ELON, N.C. – After hosting a pair of Colonial Athletic Association series at home the past two weekends, the Elon University softball team travels to New York to play Hofstra for its second league road series of the season this weekend, April 18-19. The three-game slate begins with a doubleheader on Saturday at 2 p.m. and concludes with the series finale on Sunday at noon.
Fans can follow the Phoenix this weekend 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. Live audio of the contests will be streamed through Hofstra’s athletic website at gohofstra.com.
This is the first-ever meeting on the softball diamond for both programs. Elon has a 6-2 record versus first-time opponents this season.
It’s Just Those Rainy Days
For the second consecutive week, the Phoenix saw its midweek contests get wiped out due to weather. Elon and North Carolina A&T were originally slated to play a doubleheader on Wednesday, April 15, but the game was postponed to April 28, for a single-game at 6 p.m. at Hunt Softball Park. Last week, the Phoenix had its doubleheader at Appalachian State also cancelled due to inclement weather.
Scouting the Phoenix (25-13, 7-5 CAA)
The Phoenix sits third in the CAA league standings with its 7-5 record, with only James Madison (11-0) and Hofstra (9-2) bettering that mark. Elon is up two games over both Delaware (5-6) and Towson (5-7) as teams are positioning themselves for the league championships beginning on May 6.
Elon’s 25 wins are the most under fourth-year head coach Kathy Bocock in her tenure at Elon. Bocock needs six more victories to become the third coach in school history to reach the 100-wins mark at Elon.
Freshman Kara Shutt reached base in her 14th consecutive game on Sunday against Delaware, extending her team-long streak for this season. That is also the Phoenix’s longest streak since Tomeka Watson (2010-13) reached base in 18 straight games during her All-American campaign in 2013. Shutt also leads the team in doubles with 11 and is the first Elon freshman with 10 or more doubles since Carleigh Nester (2011-14) had 16 in 2011.
Elon is among the best in the nation in several categories. The Phoenix is 39th in the country in triples per game (0.26) and 42nd overall in ERA (2.60). Individually, Roper is ninth in the nation in hit-by-pitch per game (0.38) while teammate Aly Quintana is 17th (0.35). Chelsea White’s four saves is 12th in the nation while classmate O’Shea is 27th with three. Alaina Hall is 29th in the country in triples with four.
Scouting Hofstra (23-10-1, 9-2 CAA)
The Pride has been a perennial contender in the CAA and was selected to finish third in the league’s 2015 preseason poll after coming off a 34-15 record (11-4 CAA) a year ago which included a NCAA Tournament Regional appearance. Head coach Larissa Anderson is in her first season of leading the Hofstra softball program.
Since losing two at home to then 24th-ranked JMU on April 4, the Pride had won six in a row including a sweep at Drexel last weekend going into Thursday, April 17. Going back to March 18, Hofstra has won 16 out of 18 with the only blemishes coming versus JMU before a 4-0 setback versus Stony Brook on Thursday.
Collectively, the Pride is hitting .291 as a team and has four players hitting better than .300 in its regular lineup. Caryn Bailey leads the team with a .427 average along with nine homers and 35 RBI. The Hofstra pitching staff has a 2.08 ERA this year with Morgan Lashley and Taylor Pirone seeing the bulk of the work in the circle. Lashley has a 13-1 record this season with a 1.85 ERA in 113.1 innings while Pirone is 10-8 with a 2.10 ERA in 106.2 innings.
Elon is back at home on Tuesday, April 21, for a single-game contest versus Longwood at 6 p.m.