Elon Softball, Duke to Square Off in Midweek Meeting

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team heads to Durham, N.C., for a midweek contest at Duke in the first-ever regular season meeting on the softball diamond between the two teams. The Phoenix and the Blue Devils are set for a 5:30 p.m. opening pitch on Wednesday, April 11, at the Duke Softball Stadium.

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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 at the program’s handle, @ElonUSoftball. The game will be broadcasted on the ACC Network Extra, which fans can access through WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app. For more on Elon softball, follow the program on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Inside the Series: Duke (First-ever meeting)
Elon will be facing Duke for the first time as the Blue Devils are in the midst of its inaugural season of collegiate softball. While Wednesday will be the first regular-season meeting between both programs, Elon and Duke faced each other this past fall season on each other’s home field.

Versus the ACC
The Blue Devils will be the fourth opponent that the Phoenix will face from the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2018 after matchups versus fellow intrastate foes North Carolina and NC State along with Syracuse. Elon is 2-2 this season so far against ACC competition with both victories coming versus the Tar Heels at home on Feb. 14 and again in Chapel Hill on March 3. The Phoenix’s 2-1 victory over the Tar Heels on Feb. 14, was its first versus the Tar Heels since 2010 while its 7-3 victory was the program’s first at UNC since 1998.

Around the Horn
• The Phoenix continues a nine-game road swing with its visit to Duke on Wednesday. So far, Elon is 2-2 during the slate after a setback to Longwood and a 2-1 Colonial Athletic Association series win at UNCW.
• Elon raised its team average to .270 during its four games last week. The Phoenix leads the CAA in triples with nine with two players, Kara Shutt and Erica Serafini, being tied for the league-lead with three each.
• Shutt was dynamic for the Phoenix last week, batting .750 (12-for-16) with a pair of four-hit games. She also added three doubles and three triples to her stat line while driving in six RBI and scoring six runs.
• Shutt’s big week raised her average to a team-best .435, currently third in the CAA. She is also second in the league in total hits (57) and doubles (15). Nationally, the Greensboro, N.C., native is eighth in total hits and sixth in total doubles.
• Shutt is also on the cusp of some CAA records. After earning her 57th career double at UNCW last weekend, Shutt is three shy of the league’s all-time career mark of 60 set by James Madison’s Erica Field in 2016. Her 236 career hits are currently sixth in league history and second all-time in program history behind Tomeka Watson’s ’13 258.
• Fellow senior Hannah Olson also continues to have an impressive senior season. The Yorktown, Va., native has posted career numbers across the board with her .393 average, 25 runs, 11 doubles and team-best 27 RBI. Her 123 runs scored ranks in the top-six in program history while she remains one double shy for seventh in school history as she sits with 37 in her career.
• Both Olson and Shutt have been the primary leaders for the Phoenix at the plate all season. Olson has a team-best 18 multi-hit games with Shutt right behind at 17. They are tied for the team-lead with six multi-RBI contests and both have posted the longest reached base streaks of the season with Shutt at 21 and Olson at 15. Shutt will carry a 13-game reached-base streak into Wednesday.
• In the circle, Elon has a 3.35 team ERA in 259.0 innings of action this season. The Phoenix has struck out 144 batters while walking 94. The maroon and gold is tied with James Madison for the league-lead with six saves.

Scouting the Blue Devils (20-20, 6-9 ACC)
In its first season of collegiate competition, the Blue Devils are 20-20 going into its Tuesday contest at Charlotte prior to facing the Phoenix. Duke, who was tabbed to finish 12th in the 2018 ACC Preseason Poll and sixth in the Coastal Division, sits fourth overall in the Coastal Division with a 6-9 ledger after coming off its series versus Georgia Tech this past weekend.

Four players in the Blue Devils’ lineup are hitting better than .300 with Raine Wilson leading the way with her .381 average. She also has driven in a team-best 21 RBI with four home runs and 11 doubles. Four players have accounted for double-digit RBI this season for Duke.

Duke has relied on a four-person staff for the majority of the season with Amelia Wiercioch seeing the most time toeing the rubber. The right-hander has appeared in 29 games for the Blue Devils with a 6-7 record and a 1.91 ERA in 109.2 innings of action.

On Deck
Elon closes out its nine-game road swing with a visit to Towson for a three-game CAA series this weekend, April 14-15. The Phoenix and the Tigers, who are fifth and fourth in the league standings respectively, opens the series with a twin bill on Saturday at 12 p.m. before concluding the weekend on Sunday at 1 p.m.