TOWSON, Md. – Playing in unfavorable weather conditions that included a couple of delays in its contest, the Elon University softball team was outlasted by Towson as the Phoenix fell in the final game of the Colonial Athletic Association series on Sunday, April 15, at the Tiger Softball Complex.
The Phoenix (20-22, 4-8 CAA) played a closely-contested ballgame against the Tigers (32-11, 8-4 CAA), keeping the game within reach throughout the seven innings. Towson however earned the series sweep over the maroon and gold. The defeat dropped Elon for a tie for fifth in the league standings with Charleston and a game behind UNCW.
At the Plate: Elon had seven hits in the game…Tia Mitchell led the Phoenix with a 3-for-3 effort including a triple…Ashtyn Foddrell was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a home run.
In the Circle: Jamie Finnical (0-2) threw 3.0 innings in her second start of the season…The freshman surrendered six hits, five runs, but three were earned…Kenna Quinn pitched 3.0 innings in relief and allowed two hits with three strikeouts…Elon was able to strand 11 Towson baserunners.
Elon got on the board early in the top of the first. Three straight singles with one out helped the Phoenix plate the first run of the game. Foddrell drove a base hit to left field that scored Hannah Olson and put Elon ahead 1-0.
Finnical finagled her way out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the first. Towson had runners on first and second with two outs, but a passed ball advanced both into scoring position before a walk loaded the bags. Elon held the Tigers off the scoreboard as a fly out to right field ended the inning.
The Phoenix had an opportunity to add to its lead in the top of the second. The inning started with Elon’s first two batters reaching on walks before the bases were loaded on a Mitchell single. On the next at bat, Elon looked to have scored a run on a grounder to second, but the Phoenix was called out on runner’s interference which prevented the run. Despite still having the bases loaded with only out, Towson was able to induce the next two outs to end the inning.
Towson was able to take the lead in the bottom of the second. The Tigers were able to lead off the inning on a single before the runner moved all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt and a foul out to second. Towson was able to rally to score three runs with two outs to take a 3-1 advantage after the end of the second.
The Tigers expanded its lead in the bottom of the fourth. Towson’s leadoff batter reached on a Phoenix error to give the Tigers a base runner on. The miscue proved to be costly as a homerun on the next at bat brought two across the dish for Towson who moved ahead 5-1.
Elon got a run back in the top of the fifth. Towson retired the first two batters before Foddrell stepped into the batter’s box. The Warrenton, Va., native connected for her fourth homer of the season to cut into the Phoenix’s deficit, who trailed the Tigers 5-2 after the top half of the fifth.
After a scoreless sixth, Elon plated a run to bring itself closer to the Tigers’ lead. Mitchell led off the inning with her third hit of the contest just over the centerfielder’s glove. The Dublin, Ga., native was able to reach third for a triple before being awarded home on an errant throw that went into the Phoenix’s dugout. The play trimmed the Phoenix’s deficit to two with the top of the lineup coming to the plate with no outs.
Towson halted any momentum that Elon was gathering in the final frame as the next three batters were retired in order as the Tigers secured the 5-3 victory.
Elon returns back home after an eight-game absence to host James Madison in a CAA three-game set this weekend, April 21-22. The Phoenix and the Dukes start the series with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. before concluding with a Sunday afternoon game at 1 p.m.