ELON, N.C. – Elon starter Kiandra Mitchum scattered two hits in her five innings of action as the Phoenix softball team earned a 2-0 victory over Campbell on Tuesday, March 3, at Hunt Softball Park.
Mitchum (4-2) allowed only three total base runners on the day to help the Phoenix (8-4) to its first victory over the Camels (9-6) since 2010. The shutout was also the first of the year for the freshman in Elon’s first home game since Feb. 8.
Mitchum outlasted Camels’ starter Katie Baker (6-2), who went the full distance and gave up six hits and two runs, both earned. She also had four strikeouts and three walks.
Senior Chelsea White received the save for the Phoenix, her second of the year, after pitching a scoreless seventh with a pair of strikeouts. Junior Kayla Caruso also pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
Neither team had much going offensively in the first three and a half innings, but each had runners reach third base during that time. Elon threatened early in the bottom of the first after a leadoff single by Hannah Olson who would eventually reach third with two outs on an Emily Cameron single. A fielder’s choice would end the frame however for the Phoenix.
In the top of the third, Campbell got its first hit of the day on a Kerstine Womack infield single. She moved to second on the play as no one was covering the base to give the Camels a runner into immediate scoring position. A sacrifice bunt moved her to third, but she would be stranded as the Mitchum induced the next two outs to end the inning.
Elon plated its first run in the bottom of the fourth behind a Sarah Little two-out RBI single. Little drove in Carey Million, who had reached earlier on a two-out hit-by-pitch and stole second to move into scoring position. Little then took a 2-1 pitch and sent it to left to push Million across the plate to break the scoreless drought and give the Phoenix a 1-0 advantage.
Campbell had Womack reach third again in the top of the fifth after hitting a one-out triple to right. Mitchum then received a boost from her defense as the next batter sent a fly ball to right, but an on-target throw by Million to home kept Womack at bay. The Phoenix escaped the inning unscathed on another fly out.
The Phoenix got off to a shaky start in the top of the sixth as Caruso came on in relief of Mitchum. Campbell had its first two batters reach on a hit-by-pitch and a single, but avoided a bases loaded situation after the runner at second was called out for interference heading to third. With runners on first and second, Caruso retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Elon added its second run of the game in the bottom of the sixth frame. Cameron hit a one-out single to left center, scoring Kara Shutt who had led off the inning with a single. The run gave Elon a 2-0 lead heading into the final inning.
Campbell attempted to rally in the seventh as its first base runner reached on an Elon error. The runner would then advanced to second on a stolen base before Womack added another infield single to move her to third. The Phoenix went with a change in the circle with White toeing the rubber for Caruso.
Womack would get thrown out attempting to steal second by Emily Roper before White ended the game by fanning the next two batters to seal the win.
Cameron and Olson led Elon at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance while Cameron and Little also had an RBI. Shutt and Million scored the two runs for the Phoenix.
Elon returns quickly to the diamond to host NC State tomorrow at Hunt Softball Park. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.