TAMPA, Fla. – The Elon University softball team fell to the University of South Florida, 8-0, in its second contest of the day as the Phoenix concluded the first day at the USF Series – Michele Smith Spring Break Tournament on Friday, March 16, at USF Tournament.
Elon (13-11) lost earlier in the day to Lehigh before suffering its first loss of the season via run-rule to USF (19-12), who won their 12th straight game overall.
At the Plate: The Phoenix was held to only two hits versus the Bulls with a base knocks coming from junior Ashtyn Foddrell and junior Callie Horn…Elon also committed three errors in the game…Phoenix batters struck out 10 times, recording its third double-digit strikeout game out of the past five…Foddrell’s hit was a triple, her first of the season…Kara Shutt saw her reached base streak end at 21 games.
In the Circle: Kiandra Mitchum received the loss, moving her record to 4-5 on the season…The Mechanicsville, Va., native threw 3.0 innings and surrendered four hits, two runs with four strikeouts…Kenna Quinn and Abby Barker pitched in relief for Mitchum in the game for Elon.
The Bulls plated the first runs of the contest in the bottom half of the first. USF’s Astin Donavan reached on a one-out bunt single and stole second to move into scoring position. Cassidy Doyle followed with a two-run home run into left center to put the Bulls ahead 2-0. USF had another runner reach third with two outs in the frame, but Elon induced the final putout on a fly out to second.
Elon got a chance to respond in the top of the second. Foddrell led off the frame with a nice hit ball that went towards the fence in left-centerfield. The fielder was able to knock it back into play, but it got away from her as Foddrell raced around the bases for the triple to put the Phoenix in immediate scoring position. However, USF induced the next three outs via strikeouts to leave Foddrell stranded at third.
USF put pressure on Mitchum and the Phoenix in the bottom of the third. Following a strikeout on the leadoff batter, Donavan reached on a single and moved to second on a stolen base. Another strikeout left the Bulls down to its final out before Donavan stole her second base of the inning, moving to third. Elon escaped the inning unharmed with a grounder third.
The Bulls got another runner in scoring position in its home half of the fourth. The leadoff batter reached on a free pass before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt. USF put runners at the corners after a Phoenix error with one out, but a double play converted by Erica Serafini helped the Phoenix escape the jam.
USF plated its third run in the bottom of the fifth. AnaMarie Bruni led off with a single and reached second on a stolen base. A sacrifice bunt moved her to third before she scored on a fielder’s choice to first as she avoided the tag on the throw to home. That play gave Elon a 3-run deficit going to the sixth.
The game concluded in the bottom of the sixth. Amber Atkinson homered a two-run shot on the first pitch she saw to put USF ahead 5-0. Three more runs would cross the dish for the Bulls as USF ended the game via run-rule, 8-0.
The Phoenix is back in action tomorrow, March 17, for the second day of the USF Series. Elon is slated to take on LIU Brooklyn at 9:45 a.m. followed by a match versus former conference foe Chattanooga to close out the day at 2:30 p.m.