ELON, N.C. – After nearly a week away from competition, the Elon University softball team welcomes College of Charleston to Hunt Softball Park for a three-game set as both programs kick off Colonial Athletic Association play this weekend, March 24-25. The Phoenix and Cougars open the series with a twin bill on Saturday, at 1 p.m. before concluding the weekend with the finale on Sunday, also at 1 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 at the program’s handle, @ElonUSoftball. Sunday’s 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: College of Charleston (CofC leads 29-20)
Elon and CofC have faced each other 49 times in a series dating back to 1999. Both programs were members of the Southern Conference together from 2004-13 and rekindled their series when Elon joined the CAA in 2015, a season after College of Charleston joined the league. Since becoming CAA foes, both teams have met 10 times on the softball diamond with the Cougars holding the edge with a 6-4 ledger. Last season, the Phoenix fell to the Cougars in the series in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., but the maroon and gold won the series the last time the programs met in Elon in 2016.
Last Time Out
The Phoenix closed out its stay at the USF Series – Michele Smith Spring Break Tournament this past Sunday, March 18, with a 15-1 victory over Princeton. The victory was the second straight overall for the maroon and gold as Elon went 2-3 at the tournament. A 13-run bottom of the third inning broke the game open for the Phoenix as Elon posted its highest run output of the season and the most since plating 13 at Drexel last season.
Around the Horn
• Elon is batting .259 on the season with two regulars in its lineup hitting better than .300. The Phoenix has scored 111 runs while hustling for 39 doubles and five triples. The Phoenix is tied for the CAA-lead in triples and is second overall in doubles.
• The senior duo of Hannah Olson and Kara Shutt lead the Phoenix lineup at the plate. Olson has a .379 average to pace the squad with Shutt not far behind with her .374 clip. Both players rank in the top-10 of the CAA in average.
• Olson also leads the team with her 11 doubles, one shy of the CAA lead. The Yorktown, Va., native has also been the main run producer for the Phoenix with a team-high 19 RBI. The shortstop recorded her 37th career double over the weekend and is one double shy of moving into a tie seventh all-time in school history with Tomeka Watson ’13.
• Shutt leads the team in total hits (34), good for fifth in the league. The Greensboro, N.C., native tied the program’s all-time career doubles record with her 51st against Chattanooga on Saturday, March 17, sharing the top spot with Carleigh Nester ’14.
• Junior Ashtyn Foddrell stood out at the USF Series this weekend at the plate. The Warrenton, Va., native led the Phoenix with a .538 average (7-for-13) to go with two doubles, a triple and five RBI during Elon’s five games.
• Elon’s pitching staff has allowed a 2.66 ERA through 186.2 innings so far this season, third overall in the CAA. The Phoenix is also third in the CAA in strikeouts (115) and opposing batting average (.238) and is second in saves (four).
• Four players on the Phoenix’s staff have primarily taken turns toeing the rubber this season with senior Kiandra Mitchum seeing the most time in terms of innings pitched (69.1). The lefty from Mechanicsville, Va., native has a 2.42 ERA and is tied for the team-lead with five wins along with Abby Barker. Barker has seen the most appearances for Elon with 18 and has a 2.95 ERA in her 59.1 innings.
• Mitchum moved into the top-five in program history in career strikeouts with a 10-strikeout performance versus Chattanooga in Elon’s 4-3 win over the Mocs last Saturday. The senior sits on the program’s all-time career strikeout list with 347 for her career.
Scouting the Cougars (18-11, 0-0 CAA)
Selected to finish third in the 2018 CAA Preseason Poll, College of Charleston brings an 18-11 ledger into Hunt Softball Park after being idle since hosting the Charleston Invitational last weekend. The Cougars went 2-2 at its home tournament and closed out the weekend with a 13-1 victory over Jacksonville State on Sunday.
Offensively, the Cougars are hitting .313, which is second in the league to Towson. CofC paces the CAA in total hits with 245 and is second overall in runs scored (171), on-base percentage (.388) and RBI (145). Six players in the Cougars’ lineup are batting better than .300 including Taylor DuPree and her CAA-best .484 average. DuPree also paces the league with 46 total hits while Kelly Sinclair and Jordin Jones are in the top-five of the CAA with 28 and 24 RBI, respectively.
In the circle, Charleston has posted a 3.61 team ERA in 194.0 frames with 56 strikeouts and 92 walks allowed. Izzy Berouty has been the Cougars’ main workhorse this season, leading the CAA in innings with 110.0 – the only player in the league so far with 100 or more innings tossed. The sophomore has a 10-5 record and a 3.31 ERA with 30 strikeouts on the season.
Elon is back on the road for a midweek contest at North Carolina A&T next Wednesday, March 27. That game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start time in Greensboro, N.C.