BLACKSBURG, VA. – A five-run bottom of the fifth inning by Virginia Tech doomed the Elon University softball team as the Phoenix fell 6-2 to the Hokies on Wednesday, April 1, at the Tech Softball Park.
The Phoenix (22-10) had only two hits on the day versus the Hokies (25-9) who registered nine base hits. Elon also had a couple of miscues in the field while leaving seven runners on base. Carey Million and Kara Shutt recorded the lone hits on the day for the maroon and gold.
Kayla Caruso (7-2) suffered the loss in the circle for Elon after going 3.2 innings with five hits and one run allowed with three strikeouts. Of the Phoenix’s six runs given up, only two were earned.
A pitcher’s duel was broken up in the bottom of the fourth. Virginia Tech’s leadoff batter reached on a single to center and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. She would score on another single to center to put the Hokies up 1-0.
Elon got its first hit of the contest in the top of the fifth on a Million leadoff single up the middle. Million then advanced to second after a sacrifice bunt by Sarah Little, but back-to-back strikeouts left her stranded.
The Phoenix got into another jam in the bottom of the fifth. The Hokies’ leadoff batter reached on a hit-by-pitch and was joined on the bases by another runner due to an Elon error. Both players moved into scoring position on a double steal before both crossed home plate on a single through the right side to put Virginia Tech ahead 3-0. A three-run home run capped off the scoring in the inning for the Hokies as Elon faced a 6-0 deficit going to the sixth.
Elon rallied to score a pair of runs in the top of he seventh. Caitlin O’Shea led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Million drew another walk before Little was hit-by-pitch to load the bases. The Phoenix scored its first run on bases loaded free pass to Katie Rufo and added another on a grounder by Madison Kadlic. The rally would end there as the Hokies induced the final two outs to end the game.
Elon returns to conference play this weekend, April 4-5, as the maroon and gold hosts its first-ever Colonial Athletic Association series against Towson. The series begins on Saturday, April 4, with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. at Hunt Softball Park.