ELON, N.C. – Facing the lone undefeated team in the Colonial Athletic Association, the Elon University softball team fell in a pair of contests versus Hofstra on Saturday, March 31, in its league twin bill. The Phoenix fell to the Pride, 10-1, in the opening game before being handed a 5-1 setback in the nightcap at Hunt Softball Park.
Elon (18-15, 2-3 CAA) fell to 2-9 all-time versus the Pride (20-8, 5-0 CAA), who came into the contest receiving votes in both the USA Today/NFCA Coaches and ESPN.com/USA Softball top-25 polls. Hofstra also extended its win streak to five versus the Phoenix.
Game One: Hofstra 10, Elon 1
The Rundown: The Pride posted the first run of the game in the top half of the second. A one-out, RBI double to left center scored a run to put Hofstra ahead 1-0. A two-run top of the fourth plated by the Pride put the Phoenix in a 3-0 disadvantage heading to the home half of the frame.
Elon led off the bottom half of the fourth with a single to third from Erica Serafini. A single to right field by Elise Walton advanced her to third with only one out as the Phoenix looked to make a move to get into the game. The runners would be left at the corners as a popup and a strikeout looking closed the inning.
Hofstra’s offense added a four-spot in the top of the fifth to push its advantage to 7-0. The Phoenix was able to put runners into scoring in the home half however. Callie Horn reached on a one-out bloop single to third before being joined on the bases by Kara Shutt via a single up the middle. A wild pitch moved both runners to scoring position as the Phoenix looked to get on the scoreboard with just one out. On the next at bat, Elon hit a ball to right field in foul territory, but the fielder was able to corral it. Elon tagged up and tried to score from third on the play, but the throw from the outfield reached the catcher, who was able to make the tag to close the inning.
The Phoenix finally tacked on that evasive run on a Serafini solo home run in the bottom of the sixth. The Tampa, Fla., native connected on her first of the year after taking a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall. That made the score 7-1 with Elon still needing to rally.
The Pride responded with a three-run top of the seventh however, including a home run of its own, to seal its 10-1 victory.
Elon had six hits in the contest with Serafini and Shutt leading the way with two hits each. Shutt moved past Carleigh Nester ’14 for fifth all-time in career hits at Elon with her second base knock in the fifth. The Greensboro, N.C., native also doubled, her 11th of the season.
Kiandra Mitchum (6-6) was given the loss after pitching 1.2 innings before departing in the second inning. Kenna Quinn pitched the next three innings and surrendered six hits and six runs before giving way to Jamie Finnical, who went 2.1 innings with five hits allowed and three runs scored.
Game Two: Hofstra 5, Elon 1
The Rundown: In the nightcap, the Phoenix stayed within reach of the Pride throughout most of the game. Hofstra took the first lead of the contest in the top of the second on a two-out, solo homer to left field. That gave the Pride the 1-0 lead after the top half of the frame.
The Phoenix responded with a home run of its own in its home half to tie it, thanks to the bat of freshman Ally Repko. The Broadway, Va., native led off the inning by taking a 1-0 pitch to left for her team-best sixth round tripper of the year to tie the game at one-all.
Hofstra retook the lead in the top of the third with two outs. The Pride led off the inning on a single and advanced to third on bunt single. The Phoenix induced the next two outs and looked to potentially escape the frame unharmed, but a RBI single to left field broke the stalemate and put Hofstra back in front, 2-1.
Elon stayed within reach of the Pride as the Phoenix held them off the board in the top of the fourth and fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, the Phoenix had an opportunity to tie the game or take the lead after getting a couple of base runners on. Horn drew a leadoff walk on a full count before Shutt reached on an error. A sacrifice bunt moved the two to scoring position for the first out of the inning with the Phoenix needing at least a hard hit ball to the outfield to tie the game once again or take the lead. The Phoenix was unlucky as a foul out to right field and a looking strikeout left the runners stranded as the game move to the sixth.
The Phoenix would not get that close to scoring again as Hofstra added insurance to its lead with a three-run top of the sixth, mostly behind a two-run home run. Down 5-1, the Phoenix could only register one hit in the final two innings to fall in the second game to the Pride.
Elon only had four hits on the second contest with half that total coming from senior Kristin Hoover (2-for-3). Both teams also left seven runners stranded on base.
Abby Barker (6-5) pitched a complete game for Elon and gave up five runs with three strikeouts.
The series finale between the Phoenix and the Pride is set to begin on Easter Sunday with a noon start time. Prior to the game, the program will be hosting an Easter egg hunt for all kids that are in attendance at Hunt Softball Park.