ATHENS, GA. – Senior Alaina Hall was a double shy of reaching the cycle as the Elon University softball team opened the 2016 season with a 15-0, run-rule victory over Winthrop in the opening game of the Red and Black Showcase on Friday, Feb. 12, at Jack Turner Stadium.
Hall was 3-for-3 with a home run, a triple and a career-best six RBI in the win for the Phoenix (1-0) over the Eagles (0-1). Kara Shutt added four more RBI with a triple as she went 3-for-4 at the plate while Emily Roper was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Rookie Elise Walton (1-0) earned the win in her first collegiate start. The Lawrenceville, Va., native tosses four scoreless innings while giving up only two hits with three strikeouts. The win improves the Phoenix mark to 17-10 overall in season-opening games.
The Rundown: Elon got its first runs on the board in the bottom of the opening frame. Hannah Olson and Hall drew walks to begin the inning before the pair was driven in on a two-RBI triple to right by Shutt. Shutt would be stranded at third as Elon was retired to close out the first.
The Phoenix added six more runs to its score in the bottom of the second. Rookie Callie Horn reached on a single up the middle to load the bases for Elon before Hall drove a run in on a one-out single to shallow right. Shutt and Roper followed with two RBI singles to right to push the advantage to 7-0 before a sacrifice fly by rookie Erica Serafini to center gave the Phoenix an 8-0 cushion before the end of the inning.
A Hall triple to left center in the third made the score 10-0 for the Phoenix before the Elon added five more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Senior Kayla Caruso connected on a one-out, two-RBI double to left center followed by Hall’s three-run home run that set the final score of 15-0.
Inside the Box Score: Hall’s six RBI was the most for the Phoenix since Morgan Wright had six versus Morgan State in 2011…Hall’s home run was also the first for the Suwanee, Ga., native since 2014…The Phoenix’s 15 hits were the most in a game since connecting on 16 versus Coppin State in 2014…Caruso’s hit and RBI were the first in her career.
Notes of Interest: Elon now trails the series versus the Eagles all-time 14-8 and has won three of the previous four meetings…Walton’s win was the first for a Phoenix pitcher in her collegiate debut since 2014…The Phoenix have four players from the state of Georgia and three of them (Hall, Caruso and Jenna Reilly) appeared in the game.
The Phoenix returns to the field to take on host and 12th-ranked Georgia later today around 5:30 p.m.