ELON, N.C. – Following the postponement of its midweek game at North Carolina, the Elon University softball team turns its attention to its home tournament, the Phoenix Invitational, where it will host three teams this weekend, March 1-3, at Hunt Softball Park.
The Phoenix opens the weekend with a single-game matchup versus Lafayette on Friday, March 1, at 3 p.m. Elon follows with a twin bill on Saturday against Oakland and La Salle starting at 12:15 p.m. The tournament concludes for the maroon and gold with a rematch against Lafayette on Sunday starting at 12:15 p.m.
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. The Phoenix’s first three games of the tournament will be streamed on Phoenix All-Access at elonphoenix.com. Updates will also be provided on Twitter at the program’s handle, @ElonSoftball.
Versus the Field
Lafayette (Elon leads 2-0)
The Phoenix and the Leopards will meet for the first time on the softball diamond since 2015, with that meeting also coming at Elon.
Oakland (Series tied at 1-1)
Elon and Oakland have only met twice in its all-time history with the teams splitting their previous matchups coming into this weekend. The Phoenix however defeated the Golden Grizzlies, 8-0, in the last matchup in 2016 in Elon.
La Salle (First-ever meeting)
Elon and La Salle become first-time foes on Saturday on the softball diamond. The Phoenix has an all-time record of 12-6 versus current members of the Atlantic-10 Conference.
Around the Horn
• Going into this weekend, the Phoenix has posted a 6-1 record at its home confines of Hunt Softball Park this season.
• This weekend will be the the third tournament that the Phoenix will host this season. Elon also hosted the Opening Weekend Tournament (Feb. 8-10) and the February Classic (Feb 15-17).
• 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 Keagan 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. Allie 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.
• All seven of Elon’s active freshmen have seen time this season with six of the seven having their numbers called in the lineup at least once this season.
• 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 is in its 30th season of as a program at the fastpitch level (since 1990) and the 20th year at the Division I level. Since beginning fastpitch play, the Elon softball program has posted 759 victories and 476 at the Division I level.
• Elon returns 11 letterwinners from its 2017 roster while also adding eight talented newcomers into the fold. Among the notable returners includes Repko, who was a Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie selection in 2018. Repko led the Phoenix with six home runs as a rookie.
• The Phoenix will have a unique blend of a large senior class (seven) to go with a large freshman group (eight). In between, the maroon and gold only have two juniors and two sophomores.
• The maroon and gold will face an exciting and challenging slate in 2019. The Phoenix’s schedule will feature contests versus six teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season including a matchup at defending NCAA national champion Florida State.
Goldwait Named CAA Rookie of the Week
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 Eith was honored on Feb. 12.
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 tie since Feb. 9, 2014 at Charleston Southern.
Elon Tabbed Sixth in 2019 Preseason CAA Poll
Elon was selected to finish sixth in the 2019 Colonial Athletic Association Preseason poll as chosen by the league coaches. James Madison was selected as the unanimous favorite to win the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) softball championship by a vote of the league’s eight head coaches. The vote marks the fifth straight season in which the Dukes have sat atop the CAA’s preseason poll. James Madison collected seven first-place votes and 49 total points, and College of Charleston was picked second with 39 points and a first-place vote. UNCW was picked third with 33 points, while Hofstra and Towson were picked tied for fourth with 28 points each. Rounding out the poll was Elon with 21 points, Delaware with 14 points and Drexel with 12 points.
Scouting Lafayette (0-2)
The Leopards have only played twice on the young season, both games coming at George Washington. Lafayette went 7-42 overall in 2018 and was tabbed to finish seventh in the 2019 Patriots’ League Preseason Poll. Second-year head coach Caitlyn de la Haba welcomes back senior first baseman Maddie Wensel, an Academic All-Patriot League selection, who excelled at the plate with a .322 batting average and a .525 slugging percentage. This weekend will also be a family affair between the Phoenix and the Leopards as Keagan Goldwait will face her older sister Addison, who is a junior on the Lafayette softball program.
Scouting Oakland (2-6)
The Golden Grizzlies begin their 2019 campaign with a 2-6 ledger after playing at the Campbell Invitational last weekend. Oakland earned a 7-6 victory versus Fairfield to close out the tournament. Last season, Oakland went 23-27 overall and 11-8 in the Horizon League and was selected to finish third overall in the league’s 2019 preseason poll. Second-year head coach Lauren Karn leads an Oakland squad that is hitting .286 on the year with Brittney Miller scorching the plate with her .591 average. Pitcher Lauryn Debono has both wins for the Golden Grizzlies in the circle and has posted a 2.63 ERA in 21.1 innings.
La Salle (0-2)
La Salle also competed at the Campbell Invitational last weekend, but was only able to get in two games, versus Fairfield and the host Camels. The Explorers went 12-34 overall a year ago and 3-19 in the A-10 under and was chosen to finish ninth overall in the 2019 conference preseason poll. Second-year head coach Brooke Darreff returns six starters back from last year’s team including junior Emily Conaway and sophomore Ashley Mendenhall. Conaway ended the 2018 season with a .289 batting average and started all 46 games. The Berwyn, Pa. native paced the Explorers with 41 hits, while setting the single season doubles record with 14.
The Phoenix hosts Duke in a midweek tilt next Wednesday, March 6, at Hunt Softball Park. That game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start.