WILMINGTON, Va. – Senior Kara Shutt moved to third all-time in career hits in school history as the Elon University softball team claimed game one of a Colonial Athletic Association three-game set at UNCW on Friday night, April 6, at Boseman Field.
The Phoenix (19-17, 3-4 CAA) snapped its overall four-game losing streak with a much-needed win over the Seahawks (11-20, 1-6 CAA). The win was the second straight in the all-time series versus UNCW for Elon, who improved to 4-4 in true road games this season.
At the Plate: Elon had nine hits in the contest…Hannah Olson was 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Phoenix with a RBI…Shutt, Ashtyn Foddrell and Tia Mitchell also had multi-hit performances…Shutt moved past Dani Concepcion ’05 for sole possession of third on the program’s all-time career hits list with 230 for her career…Shutt and Mitchell also had a triple in the game for the Phoenix…Elon left 11 runners on base.
In the Circle: Abby Barker (7-6) had a quality start for the Phoenix in the circle, allowing only one run in 4.1 innings of action…Hailey Jomp threw 2.2 innings in relief and surrendered one run, which was unearned, for her second save of the season.
The Phoenix got on the board first in the top of the second. Katrina Martin reached on a two-out walk for the Phoenix before she scored on a RBI triple to left field from Mitchell. The base hit gave Elon the early 1-0 advantage over the Seahawks.
Elon plated another run in the top of the third. Olson led off the inning on a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. A single to third by Foddrell gave the Phoenix runners at the corners with one out. After a lineout to first, the Phoenix was in danger of leaving runners stranded, but an error on the second baseman enabled Olson to score the second run of the game to put Elon ahead 2-0.
UNCW broke through to join Elon on the scoreboard. After the first two batters were retired on a popup and grounder, the Seahawks’ Anna Knox was able to connect on a full count solo homerun. UNCW later added two runners on base on back-to-back singles, but Elon was able to retire the side on a fly out to left field.
The Phoenix had a chance to extend its lead after loading the bases with no outs to start the fifth. Elon drew a walk and a hit-by-pitch to have a couple reach before UNCW loaded the bags on another walk. Elon however had its next three batters retire in order to leave the bags full.
Elon retook a two-run lead in the top of the sixth. Shutt led off on a triple to left center, her third in the past two games. She would score on a RBI single up the middle from Olson to put the Phoenix ahead 3-1.
The Seahawks got a run back in it home half of the sixth. A Dominique Travers two-out RBI single to center scored Lacey Fox, who reached originally on leadoff single. The play gave the Seahawks runners on first and second before a double steal advanced both into scoring position. As UNCW looked to potentially tie the game or take the lead with runners on, Jomp closed that opportunity with a strikeout to end the inning.
The story would be much of the same in the seventh. After the first two batters were retired, UNCW had the tying run reach on a single up the middle. The Seahawks blasted a hard hit rope to center on the next at bat, but Shutt was able to get under it to corral it for the final out and secure the 3-2 victory.
The Phoenix and the Seahawks close out the series on Sunday, April 8, with a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m.