ELON, N.C. – Off to its best start in five years, the Elon University softball team will look to continue its momentum as the Phoenix hosts Campbell in an early-week contest on Tuesday, Feb. 21. The opening pitch is slated for 4:30 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.
Inside the Series
In the Elon fast pitch era, the Phoenix and the Camels have met 35 times on the softball diamond in a series going back to 1993. Campbell has a 25-9-1 advantage all-time versus the maroon and gold and has won four out of the last five matchups. Elon last defeated the Camels in 2015, 2-0, in Hunt Softball Park with Kiandra Mitchum scattering two hits in the shutout victory.
Leading Off for Elon
• Elon’s 6-2 record is its best start through eight games since the 2012 season. That year, the Phoenix also went 6-2 through its first eight games.
• The Phoenix went 3-2 last week in its contests at North Carolina and versus North Carolina Central and Virginia. Elon swept the Lady Eagles in a twin bill on Saturday, Feb. 18, and was one out away from doing the same versus Virginia on Sunday, Feb. 19, before the Cavaliers rallied to split the doubleheader in the second game.
• As a team, Elon batted .301 last week with four regulars (six or more at bats) hitting north of .300. Alaina Hall (8-for-16) and Carey Million (6-for-12) led the way with their .500 average while combining for 12 RBI. Hall also added two doubles and a triple to her stat line while Million belted out a couple of home runs with a pair of stolen bases.
• In the circle last week, Elon posted a 3.06 ERA while striking out 17 batters and walking six. On the opposite end, Phoenix opponents posted a 6.07 ERA with 22 strikeouts and 22 walks.
• In its game one victory on Saturday versus N.C. Central, the program earned its 700th win during the fast pitch era. All-time, Elon softball has 886 wins since beginning competition in 1977.
Scouting the Phoenix
The Phoenix is hitting .315 on the season which is currently fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association. Elon is also in the top three of the league in slugging percentage (.463), on-base percentage (.398), runs scored (42), hits (64) and RBI (39). The Phoenix is outscoring its opponents 42-28 with the team doing the most damage in the sixth inning with 11 runs scored.
On the year, five regulars in the lineup are hitting .300 or better with two batting north of .400 in the batter’s box. After a slump to start the season, Hall has broken out over the last four games to raise her average to a team-best .423 while also pacing the squad in total hits (11). Million is tied for the CAA lead with eight RBI and two home runs and is second on the team with a .421 average.
Elon’s 2.91 staff ERA is fourth overall in the league as the Phoenix sit second in the CAA with 33 batters struck out. Mitchum and rookie Kenna Quinn has virtually split the starts in the circle for the Phoenix with Quinn leading the team with 22.0 innings pitched with a 3-0 record along with a 0.64 ERA, which is fourth in the CAA. Both Mitchum and Quinn are also in the top five of the league in strikeouts with 15 and 14, respectively.
Scouting the Camels
The Camels come into Tuesday’s contest with a 6-4 record after going 3-2 last weekend at the Furman/USC Upstate Classic. Coming off a 28-31 ledger in 2016, Campbell was selected to finish third in the 2017 Big South Preseason Poll.
Campbell is batting .293 as a team with four players hitting better than .300 in its lineup. Amber Schisler, the 2017 Big South Preseason Player of the Year, leads the team with a .484 average with 15 hits, a .710 slugging percentage and is second on the squad with 12 RBI behind Rachel McCollum’s 15. McCollum is second on the team with a .438 average and has five of the team’s nine homers this year.
In the circle, four players have seen time for Campbell as the team has a 2.94 cumulative ERA. Each member of the Camels’ four-person staff has at least a win on the season with Schisler and Holly Brooks leading the way with two each. Brooks also has a team-low 2.16 ERA in 22.2 innings with 10 strikeouts.
Elon travels to Orlando, Fla. for the Citrus Classic for the third straight season. The Phoenix begins the five-game tournament with a matchup on Friday, Feb. 24, versus former conference foe Georgia Southern at 11 a.m.