ELON, N.C. – Rookie pitcher Kenna Quinn helped the Elon University softball team to a sweep in its doubleheader versus Hampton on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Hunt Softball Park. The Phoenix opened the pair of games with a 2-0 shutout victory before pulling out a 5-3 win in the second contest to complete the sweep.
Elon (3-0) closed out its opening weekend unblemished thanks to a solid outing from Quinn, who made her collegiate debut in the first game against the Lady Pirates (0-3). Quinn pitched a complete game, shutout victory in game one and earned the victory in relief in the second contest, pitching 9.2 innings in the two games with six strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA.
Game One: Elon 2, Hampton 0
The Rundown: Both teams battled through a pitchers’ duel during the first contest. While Quinn was impressive in keeping the Hampton offense in check, the Phoenix bats had trouble versus Lady Pirates’ hurler Allyson Babinsack. Elon twice had a runner reach third in the first two innings, but could not find a way to bring them in on both accounts.
The Phoenix offense did come alive in the bottom of the sixth. Emily Roper led off the frame with a double into left center with Carey Million also joining the base paths with a bunt single at the next at bat. With both runners in scoring position after a Million steal of second, sophomore Ashtyn Foddrell doubled into left field to drive in a pair of runs to give the Phoenix the 2-0 advantage.
Hampton tried to answer back in the top of the seventh and had the tying runs on base with two outs after Jada Fields drew a walk. Quinn however closed out the game with her fifth strikeout to end the threat and give Elon the 2-0 victory.
At the Plate: Elon had six hits in the contest by six different players…Foddrell went 1-for-3 with two RBI for the Phoenix…Roper also had a double in the game while Million added a stolen base to her stat line.
In the Circle: Quinn earned her first career victory in her collegiate debut after the Boiling Springs, S.C., native pitched a complete game with five strikeouts.
Game Two: Elon 5, Hampton 3
The Rundown: In the second game, Hampton got off to the fast start with a pair of runs in the second inning. Quierra Bradford led off with a double into left field and advanced to third off a single on the next at bat. A stolen base helped the Lady Pirates plate their first run of the game before Cassidy Blackwell’s RBI single gave Hampton a 2-0 advantage going into the third.
Elon responded in the bottom half of the third frame beginning with a crazy sequence with Alaina Hall going around the bases to score off an infield single. Hall reached on a single and continued to move to second after a throwing error. While going into second, another throwing error advanced Hall to third with the ball going into the outfield. Hall then advanced home to score Elon’s first run of the game and trail Hampton 2-1.
Later in the third, rookie Walker Barbee’s one-out RBI single tied the contest at two-all. Barbee drove in Hannah Olson, who reached earlier on a single up the middle. The Phoenix took the lead, 3-2, on Callie Horn’s two-out RBI single into left field that scored pinch runner Nicole Graber.
Hampton came back to tie the game once again in the top of the fifth. Brianna Anderson led off with a double and moved to third off a fielder’s choice. She later plated the tying run after advancing home on a stolen base to knot the game at 3-3.
Elon retook the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth. Senior Jenna Reilly reached on a fielder’s choice and then stole second to move into scoring position with one out. She would score the go-ahead run on Kristin Hoover’s RBI double into left center with Hoover herself moving over to third after a wild pitch. A sacrifice fly by Hall put the Phoenix up by two, 5-3, going into the seventh frame.
In the seventh, the Lady Pirates had the tying runs on base with two outs after Blackwell’s single into left. A fielder’s choice to Roper on the next at bat ended the threat to secure the Phoenix’s perfect weekend.
At the Plate: Kara Shutt and Olson led the Phoenix with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate…Overall the Phoenix had 11 hits compared to 10 for Hampton…Shutt and Hoover also had a double in the contest.
In the Circle: Quinn (2-0) earned the win in relief after coming in the fifth inning and pitched 2.2 innings with four hits and no runs allowed…Kiandra Mitchum started the contest for the Phoenix and went 4.1 innings with three runs allowed and four strikeouts.
Elon hits the road to travel to in-state and Atlantic Coast Conference opponent North Carolina on Wednesday, Feb. 15. That game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. first pitch.