ELON, N.C. – Carey Million’s walk off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning helped the Elon University softball team to a 4-3 win over UNCW in a Colonial Athletic Association series finale on Saturday, May 2, at Hunt Softball Park.
The Phoenix (30-20, 11-10 CAA) won the second game of the series, 6-3, earlier in the day over the Seahawks (19-27, 5-16 CAA) and clinched the No. 3 seed of the upcoming CAA Tournament beginning on Wednesday, May 6, in Harrisonburg, Va. Elon will open the tournament versus No. 2 seed Hofstra with a time to be determined.
Kayla Caruso won both games for the Phoenix in the circle on Saturday, improving to 12-4 on the year. Caruso started the second game and went 5.0 innings with three hits and a run allowed, but unearned. She then received the victory in relief in the nightcap.
Aly Quintana, one of six seniors honored by the program prior to the start of the games today, hit the game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh that sent the game into extras in the series finale. Both Million and Quintana led the Phoenix at the plate with two RBI while Million and Emily Cameron had two hits to pace the Elon offense in the final game.
Game 2: Elon 6, UNCW 3
The Rundown: Elon opened the second game with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first before the contest was delayed due to rain on Friday, May 1. Cameron hit a two-out, two-RBI single to right center that plated Alaina Hall and Kara Shutt. After the game resumed play on Saturday, Elon tacked on two more runs in the third behind a RBI double from Hall and a another score off an UNCW error. An RBI single by Hannah Olson in the bottom of the fourth and Quintana RBI single capped off the scoring for the Phoenix while UNCW added runs in the fifth and sixth frames to make up the 6-3 final score.
Game 3: Elon 4, UNCW 3
The Rundown: Elon fell behind early in the top of the first after UNCW scored aided by a Phoenix error. The deficit grew to three as the Seahawks plated two more runs in the top of the third on a two-RBI double by Nelia Chamblee and gave UNCW a 3-0 advantage. The Phoenix responded with a run in the bottom of the fourth on Million’s sacrifice fly to left field to score Shutt. After two scoreless innings, Quintana tied the game with her two-run blast that just went out of the reach of the left fielder at the fence and knotted that game at 3-3. Million’s solo home run in the bottom of the eighth sealed the sweep for Elon and gave the maroon and gold a 4-3 win.
Notes of Interest: Caruso has the most wins by an Elon pitcher since Erin O’Shea had 16 in 2012…Shutt ended the weekend with 39 RBI on the year, the most by an Elon freshman at the Division I level…This was Million’s second game-winning home run of the weekend and each of her home runs this season have either tied the game or gave Elon the lead in later innings (sixth or later). The Phoenix recognized its six-person senior class of Quintana, Eve Clausen, Grace Eng, Sarah Little, Caitlin O’Shea and Chelsea White.