ELON, N.C. – After falling in its first game over at its home tournament, the Elon University softball team rebounded to close out the weekend at the Elon Phoenix Classic with a 3-1 record including a doubleheader sweep over Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday, Feb. 28, at Hunt Softball Park.
Elon (7-7) took game one over the Knights (0-4), 5-1, before closing out the twin bill with a 9-4 victory in game two. The victories pushed Elon’s record back to .500 on the year and 4-1 overall at home on the season.
Game One: Elon 5, Fairleigh Dickinson 1
The Rundown: In the opening game of the day, Elon jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first thanks to a bases loaded walk drawn by Ashtyn Foddrell and an RBI single from Carey Million. The Phoenix could not add to the score in the first frame as they left the bags full after a strike out ended the inning.
Two more runs came across the plate for the Phoenix in the bottom of the third. Another bases loaded walk, this time received by Jenna Reilly, pushed the Phoenix’s lead to 3-0 before an error on FDU’s third baseman added the fourth run of the contest for Elon.
Both squads traded runs in the sixth inning as the Knights plated its first run of the contest on a RBI single up the middle in the top of the frame. The Phoenix however got the run back in the home half on a sacrifice fly from Emily Roper.
It was more than enough support for Elon starter Kayla Caruso (3-2) who picked up her first complete game win of the season. The Kennesaw, Ga., native held the Knights to only four hits and one run, unearned, while striking out four.
Inside the Box Score: The Phoenix had seven hits in the contest with Kara Shutt leading the way at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance…Shutt and Erica Serafini also had a double in the contest…Elon also left 10 runners total on base…Shutt and Hall stole their first bases of the season in the game.
Notes of Interest: This was Caruso’s first seven-inning complete game win since her victory at Western Carolina in 2014.
Game Two: Elon 9, Fairleigh Dickinson 4
The Rundown: The Phoenix bats came alive during the second contest versus FDU, scoring at least one run in the first four innings. Foddrell opened the scoring with a RBI single to left in the top of the first while Million added two more runs on her double to right center as Elon jumped to a 3-0 lead.
Elon plated a run in both the second and third frames off the bats of Shutt and Million to take a 5-0 lead before the Knights responded. FDU added three runs in the top of the fourth thanks to some Phoenix fielding miscues and cut into Elon’s lead at 5-3.
The Phoenix got some breathing room in the bottom half of the fourth with two runs of its own. Hannah Olson drove in Shutt, who had doubled earlier in the inning, on a single up the middle and found herself crossing home plate after another fielding miscue by FDU.
After the Knights answered with a run in the top of the sixth off a wild pitch to trim the deficit to 7-4, the Phoenix’s Kristin Hoover clinched the game for the maroon and gold. The Tampa, Fla., native connected on a two-run home run to left center in the bottom of the sixth and set the final score of 9-4.
Rookie Abby Barker (1-3) picked up her first win of the season after going 4.0 innings with eight hits allowed along with three runs, all unearned, in the game. Fellow rookie Elise Walton tossed 3.0 innings and gave up two hits and one run, also unearned.
Inside the Box Score: The Phoenix had 11 hits in the contest as Shutt paced the squad with three in game two…Million (2-for-2, double, three RBI) and Foddrell (2-for-4, RBI) also had multi-hit performances…Shutt also had her second two-double game of the year…Hoover’s home run ties her with Hall for the team-lead with two.
On Deck: The Phoenix travels to Spartanburg, S.C., for the Buffalo Wild Wings Spartan Invitational hosted by USC Update on March 5-6.