ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team heads to North Carolina for a midweek road contest on Wednesday, Feb. 27. The Phoenix and the Tar Heels are slated for a 4 p.m. opening pitch at Eugene A. Anderson.
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, @ElonSoftball. Wednesday’s game will also be streamed on Watch ESPN via the ACC Network Extra.
Inside the Series: North Carolina (UNC leads 28-4-1)
The two teams will meet for the 34th time on the softball diamond on Wednesday in Elon’s fastpitch era (since 1990). The Tar Heels holds an all-time advantage of 28-4-1 in the series, but the Phoenix swept UNC last season in a pair a games both on its home field and in Chapel Hill, N.C. Elon posted a 2-1 victory over the Tar Heels on Feb. 14, 2018, at Hunt Softball Park for its first win over its in-state foe since 2010. The Phoenix then defeated UNC in Chapel Hill, 7-3, at the Carolina Classic on March 3, 2018. It was the first win for Elon versus North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1998.
Last Time Out
The Phoenix competed at the Unconquered Invitational last weekend, Feb. 22-24, at No. 1 Florida State. Elon went 1-2-1 at the tournament with its lone win coming versus Samford on Saturday, Feb. 23, in an 8-2 victory over the Bulldogs. After battling Lipscomb in a 11-inning, extra inning affair in its nightcap on Saturday, which resulted in 5-4 win for the Bison, both teams met for a rematch the following morning. Elon had an 8-7 lead after the fifth inning, but Lipscomb tied the contest at 8-8 in its half of the sixth. With a drop dead time in effect for the game, both teams competed the full seven innings, but neither team could not plate the go-ahead run as the contest ended in a tie. It was the Phoenix’s first time since Feb. 9, 2014 at Charleston Southern.
Goldwait Named CAA Rookie of the Week
Keagan Goldwait was named the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week on Tuesday, Feb. 26, after her performance at the Unconquered Invitational last weekend. The Sugar Land, Texas, native batted .455 (5-of-11) with a double, two homeruns and three RBI. She becomes the second Phoenix player this season to earn the league’s Rookie of the Week accolade after Allie Eith was honored on Feb. 12.
Around the Horn
• On the season, Elon is hitting .274 on the year with 70 runs scored, 24 doubles, nine homers and 62 RBI.
• Three players in the Phoenix’s main lineup is hitting better than .300 on the year. Morgan Reich leads the Phoenix with her .371 average, while Ashtyn Foddrell is next at .355 and Goldwait at .320. Reich and Goldwait are tied for the team-lead in homers with two each while Rebecca Murray and Ally Repko have a team-best four doubles. Erica Serafini was a team-high 10 RBI on the young season.
• Reich had a solid weekend back in her home state at the Unconquered Invitational. The Orlando, Fla., native batted .400 (6-of-15) with three runs scored, two doubles, a home run and a team-best four RBI.
• Goldwait currently leads the CAA in walks with 12 this season. Eith is second in the league in runs scored with 10.
• Overall, Elon leads the CAA in total walks with 56 and is second in the league in runs scored and RBI.
• The Phoenix pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.74, second in the CAA. Elon has allowed 47 earned runs through its 88.0 innings of action and has struck out 22 batters.
• Abby Barker leads the Phoenix with her 2.81 ERA and 42.1 innings of action this season while posting a 4-2 record in the circle. Kenna Quinn has also seen a great deal of time toeing the rubber with 30.1 innings and a 3.92 ERA with a 3-2 record.
• Elon’s victory versus Longwood on Feb. 9, was the 185th for Phoenix eighth-year head coach Kathy Bocock in her career at Elon. Overall, Bocock has posted 189 career wins with the Phoenix.
• The Phoenix’s roster balanced with seasoned leadership and a renewed depth of talent, featuring seven seniors along with eight newcomers.
• In the 2019 CAA Preseason Poll, the Phoenix was tabbed to finish sixth by the league’s head coaches.
Scouting the North Carolina (6-7)
The Tar Heels are 6-7 on the young season after playing at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in California last weekend. North Carolina went 1-4 at the tournament with its lone win coming versus Utah on Friday, 7-2. Coming off a 30-26 record in 2018 including a 15-8 ledger during ACC play, the Tar Heels were selected as the favorite to win the Coastal Division and third overall in the league in the 2019 ACC Preseason Poll.
Led by 34th-year head coach Donna J. Papa, the Tar Heels are hitting .285 from the batter’s box this season with four regulars in their lineup hitting better than .300. Abby Settlemyre leads UNC with her .433 average while Kiani Ramsey is next with her .364 average and a team-high 16 hits. Hannah George has been the main run producer for the Tar Heels with her team-best 11 RBI.
In the circle, UNC has a team cumulative ERA of 3.86 with 61 strikeouts and 38 walks in 87.0 innings of action. Brittany Pickett has a 2.07 ERA in her team-best 50.2 innings of action with 43 strikeouts and a record of 4-4.
The Phoenix welcomes Lafayette, Oakland and LaSalle to Hunt Softball Park this weekend for its final home tournament of the season, the Elon Softball Phoenix Invitational, on March 1-3.