ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team returns home to host its first tournament of the year, the Elon Softball Tournament on March 3-5 at Hunt Softball Park. The Phoenix welcomes the field of Wagner, Iona and Saint Joseph’s for the four-game tournament with Elon’s first game kicking off on Friday, March 3, at 2:30 p.m. versus Wagner.
Elon Tournament Schedule
Elon vs. Wagner, Friday, March 3, at 2:30 p.m.
Elon vs. Wagner, Saturday, March 4, at 2:30 p.m.
Elon vs. Iona, Saturday, March 4, at 4:45 p.m.
Elon vs. Saint Joseph’s, March 5, at 2 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.
Versus the Field
Elon has only faced the overall field twice all-time on the softball diamond. The Phoenix hosted both Saint Joseph’s and Iona at its home tournament in 2014 with Elon winning both its contests. The maroon and gold earned a 2-1 victory over the Hawks before posting a 10-1 win over the Gaels. Elon and Wagner will meet for the first time ever on Friday.
Leading Off for Elon
• The Phoenix is looking to get back on the winning side after a difficult road trip last weekend at the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla. Despite the unfavorable results, Elon was competitive in three of its four games for the most part.
• Senior Alaina Hall continues her hot streak after a slow start to the season. In the past nine games, Hall is hitting .520 (13-for-25) with six RBI and runs scored, two doubles and a triple while hitting safely in eight of those contests including a 2-for-2 performance versus No. 3 Florida.
• Under head coach Kathy Bocock, the Phoenix is 26-5 all-time during its home tournaments. Last year, Elon went 7-1 in its eight tournament games at Hunt Softball Park.
• As a team, Elon has plated most of its runs in the sixth inning (16) and holds a 5-1 advantage when leading after six innings.
• In the batter’s box, Elon is hitting .290 as a team with four regulars (10 or more at bats) hitting better than .300 on the year. The Phoenix has also hustled for 18 doubles, which is second in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Scouting the Phoenix
Elon is looking to snap a four-game losing skid this weekend in its first home tournament. The tournament begins a stretch of 10 straight home games for the Phoenix, who has posted a 7-1 ledger at Hunt Softball Park so far this season. In its eight home games, Elon is outscoring opponents 51-25 and hitting .353. Four players in the regular lineup (Hall, Kara Shutt, Carey Million and Erica Serafini) are hitting over .400 for the maroon and gold.
Hall batted .400 (4-for-10) last weekend at the Citrus Classic and leads the team with her .410 mark and 16 hits. She also has six multi-hit games this season including going 2-for-2 versus third-ranked Florida last Saturday. Her 16 hits are fourth in the CAA while Million is third in the league with 11 RBI.
In the circle, rookie Kenna Quinn has been an early bright start for the Phoenix in the circle, leading the team with 38.0 innings pitched and a 2.21 ERA, which is fifth in the league. Kiandra Mitchum is third overall in the CAA with 24 strikeouts with Elon posting 49 overall as a unit.
Scouting the Seahawks
Wagner College will be playing in its 2017 season-opener this weekend as the Seahawks face Saint Joseph’s to open the tournament at 12:15 p.m. on Friday. Members of the Northeast Conference (NEC), Wagner was tabbed to finish eighth in the 2017 NEC Preseason Poll as the Seahawks are coming off a 20-29 campaign a year ago.
The Seahawks enter their second season under head coach Angie Churchill and returns infielder Karen Prihoda, who became the first Wagner player to earn First-Team All-League honors in a decade last season. Prihoda batted .353 last season as the Seahawks as a team hit .271. Wagner also posted a 3.53 cumulative ERA in 2016 and returns McKaleigh Goodale to the circle after she went 9-10 with a team-low 2.70 ERA in 132.1 innings.
The Gaels are 2-3 on the young season after playing last at the USC Upstate/Furman Classic. Iona, who finished last year with a 13-33 overall record, was picked to finish seventh in the 2017 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Preseason Poll. Offensively, the Gaels are batting .189 on the year with one player, Tori Danner, hitting better than .300. Danner has a team-best .313 average and is tied for the team-lead with three homers.
Iona has relied on a three-person pitching staff on the year with the trio posting a 6.09 ERA. Marnie Skinner has accumulated a 1-2 record with a 4.50 ERA in 20 innings of action.
Scouting Saint Joseph’s
St. Joe’s is 0-5 this season after playing at the Michele Smith Pediatric Cancer Invitational on Feb. 17-19. The Hawks are looking to better its 25-26-1 record of a year ago as Saint Joseph’s was selected to finish third in the Atlantic-10 2017 Preseason Poll. On the season, the Hawks are hitting .189 with a couple of players tied for the team-lead with a .333 average with Raelynn Genovese and Caela Abadie. Saint Joseph’s pitchers have put up a 5.91 ERA this season with five different players seeing time toeing the rubber.
Elon hosts Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Pittsburgh next Tuesday, March 7, at Hunt Softball Park. That game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. first pitch.