ELON, N.C. – Coming off its first setback of the season, the Elon University softball team is back at home this weekend, Feb. 18-19, to host a pair of doubleheaders versus North Carolina Central and Virginia. The Phoenix opens versus the Eagles on Saturday in a twin bill at noon before concluding the weekend in a doubleheader versus the Cavaliers the following day also starting at 12 p.m.
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. Sunday’s games will be streamed through Elon’s Phoenix All-Access channel with Riley Beal and Andrew Vendelis on the call.
Inside the Series: North Carolina Central
Elon leads North Carolina Central 8-0 in a series that dates back to 2011. The two programs haven’t met since the 2015 season after Elon earned a 6-1 victory over the Eagles at Hunt Softball Park. Alaina Hall had three hits and three RBI in that contest for the Phoenix.
Inside the Series: Virginia
The Phoenix and the Cavaliers have squared off 11 times on the softball diamond in Elon’s fast pitch era. UVA holds a 9-2 lead all-time over the Phoenix, but Elon has taken the past two contests of the series. The two programs last met in 2015 with the Phoenix earning a 8-6 victory over the Cavaliers at the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla.
Leading Off for Elon
• Since becoming the full time head coach in 2013, Elon head coach Kathy Bocock is 17-3 in nonconference doubleheaders at home.
• Elon will be facing the second of its six ACC opponents on its schedule this season versus Virginia and the second this week after playing at North Carolina on Wednesday, Feb. 15.
• The Phoenix sit on 699 victories as a program at the fast pitch level (since 1990). All-time, the Elon softball program has 883 wins since beginning competition in 1977.
• Despite falling at UNC, 6-2, for its first loss of the season on Wednesday, Elon held the Tar Heels to its lowest run total in the series since 2013.
• Hannah Olson had a home run in Elon’s game at North Carolina, her first of the year. Fellow junior Kristin Hoover added her second double of the season in that contest.
• In the batter’s box, Elon is hitting .284 overall as a team with five players hitting .300 or better. Among regulars (seven or more at bats), Callie Horn leads the team with a .429 average.
• In the circle, Elon’s pitching staff has allowed a 2.59 ERA in the early portion of the season.
Scouting the Phoenix
After opening the season with a 3-0 record at home versus Hampton on Feb. 10-11, the Phoenix was handed its first loss of the year on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at North Carolina, 6-2. Elon was doomed by five errors to suffer its seventh straight defeat against the Tar Heels despite holding UNC to its lowest run total in the series since 2013.
As a team, Elon is currently sitting third in the Colonial Athletic Association with its .284 average along with a .422 slugging percentage and a .357 on-base percentage. The Phoenix has registered 29 hits with six doubles, a triple while scoring 15 runs compared to 14 for its opponents. Kara Shutt has a team-best five hits on the year (5-for-14) while Hoover paces the program with four RBI.
The Phoenix has relied on a three-person pitching staff during the early portion of the season. Elon’s 2.59 cumulative ERA is currently third in the league with freshman Kenna Quinn going 2-0 this season with a 0.00 ERA and a shutout. Junior Kiandra Mitchum leads the team with 11 strikeouts and is third in the CAA.
Scouting the Lady Eagles
NCCU opened its 2017 season last weekend at the Campbell Invitational where it posted a 1-3 record with its lone win versus UMES, 6-4, on Feb. 10. Coming off a 8-42 record in 2016, the Lady Eagles were selected to finish fifth in the Southern Division in the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Preseason poll. N.C. Central will be led by Vashion Johnson, who begins his first year as the head coach of the program after previously serving as an assistant.
On the season, the Lady Eagles are hitting .216 with three players hitting .300 or better. Miriam Duen has a team-best .500 average and is also tied for the program-lead with four hits along with Kim Mobley. NCCU’s lone home has come off the bat of Ava Dolan, who is also responsible for two of the Lady Eagles’ five RBI. Dominique Wilson has been the main workhorse of the pitching staff with a team-best 14.2 innings with a 2.39 ERA. As a team, N.C. Central is posting a 4.70 ERA with opponents batting .290 against them.
Scouting the Cavaliers
The Cavaliers are 2-3 on the season heading into its tournament at the Charleston Southern Buccaneer Invitational on Friday, Feb. 17. UVA opened the season at the Kajikawa Classic at Arizona State on Feb. 9-11, and picked up wins versus Western Michigan and UTEP. The Cavaliers finished last season at 18-33 and were picked to finish 11th in the 2017 ACC Preseason Poll as first-year head coach Joanna Hardin takes the reins of the program.
So far in 2017, UVA is hitting .270 with 10 doubles and 17 RBI. Two players are hitting better than .400 with McKall Miller posting a team-best .500 average along with five RBI. Allison Davis also has five RBI with a pair of doubles. In the circle, the Cavaliers have a team ERA of 4.40 with four players seeing time toeing the rubber. Erika Osherow is one of two players who has pitched 10 or more innings this season with a team-high 14.2 with a 1-1 record and a 4.30 ERA.
Elon hosts Campbell for an early midweek contest next Tuesday, Feb. 21. The first pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.