins a 9-0 advantage.
Elon had two runners reach base in the bottom of the fifth. Ford singled to lead off the inning and advanced all the way to third after Alaina Hall reached on an error with one out. Collier induced the final two outs to end the game and seal the 9-0 run rule victory for the Paladins.
White (7-6) pitched the entire 5.0 innings and allowed eight earned runs on 13 hits. She also had two walks and a strikeout.
Elon and Furman will conclude the remainder of the series tomorrow, March 30, in a doubleheader with the first game scheduled for a noon start and finale to begin shortly after the conclusion of that game.
1 2 3 4 5 R H E Furman 0 1 2 3 3 9 13 1 Elon 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
Win – Collier (9-8).
Loss – White (7-6).
Save – None.
Umpires – HP: Alex Leap 1B: Roger Potts 3B: David Brewer
Start: 1 p.m. Time: 1:52 Attendance: 97
Weather: 57 degrees and cloudy