Elon Softball Hosts Aggies in 2016 Home Opener

ELON, N.C. – After opening the season on the road at the Red and Black Showcase this past weekend, the Elon University softball team welcomes North Carolina A&T to Hunt Softball Park for its 2016 home opener on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m.

Live Stats

Follow the Phoenix
Fans can keep up with the action of the Phoenix all season via live stats from the program’s schedule page at elonphoenix.com. Updates will also be provided on Twitter on @elonscores or the program’s handle, @ElonUSoftball.

Series History
In a series that dates back to 1991, the Phoenix and the Aggies will meet for the 47th time on Wednesday and the first of three contests this season. Elon holds a 37-9 advantage all-time over its longtime Triad rival and has won six straight games and 11 of its past 12. Last season, Elon defeated the Aggies, 11-2, at Hunt Softball Park via a run-rule victory. Hannah Olson and Kara Shutt had three hits each for Elon while Shutt also drove in a season-high five RBI.

Leading Off For Elon
• Under Phoenix fifth-year head coach Kathy Bocock, Elon has a record of 3-1 in its home openers.
• The Phoenix has six players currently hitting .300 or better and contributing to Elon’s .375 batting average. Three players are hitting more than .400 among those with 10 or more at bats.
• The Phoenix split its games at the Red and Black Showcase last weekend at the University of Georgia. Elon won both its contests versus Winthrop by a combined score of 32-3, but suffered defeats at the hands of the 12th-ranked Bulldogs.
• With two wins on the season, Bocock now has tallied 102 wins in her Elon career while sitting on 339 career victories.
• Elon’s .375 average currently is best in the Colonial Athletic Association along with its 34 runs, four triples and 33 RBI.

Shutt Named CAA Player of the Week
On Tuesday, Shutt was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week for her performance during the Phoenix’s opening weekend at the Red and Black Showcase. The Greensboro, N.C., native batted .615 (8-for-13) over four games with six RBI, a pair of runs, two doubles and a triple. She went 3-for-4 with four RBI and a triple in the Phoenix’s 15-0 Opening Day win over Winthrop. She then added another three hits and two more RBI in the maroon and gold’s second victory over the Eagles and also went a combined 2-for-5 with two doubles in Elon’s two games versus host and 12th-ranked Georgia.

Scouting the Phoenix
The Phoenix went 2-2 at the University of Georgia Red and Black Showcase last weekend, Feb. 12-13. Elon ended the weekend with a 34 runs scored compared to 22 allowed to its opponents while also outhitting the opposition .375 to .299.

Junior Alaina Hall had a big opening weekend in her home state. The Suwanee, Ga., native batted .400 (4-for-10) with four runs scored, two triples, a home run and nine RBI. She had six RBI in the Phoenix’s season-opener versus Winthrop, the most by a Phoenix player since 2011.

Another Georgia native, Jenna Reilly, also had a strong start to the 2016 season last weekend. The Marietta, Ga., native earned her first career starts in the final two games at the tournament, batted .750 (3-for-4) with four RBI. She also belted her first career home run against the Bulldogs and scored four runs over the weekend.

In the circle, pitchers Kayla Caruso and Elise Walton earned the wins for the Phoenix over the weekend. Walton tossed a four-inning shutout in her first collegiate start versus Winthrop while fanning three batters. Caruso rebounded from a tough outing against Georgia to receive the victory in Elon’s second game against the Eagles. The Kennesaw, Ga., native went three innings versus Winthrop, struck out four and allowed no earned runs. She also went 2-for-2 at the plate with a double and two RBI over the weekend.

Scouting the Aggies
North Carolina A&T is a perfect 4-0 on the season after sweeping the field at its home tournament, the Aggie Invitational, last weekend with wins versus UMES and Coppin State. A member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), North Carolina A&T was tabbed to finish fourth in the Southern division of the league’s 2016 preseason poll.

The Aggies are hitting .337 on the season while holding opponents to a .133 average. Seven players are hitting better than .300 so far on the year including three players with more than 10 at bats. Senior Janika May has a team-best seven hits on a .538 average (7-for-13) while teammate Alejandra Barcenas is close behind with six hits on her .500 (6-for-12) average. NC A&T has scored 22 runs on the season and has five players tied for the team-lead in RBI with three.

The Aggies’ pitching staff has posted a team cumulative ERA of 1.35 through the opening weekend. Three players have seen time toeing the rubber this season for North Carolina A&T with May leading the way with a 1.75 ERA in her 12.0 innings while also going 2-0 on the season.

On Deck
Elon travels to Orlando, Fla., for its second early-season tournament of the year, the Citrus Classic, on Feb. 19-21. The Phoenix faces five teams in the field including NCAA Tournament team and 13th-ranked Missouri and two-time defending NCAA champion No. 1 Florida.