ELON, N.C. – In its first meeting as non-conference opponents in over a decade, the Elon University softball team travels to longtime I-40 rival UNCG on Sunday, March 15, for a single-game tilt at 1 p.m. at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
Fans can follow the Phoenix via live stats by going to the Elon softball schedule page at elonphoenix.com. Twitter updates will also be provided the handle @elonscores or @ElonUSoftball. The game will also be streamed on the Southern Conference Digital Network.
After meeting as SoCon foes since 2004, Sunday’s game will the first for the two rivals since Elon became a member of the Colonial Athletic Association last summer and the 70th meeting overall. UNCG holds a 36-32-1 edge over the Phoenix and ended the maroon and gold’s run at the SoCon Championships last season. Sunday’s contest is the first of a home-and-home series between the two programs, as the teams will meet again in Elon on March 25.
Last Time Out
Elon earned a 6-1 win over in-state rival North Carolina Central on Friday, March 13 at Hunt Softball Park. Sophomore Alaina Hall had a team-high three RBI after she went 3-for-4 against the Eagles. She also had a triple in the game. Fellow sophomore Alli Burdette picked up her first win of the year after going 2.2 scoreless innings with a strikeout in relief.
Scouting the Phoenix
Elon has won 10 out of its past 12 games including tying its Division I high seven straight during that stretch. The Phoenix will be looking for its first true road win of the year as the maroon and gold sit at 0-3 this season away from Hunt Softball Park.
In the circle, Elon has heavily relied on its staff this year as the Phoenix has posted an overall ERA of 2.61, currently fourth in the CAA. Kiandra Mitchum, the reigning CAA Rookie of the Week, leads the unit in innings (54.1), wins (six), starts (11) and ERA (2.45). Three other members of the team also have an ERA below three among players with 10 or more innings: Kayla Caruso (2.48), Caitlin O’Shea (2.63) and Chelsea White (2.80).
Offensively, Elon is hitting .249 as a team as two-time weekly CAA honoree Hannah Olson paces the team with a .365 average while Hall is the only other player hitting better than .300 with a .306 average. Hall is also tied for the team-lead in RBI with 10 along with Emily Cameron and Emily Roper.
Scouting UNCG (12-6)
The Spartans were selected to finish third in the 2015 SoCon Preseason poll after finishing last season with a 31-26 record. Head coach Janelle Breneman is in her third season at the helm of the UNCG softball program.
UNCG is hitting .352 on the year, 16th in the nation, and have six players batting north of .400. Lacey Leary (.500) and Nicole Thomas (.424) lead the way for the Spartans while Lindsay Thomas, the SoCon’s preseason pick for Player of the Year, is the top run producer with 21 RBI.
Seeing the most time toeing the rubber for the Spartans this season has been freshman Alicia Bazonski. Bazonski has a 1.96 ERA in her 53.2 innings of action to go with 29 strikeouts and a pair of saves.
Elon is back a home on Tuesday, March 17, for a doubleheader against Rider. The twin bill starts at 4 p.m. at Hunt Softball Park.