ELON, N.C. – A sacrifice fly by freshman Hannah Olson in the bottom of the ninth inning helped the Elon University softball team to a 4-3 extra-inning victory over Hampton to close out its home tournament on Sunday, March 8, at Hunt Softball Park.
Olson’s heroics helped the Phoenix (12-5) to its third win out of four games over the three-day event with her sac fly RBI to right over the Lady Pirates (1-9). It was the Yorktown, Va., native’s second RBI of the day as she drove in Aly Quintana, who was place originally on second due to the international tie-breaker rule.
Senior Chelsea White (2-0) received the win in relief after pitching four innings and gave up four hits, two runs, one earned, while striking out three. Kayla Caruso started the game and went 3.0 innings with three hits and one run allowed before giving way to Kiandra Mitchum for two innings. Mitchum gave up one hit and no runs while also fanning a batter.
Elon earned the win despite being outhit by the Lady Pirates (8-6) and as well as leaving nine base runners on base. Six different players tallied up the hit total for the maroon and gold.
The Phoenix plated the first run of the game due to a miscue by Hampton. Olson drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the first and moved to second on a single by Alaina Hall. Olson advanced to third on a fly out before crossing home on a throwing error by the catcher as Hall was stealing second. The misfire helped the Phoenix jump out to a 1-0 lead after one.
Hampton responded in the top half of the second however as a two-out solo home run tied the game at 1-1. The Lady Pirates were able to get a pair of runners into scoring position in the top of the third, but could not bring them in.
Elon retook the lead on in the bottom of the third on a two-out, RBI single to center field by Kara Shutt. Shutt brought home Madison Kadlic, who reached earlier in the inning on a double to left field. The Phoenix loaded the bases on two consecutive walks, but left the bags full as a fly out ended the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Elon increased its lead to two as Olson connected on a two-out, RBI double to left center, scoring Mitchum from second. The run gave the Phoenix a 3-1 cushion moving to the fifth.
Hampton battled back, plating a run in the top of the sixth and seventh to tie the game and sent the Phoenix to its second extra-inning game out of its past three contests. Both teams went scoreless in the eighth inning, but the Phoenix was finally able to break through in the bottom of the ninth.
After Quintana was placed on second to begin the bottom of the ninth, she moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt by Sarah Little. Olson then sent a 2-2 pitch to right field, allowing Quintana to tag up and score the winning run.
The Phoenix is scheduled to play its first true road test of the season at Charlotte on Wednesday, March 11, for its next contest. That single-game matchup is slated to begin at 5 p.m.