Elon Softball Opens Spartan Invitational With 10-5 Win Over Crusaders

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Elon University softball team earned a 10-5 victory over Valparaiso in the Phoenix’s opening game at the Buffalo Wild Wings Spartan Invitational at Cyrill Stadium on Saturday, March 5.

The Phoenix (8-7) had 12 hits in the game with Kara Shutt (4-for-4), Emily Roper (3-for-4), Alaina Hall (2-for-3) and Ashtyn Foddrell (2-for-5) standing out at the plate. Roper and Foddrell led the maroon and gold with three RBI each while Shutt had two. Roper also had a home run to her stat line against the Crusaders (1-12).

Abby Barker (2-3) earned the win in relief after pitching 5.1 innings with four hits allowed and three runs all earned. She also struck out four batters.

The Rundown: Elon jumped out to a lead in the top of the opening frame. Shutt drove in Hannah Olson, who led off the game with a walk, before she and Alaina Hall both crossed home plate on a RBI single up the middle by Foddrell.

The Crusaders got two runs back in the bottom of the second. Kaitlyn Ranieri singled to left field to drive in Valpo’s first run of the game and cut into the Phoenix’s lead at 3-1. Another run came across the plate on a bases loaded walk before the Phoenix made a pitching change as Barker replaced starter Elise Walton. Barker induced the final out of the inning on a fly out to left.

The Phoenix responded to get two runs back in the top of the third. Foddrell got her third RBI of the game on a single to left driving in Shutt, who reached earlier on a hit-by-pitch. Valparaiso induced the next two outs, but walked Erica Serafini with the bases loaded to give the Phoenix a 5-2 advantage.

Three more runs crossed home plate in the top of the fourth for the Phoenix. Shutt singled into right field to drive in Hall and increase Elon’s lead to 6-2. Roper then blasted her first home run of the year on a two-run shot to left that pushed the Phoenix’s advantage to 8-2.

A two-run home run by Valpo’s Jasmine Ramierez sliced Elon’s lead in half in the bottom of the sixth. Elon responded to get the pair of runs back in the top of the seventh on RBI singles from Hall and Roper to push the Phoenix’s lead back to 10-4.

Valparaiso added a late run in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out solo home run by Stephanie Moreno. That would set the final score of 10-5 as Barker retired the next batter to end the game.

Inside the Box Score: Elon left 10 runners on base in the during the game…The Phoenix also had five stolen bases in the contest with Hall, Foddrell, Olson, Emily Cameron and Carey Million all swiping a bag…Million had the only lone hit for the Phoenix on a double in the top of the fourth.

On Deck
Elon faces SIU-Edwardsville in its next game of the day at the Spartan Invitational.