Elon Softball Phoenix Hangs on Late to Defeat Ladyjacks, 4-3

ORLANDO, Fla. – After battling back from an early 1-0 deficit, the Elon University softball team earned a 4-3 victory over Stephen F. Austin on Friday afternoon, Feb. 19, in the Phoenix’s first game at the Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Elon (4-2) earned its second straight win while holding off the Ladyjacks (3-3) in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The Phoenix recorded six hits in the contest with Carey Million and Emily Roper both leading the way with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate. Roper also had a triple in the game while Million, Erica Serafini and Kara Shutt each had an RBI for the maroon and gold. Million also had a double to her stat line.

Phoenix starter Elise Walton (2-0) picked the win for Elon in the circle after the rookie gave up only one hit while allowing two runs in her 4.0 innings. She also struck out four batters. Senior Kayla Caruso received the save in relief for Elon after throwing 3.0 innings with three hits and one run allowed.

The Rundown: SFA took a 1-0 lead after Faith Talley drew a bases loaded walk in the top of the first with only one out. Walton battled out of the jam as the Lawrenceville, Va., native retired the next two batters to escape the frame.

Both teams went scoreless in the second and third frames before the Phoenix finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Jenna Reilly opened the inning with a double to left center and advanced to third after a bunt single by Alaina Hall. Elon tied the contest with Reilly coming across home plate on a passed ball and Hall moving to third. Shutt’s sacrifice fly to left put the Phoenix ahead, 2-1, with Elon adding to its lead on another sac fly by Serafini that gave Elon a 3-1 advantage.

The Ladyjacks got a run back in the top of the fifth on a fielder’s choice RBI by Lindsay Campbell. The run cut the Phoenix’s lead to one, 3-2, with the bases loaded and two outs, but Caruso, who relieved Walton earlier in the inning, induced the final out to end the frame.

The Phoenix added a much important run in the bottom of the sixth on Million’s RBI single to the shortstop. The run scored Emily Roper, who reached earlier in the inning on a triple to right, and gave the Phoenix a 4-2 lead going into the seventh.

Stephen F. Austin again pulled within one on a two-out RBI single by Taylor Vick, but a foul out to Roper in the final at bat secured the win for Elon, 4-3.

Inside the Box Score: Roper’s triple was the second of her career and the first of the season…The save was the fourth in Caruso’s career which is tied for fourth on the program’s all-time career list…Shutt saw her season-opening hit streak end after being held without a hit in her two at bats.

On Deck

The Phoenix faces No. 13 Missouri later today at 5:45 p.m. in its second game at the Citrus Classic.

Score by Innings    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Stephen F. Austin   1 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 4 0
Elon                0 0 0 3 0 1 X 4 6 2

Win – Walton, E. (2-0).
Loss – Lewis, B. (2-2).
Save – Caruso, K. (1).
HBP – by Walton, E. (Hamilton, A.); by Walton, E. (Chambers, C.).
PB – Fraccastoro 2(3).
Inherited runners/scored: Caruso, K. 2/1. Pitches/strikes: Lewis, B. 85/62; Walton, E. 74/40; Caruso, K. 58/35.

Umpires – HP: Don Briscoe 1B: Gerry Chambliss 3B: Kevin Gramig
Start: 1:15 pm Time: 2:20 Attendance: 225
Weather: 70 degrees, mostly sunny
Walton, E. faced 1 batter in the 5th.