ELON, N.C – Aided by a pair of runs in the first inning and three more in the fourth, the Elon University softball team took a 6-1 win over Radford on Sunday, Feb. 8, as the Phoenix closed its Opening Weekend with a 3-0 mark.
Freshman Kara Shutt led the way offensively for the Phoenix after going 1-for-2 at the plate with a run scored and a pair of RBI. Sophomore Alaina Hall also had an RBI in a 2-for-4 effort while rookie Hannah Olson was 1-for-2 with a pair of runs and a stolen base.
Fellow rookie Kiandra Mitchum (2-0) won her second start of the weekend after going 5.0 innings with four hits and one run allowed, which was unearned. Junior Kayla Caruso pitched two scoreless frames in relief and had a pair of strikeouts.
After the Highlanders (0-3) opened the game with a leadoff single up the middle, Mitchum retired the next two batters before walking Whitney Davis to put runners at the corners for Radford. Elon would record the final out on a fielder’s choice to escape the frame.
Olson led the bottom of the second with a free pass from Radford starter Kelsey Weddle and advanced to second on a grounder to the shortstop by Hall. She would plate Elon’s first run of the game after Shutt doubled to left center, putting the Phoenix up 1-0. Emily Cameron followed with a two-out single to left field to drive in Shutt and gave the Phoenix a 2-0 lead after the first.
The Highlanders rebounded in the second inning to pull within one due to some Elon miscues. Becky Mantel reached on an Elon error and would eventually score on an Alex Lang one-out single through the left side bringing the score to 2-1.
Elon responded in the bottom of the third with another run. Olson again led off the frame by getting on base this time with a single to center field. Another single by Hall drove her to third before Shutt brought her home on a sacrifice fly to center, putting the Phoenix ahead 3-1.
A three-run fourth inning put the game out of reach for the Highlanders. Senior Aly Quintana led off the frame after being hit-by-pitch and was joined on the bases by fellow senior Sarah Little after she was walked. Elon loaded the bases with only one out after Carey Million reached on a fielder’s choice due to an error on the third basemen. A wild pitch led to another run for the maroon and gold as Quintana crossed the plate.
Another Radford miscue led to Elon’s second run of the inning with Little scoring from third after Olson reached on an error by the shortstop. Hall then added to the final score with her RBI single to put the Phoenix up 6-1.
Weddle (0-1) took the loss for the Highlanders after going 2.0 innings and gave up four hits and three runs, all earned.
Elon travels to Athens, Ga., this upcoming weekend, Feb. 13-14, to participate in the Georgia Softball Classic, hosted by the University of Georgia. The Phoenix opens the tournament versus Troy at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 13, before closing out the day against the 12th-ranked Bulldogs.