ELON, N.C. – Facing one of the top teams in the Colonial Athletic Association, the Elon University softball team could not keep pace with the Dukes of James Madison as the Phoenix fell in its league series finale, 10-2, on Sunday afternoon, April 22, at Hunt Softball Park.
The setback extended the Phoenix’s season-long losing streak to eight games as Elon dropped to 20-25 overall and 4-11 during CAA play. The Dukes improved to 33-10 on the season with a 13-2 ledger in league play. Despite the loss, Elon still remains just a game back for the fifth and final spot of the CAA tournament in the league standings.
At the Plate: The Phoenix was outhit in the game, 14-4, by the Dukes, but forced JMU to strand eight base runners…Four different players recorded a base hit for the maroon and gold…Ashtyn Foddrell and Elise Walton scored the lone runs of the game for Elon.
In the Circle: Kenna Quinn took the loss in the circle for the Phoenix, falling to 5-7 on the season…Quinn pitched 2.0 innings and surrendered five hits and two runs…Freshman Jamie Finnical threw 3.1 frames in relief and allowed five hits and three runs – one earned – with a strikeout.
JMU started the scoring early with a two spot in the top of the second. The Dukes loaded the bases on a one-out single before driving in a pair of runs on a double to left center to make the score 2-0. James Madison had runners in scoring position before the bags became full again on a walk. Elon however induce the next two outs on a fielder’s choice and a fly out to escape the jam.
A five-run top of the third extended the Dukes’ advantage over the Phoenix. James Madison had runners at the corners with one out before a sacrifice fly to shallow right drove in another run to put the Dukes ahead 3-0. A single on the next at bat gave JMU a couple of runners on with two outs before the bases were cleared on a double to right center. A two-run home run followed as Elon stared at a 7-0 deficit after the third.
Elon got a run back in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a couple of JMU errors. Down to two outs, Foddrell reached on the Phoenix’s second hit of the day to right field. The fielder however misplayed the ball, enabling Foddrell to advance to second and third on the play. An errant throw from the outfield moved her across the dish to plate Elon’s first run of the game and trim its deficit to 7-1.
In the top of the sixth, it was the Phoenix that was snake-bitten with errors in the field. James Madison led off the frame with a single and advanced to second on a ground out before a RBI double put the Dukes back ahead by seven, 8-1. A single to right field gave the Dukes a couple of runners on, but an error on the play helped JMU add another run to the scoreboard. On the next at bat, Elon recorded a putout on a grounder to third, but an errant throw in an attempt to get the lead runner out at third base helped the Dukes cross home plate for a third time in the frame and take a 10-1 lead.
The Phoenix added its second run in similar fashion to its first in the home half of the sixth. After the first two batters were retired, Walton reached on a single to give the Phoenix a runner on. Foddrell stepped into the batter’s box and drove a sharp hit ball to third base. The fielder was able to gather it, but overthrew the first baseman sending the ball into the outfield. Walton was able to score off the mishap with Foddrell advancing to third on the play. Needing a run to continue the game, the Phoenix looked to capitalize, but a foul out to the catcher on the next at bat ended those chances as the Dukes closed out the series sweep with a 10-2 victory.
The Phoenix wraps up its home stretch on the schedule this week starting with its final nonconference game of the year versus Triad rival North Carolina A&T on Wednesday, April 25. The single-game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start time.