CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A six-run bottom of the second from Kansas doomed the Elon University softball team as the Phoenix fell to the Jayhawks, 6-1, in the championship game of the Carolina Classic on Sunday, March 4, at Anderson Stadium.
Elon (11-6) fell to the Jayhawks (16-3) for its second loss of the tournament with the Phoenix going 2-2 versus the field of Kansas, Harvard and host North Carolina. KU posted a perfect 4-0 record over the weekend.
At the Plate: The Phoenix outhit the Jayhawks, 7-6, in the contest despite the setback…Elon left six runners on base in the game…Callie Horn led the Phoenix at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance…Erica Serafini drove in the lone RBI in the game for the Phoenix…Hannah Olson was 1-for-2 with a double and a run scored…Kara Shutt had a hit for the Phoenix to increase her hit-game streak to 15.
In the Circle: Abby Barker (5-2) received the loss for the Phoenix in the circle as the Granville, Ohio, native threw a complete game with six hits and six runs allowed. She also had six strikeouts and one walk.
After both teams went scoreless through the first one and a half frames, Kansas had a six-run bottom of the second with all of the damage coming with two outs. After a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with one out for the Jayhawks, Barker was able to strikeout the next batter with a chance of escaping the jam. However, KU drew a walk to plate the first run of the game with the leadoff hitter, Brittany Jackson, coming to the plate. Jackson drove a bases-clearing triple down the right field line to make the score 4-0. She would come home thanks to a two-run home run from the next batter, Sam Dellinger, as the Phoenix fell behind 6-0.
Elon got a run back in the top of the third. Olson drove a two-out double to right field and scored on Serafini’s RBI single to center. Serafini would be thrown out trying to advance to second to end the Phoenix’s run in the inning.
The Phoenix had a chance to trim into the Jayhawks’ lead in the top of the fifth. Horn and Tia Mitchell both reached with back-to-back one-out singles before Olson joined the pair to load the bags after a two-out walk. All three would be stranded as a fielder’s choice to third ended the threat and the inning.
Elon did not get any closer to score any runs as Kansas was able to keep the Phoenix bats quiet for the remainder of the game. Despite getting a runner on in the top of the seventh, a Phoenix strikeout ended the game with the score 6-1.
Elon is back on the road for its second true road game of the season on Wednesday, March 7, at Campbell. That game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start time.