Late Inning Woes Doom Elon Phoenix Softball Versus Tar Heels:Kara Shutt(Southeast Guilford HS) with 3 hits for Phoenix

ELON, N.C. – Despite holding a lead after the bottom of the fifth, the Elon University softball team fell victim to some late inning woes for the second straight game as the Phoenix suffered its fourth straight loss in a 12-6 defeat to in-state rival North Carolina on Wednesday, March 9, in a non-conference bout at Hunt Softball Park.

The Phoenix (8-11) tied the Tar Heels (10-10) in hits with 11 each, but left nine runners on-base and had three errors in the contest. North Carolina also had nine runners stranded on the base paths and while committing two errors.

Elon’s Kara Shutt had a game-high three hits while Carey Million (2-for-4) and Kristin Hoover (2-for-3) also had multi-hit performances. Hoover drove in two runs in the contest, tying the team-lead with Ashtyn Foddrell.

Kiandra Mitchum (0-3) was saddled with the loss in the circle after going 6.2 innings and gave up nine hits, 10 runs, five earned, while walking five.

The Rundown: Elon got into an early jam as the Tar Heels loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the first. A Kendra Lynch single up the middle drove in a run, but the next runner was thrown out trying to advance at home for the first out. Mitchum induced the next two batters on fly outs to escape with no further harm done and a 1-0 deficit.

The Phoenix tied the game in the bottom of the second. A Jenna Reilly one-out single to left field brought in Emily Roper, who scored after doubling earlier in the inning. Some base running miscues led to Elon not able to add any more runs to close out the inning with the game knotted at 1-1.

A solo home run by UNC gave the Tar Heels the lead after the top of the third, but the Phoenix responded with a two-run effort in the home half of the frame. Shutt scored after Foddrell reached on a one-out fielder’s choice. Hoover then gave Elon the lead on an RBI single to left as the Phoenix took a 3-2 advantage to the fourth.

In the bottom of the fifth, RBIs from Million and Hoover increased the Phoenix’s lead to 5-2 as the maroon and gold headed to the sixth with a three-run advantage intact. North Carolina however took advantage of a walk and a fielding error in the start of the sixth en route to scoring seven runs in the frame.

Elon got a run back in the bottom of the sixth, but UNC added three more insurance runs in the top of the seventh as the Phoenix took its fourth straight loss and second overall at home this season.

Notes of Interest: This was the most runs the Phoenix has scored against the Tar Heels in the fast pitch era…Elon fell to 2-27-1 all-time against North Carolina in the fast pitch era and in a series dating back to 1998…Shutt added her ninth double of the season and the 23rd of her career…Mitchum had three strikeouts in the contest including one against 2015 NFCA All-American Kristen Brown in the top of the third…Senior Emily Cameron had her first at-bat of the season in the seventh.

On Deck
Elon hosts its second home tournament this weekend, March 11-13. The Phoenix welcomes the field of Central Connecticut State, Oakland and Niagara to Hunt Softball Park.