Elon Softball Begins Homestand Versus Tar Heels

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team begins a nine-game homestand with a midweek matchup versus in-state rival North Carolina on Wednesday, March 9. The opening pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Hunt Softball Park.

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. The will also be streamed online through Elon’s Phoenix All-Access channel at elonphoenix.com.

Versus North Carolina
In an annual series dating back to 1998, the Tar Heels holds a commanding 26-2-1 lead all-time over Elon and has won five straight dating back to 2011. The Phoenix’s last win against the Tar Heels came on March 17, 2010, in Elon with a 1-0 victory. Last season, the Phoenix tied its highest run total in the series with Elon plating four runs in the maroon and gold’s 12-4 setback in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Leading Off For Elon
• The Phoenix is hitting .309 in its 18 games with six players with a .300 or better average. That mark is currently fifth in the Colonial Athletic Association.
• Elon is outscoring opponents 100-85 on the year with the Phoenix also driving in 91 RBI, which is third in the CAA.
• Elon is also outhitting the opposition, 145-124, and has had seven double-digit hitting games. The Phoenix is 5-2 in those games when having 10 or more hits.
• Elon does lead the CAA in triples with six and is second in the league in doubles with 30.
• Kara Shutt paces the lead with her eight doubles and is 10th in the CAA with her .421 average.
• Elon scores the majority of its runs in the first and fourth innings with 22 runs each. The Phoenix is also 7-2 when scoring in the opening frame and 6-1 when scoring first overall.

Scouting the Phoenix
The Phoenix heads into Wednesday’s contest beginning a nine game homestand. It is also one of 15 of the next 16 contests at the home confines of Hunt Softball Park. On the year, Elon is 4-1 at home with the lone defeat coming at the hands of Triad rival North Carolina A&T on Feb. 27.

Shutt leads the Phoenix with her .421 average and is one of four players with double-digit RBI with 13. Emily Roper has a team-best 14 RBI and three homers on the season to go with a .348 average, third-best on the team. Alaina Hall is second on the squad with her .393 average and has a team-best two triples.

Rookie Elise Walton continues to shine for the Phoenix in the circle as the Lawrenceville, Va., native has a team-low ERA of 1.98 in her 28.1 innings and is tied for the team-lead with three wins. She struck out a season-best six batters while tossing 6.2 scoreless innings in relief versus Presbyterian last Sunday, March 6.

Scouting the North Carolina (9-10)
The Tar Heels are 9-10 on the season and have lost three straight after playing in the Judi Garman Classic this past weekend. Selected to finish fifth in the 2016 ACC Preseason Poll, the Tar Heels are led by head coach Donna J. Papa, who is in her 31st season at the helm of the program.

On the year, UNC is batting .285 as a team and has scored 97 runs. Six players are hitting .300 or better with Destiny DeBerry pacing the squad with her .464 average. Shortstop Kristen Brown, a 2015 NFCA Third Team All-American, is the Tar Heels top run producer with her team-high nine home runs and 26 RBI. She also has a .961 slugging percentage.

In the circle, three players have toed the rubber for the Tar Heels this season with the staff producing a 3.97 ERA through its 120.0 innings. Kendra Lynch has seen the most time in the circle with a 7-7 record and a ERA of 3.72 through her 81.0 innings.

On Deck
Elon hosts its second tournament of the season this weekend, March 11-13, with Central Connecticut State, Oakland and Niagara making the trip to Hunt Softball Park. The Phoenix plays its first game on Friday, March 11, at 4:30 p.m. against Niagara.