CLEARWATER, Fla. – A 13-run bottom of the third inning broke the game open for the Elon University softball team as the Phoenix closed out its stay at the USF Series – Michele Smith Spring Break Tournament with a 15-1 victory over Princeton on Sunday morning, March 18, at the Eddie C. Moore Sports Complex.
Elon improved to 15-12 on the season and went 2-3 over its five games at the tournament. The Tigers fell to 1-12 on the season.
At the Plate: The Phoenix’s 15 runs was its highest output of the season and the most runs scored in a game since scoring 13 versus Drexel last season…Elon had seven hits in the contest…Hannah Olson and Abby Barker led the Phoenix with two hits each with Olson driving in three runs, tying for the team-lead with Ashtyn Foddrell…Olson and Foddrell also plated a double in the contest, Olson with her team-leading 11th of the season…Erica Serafini, Katrina Martin and Walker Barbee drove in two RBI in the contest.
In the Circle: Kenna Quinn picked up the win in the circle and improved to 3-3 on the season…The sophomore threw 3.0 innings and and allowed only one hit and one run in the contest…Barker tossed the remaining 2.0 innings in relief, striking out two batters.
The Phoenix jumped out on top in the bottom of the first. Serafini reached on a leadoff walk and scored thanks to a RBI double down the left field line by Olson. Elon managed to get runners at the corners with two outs, but a strikeout left them stranded.
Princeton replied to tie the game in the top of the second. The Tigers led off the inning with a double to right center and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. She plated the tying run on a sacrifice fly to left field to knot the game at one-all.
Elon got a run back in the bottom of the second. Katrina Martin reached on a leadoff free pass and advanced all the way to third on a couple of wild pitches. She would plate a run on a Serafini one-out sacrifice fly to left field, putting the Phoenix back in front, 2-1.
In the bottom of the third, Elon broke the game open as the Phoenix put up a 13-spot in the frame. Five of those runs came via bases loaded walks or a hit-by-pitch as Elon took a commanding 15-1 advantage at the conclusion of the frame.
Barker, who relieved Quinn to start the top of the fourth, threw two perfect innings to close out the contest as the Phoenix defeated the Tigers by the 15-1 score.
Phoenix Head Coach Kathy Bocock
“The biggest thing for us right now is playing well as we get into conference play. That was our mindset this morning, to get off to a great start today in our last game before conference. Playing in these tournaments helps us prepare for the CAA and also builds conference for that when we play well. We saw a lot of that today and I think that’s going to benefit the team when get ready for Charleston this weekend.”
The Phoenix returns to the diamond next weekend, March 24-25, to host College of Charleston for its Colonial Athletic Association opener. Elon and CofC face off in a doubleheader next Saturday, March 24, beginning at 1 p.m. before concluding the three-game set on Sunday, March 25, also at 1 p.m. at Hunt Softball Park.