ELON, N.C. – Facing its third opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, the Elon University softball team welcomes Syracuse for an early-week matchup on Tuesday, March 13. The Phoenix and the Orange are slated for a 4 p.m. opening pitch at Hunt Softball Park.
The game was moved from its original date of Wednesday, March 14, at 6 p.m., due to possible cold temperatures.
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 at the program’s handle, @ElonUSoftball. The contest will be streamed on Elon’s Phoenix All-Access channel at elonphoenix.com. For more on Elon softball, follow the program on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Inside the Series: Syracuse (Elon trails 1-3)
Tuesday’s contest will be the fifth meeting all-time on the softball diamond between the Phoenix and the Orange. Syracuse holds the edge with a 3-1 advantage in a series dating back to 2010. This is the second straight season that both teams will square off versus each other and the second in the last four years at Hunt Softball Park. Last season, the Phoenix and the Orange met at the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla., with Syracuse pulling out a 3-2 victory.
Versus the ACC
Syracuse will become the third opponent that the Phoenix will face this season from the ACC and the second at Hunt Softball Park. The Phoenix has already played against intrastate foes North Carolina and NC State and has a matchup later this year at Duke on April 11. Elon is 2-1 this season so far against ACC competition with both victories coming versus the Tar Heels at home on Feb. 14 and again in Chapel Hill on March 3. The Phoenix’s 2-1 victory over the Tar Heels on Feb. 14, was its first versus the Tar Heels since 2010 while its 7-3 victory was the program’s first at UNC since 1998.
Last Time Out
Elon fell in a three-game set versus longtime Triad rival UNCG last Friday and Saturday, March 9-10. Both teams played in a single-game last Friday in Greensboro, N.C., as the Phoenix dropped a close 5-3 result to the Spartans. On Saturday in a twin bill at Hunt Softball Park, Elon battled UNCG in another close outing, but had a 4-1 setback to the Spartans in extras. The Phoenix salvaged a 6-4 victory in the series finale over its former conference foe.
Around the Horn
• Elon’s offense is batting .268 as a team, good for fifth in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Phoenix has plated 85 total runs while also hustling for 29 doubles, second in the CAA.
• The dynamic duo of Kara Shutt and Hannah Olson continue to impress in their senior campaigns. Both players are hitting north of .400 with Shutt leading the team with her .417 average and Olson not too far behind at .412. Both players are also tied for second in the CAA in doubles with eight.
• Shutt will look to continue her 19-game hit game streak heading into Tuesday. The streak is the longest for the program since Tomeka Watson ’13 had a 16-game streak during her All-American campaign in 2013.
• During Shutt’s 19-game hitting streak, she is hitting .438 with six doubles and 20 runs scored. Olson has been even more impressive over that same stretch, hitting a team-best .450 with seven doubles, 16 RBI and 15 runs scored. The Yorktown, Va., native had a 15-game reached base streak herself this season, which was snapped against the Spartans last Saturday.
• Olson and Erica Serafini are the lone Phoenix players with double-digit RBI this season with Serafini just behind Olson with 15. As a team, the Phoenix have driven in 70 runs.
• The Phoenix pitching unit has a 2.55 ERA this season, good enough for third in the CAA. Elon is also in the top-three of the league in opposing batting average (.224), saves (four) and innings pitched (148.1).
• Kenna Quinn went 2-0 last week for the maroon and gold in its victories at Campbell and UNCG. The sophomore hurler had a 2.40 ERA in 11.2 innings for the Phoenix in her three appearances last week.
• Abby Barker picked up her team-best second save of the year against UNCG on Saturday and is tied for second in the CAA. The redshirt sophomore leads the team with her five victories this season.
Scouting the Orange (12-7, 2-1 ACC)
The Orange is coming into Tuesday’s contest after winning two of three in its ACC-opener at Virginia Tech last weekend. Tabbed to finish sixth in the 2018 ACC Preseason Poll after coming off a 31-19 overall record with a 10-10 ledger during league play, Syracuse is led by third-year head coach Mike Bosch.
Three players in Syracuse’s regular lineup are hitting .300 or better as the Orange has a .281 team average. Bryce Holmgren paces the team with her .491 average and 19 RBI while Alicia Hansen is second behind Holmgren with her .375 average and leads the team with 21 runs scored. Holmgren is one of three players on the Orange with 10 or more RBI along with Gabby Teran (11) and Toni Martin (10).
In the circle, Syracuse has held opponents with its 1.96 ERA in its 128.1 innings of play. The Orange has also struck out 135 batters with staff ace Alexa Romero accounting for 102 of that total. Romero has a 1.09 ERA in 70.1 innings of action and has an 8-4 record with four shutouts. The Aurora, Colo., native tossed Syracuse’s first perfect game since 2000 with her performance in the Orange’s 8-0 victory over Sacramento State on Feb. 17, at the Mary Nutter Classic.
The Phoenix travels to Tampa, Fla., for its final tournament of the regular season at the USF Series – Michele Smith Spring Break Tournament on Friday through Sunday, March 16-18. Elon faces the field of Lehigh, Chattanooga, LIU Brooklyn, Princeton and host USF at the tournament.