ELON, N.C. – Behind a couple of milestone performances from senior Caitlin O’Shea and freshman Hannah Olson, the Elon University softball team swept Rider in a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 17, at Hunt Softball Park. The Phoenix (15-6) took game one, 4-2, before earning a 10-1, run-rule victory in five innings in the second game over the Broncs (4-6).
O’Shea tied Jen Lamb (2003-04) for the program’s all-time career saves record with six after tallying the save in the opening game. Olson had a home run in each game, the first two of her career to help the maroon and gold offensively.
The Phoenix is back in action tomorrow, March 18, to host East Carolina at 6 p.m.
Elon 4, Rider 2
The Phoenix fell behind in the top of the second inning of the opening game. The Broncs’ leadoff batter doubled to begin the frame, but Elon quickly set down the next two batters in order. However, miscommunication between the pitcher and the catcher on a pop up led to Rider plating the first run of the game and take a 1-0 lead.
Elon would answer back thanks to a four-run bottom of the third. After Madison Kadlic drew a walk to start the inning, Olson sent a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left field to give the Phoenix a 2-1 advantage. Alaina Hall drew another walk and stole second before Emily Roper drove her in on a one-out single. Roper advanced all the way to third on the throw and she crossed home plate on an Emily Cameron double to left field that put Elon up 4-1.
Rider cut into the lead with a run in the top of the fifth on a Antonia Nino RBI single to right field bringing in Monica Clark who reached earlier on single. That made the score 4-2 moving to the bottom of the frame.
O’Shea relieved starter Kayla Caruso in the top of the sixth. She however got into a jam after allowing the first batter to reach on an error. The Phoenix would get the first out on a fielder’s choice, but a balk allowed the runner to move to second. Another runner joined her on the bases on a walk before both players moved into scoring position on a passed ball. O’Shea induced the final two outs on grounders to escape the inning.
A 1-2-3 final inning by O’Shea closed the door as she picked up her third save of the year. Caruso (5-0) earned the win after going 5.0 innings with five hits and two runs allowed and a couple of strikeouts. O’Shea did not allow a hit or run in her two innings in relief.
Elon 10, Rider 1
Elon wasted very little time to score runs in the second game. Hall drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a single by Kara Shutt. The pair moved to scoring position after a groundout before Cameron drove them home on a single up the middle to give the Phoenix a 2-0 lead.
A solo home run by Olson in the bottom of the second added to Elon’s lead. Olson sent a two-out shot to center that put the maroon and gold ahead 3-0 after the second.
The Phoenix exploded with five more runs in the bottom of the fourth. A triple by Hall to right center scored both Kadlic and Olson before a double by Shutt added another run for Elon. After another double by Roper moved her and Shutt to second and third, respectively, the pair were driven in on a two-out single by Carey Million that gave Elon an 8-0 cushion.
Rider answered with its lone run of the game in the top of the fifth, but a two RBI double by Shutt in the bottom half ended the game via run-rule and a score of 10-1.
Alli Burdette (2-1) picked up her second straight win after going 4.0 innings with three hits and four strikeouts. Shutt was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with three RBI and two doubles while Hall was 2-for-2 with two RBI and three runs scored. Olson also scored three runs while going 2-for-3 while Cameron and Million each had two RBI.