ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team will travel to Athens, Ga., for its final tournament of the season at the UGA Classic this weekend, March 8-10. The Phoenix will play four games against the field of Bowling Green, Western Illinois and eighth-ranked and host Georgia at Jack Turner Stadium.
Elon opens the tournament against Bowling Green on Friday, March 8, at 4 p.m. The following day, the maroon and gold faces the Bulldogs and Western Illinois before closing out the weekend with a rematch versus Georgia on Sunday, March 10, at 1 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. Updates will also be provided on Twitter at the program’s handle, @ElonSoftball. The Phoenix’s games versus Georgia can be viewed on the SEC Network Plus on WatchESPN.
Versus the Field
Bowling Green (Elon leads 2-1)
The Phoenix holds a 2-1 record all-time versus the Falcons on the softball diamond. The two teams met recently last season in Elon where they split a pair of contests.
No. 8 Georgia (Georgia leads 12-1)
Elon makes its first trip to Georgia since 2016 and will face the Bulldogs for the 14th and 15th time this weekend. The Phoenix’s lone win over the Bulldogs came in 2013 where Elon upset the then sixth-ranked Bulldogs 5-2 in Athens.
Western Illinois (First-ever meeting)
Elon and Western Illinois will square off for the first time on the softball diamond this weekend. The Phoenix has an all-time record of 0-3 versus current members of the Summit League.
Last Time Out
Elon rallied from a two-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh to earn a 5-4 win over Duke on Wednesday, March 6, in a midweek home contest at Hunt Softball Park. The win was the first-ever for the Phoenix against the Blue Devils. Down two with two outs, Elon plated three runs in the seventh behind a two-RBI double from Erica Serafini and a walk-off RBI single from Keagan Goldwait. The win improved the Phoenix to 10-2 overall on the season at Hunt Softball Park.
Barker Named CAA Pitcher of the Week
Redshirt junior Abby Barker was named the Colonial Athletic Association Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday, March 5. The Granville, Ohio, native posted a 0.00 ERA in 10.0 innings of action while going 2-0 over the weekend. She also fanned eight batters overall and posted a complete game, one-hitter versus La Salle on Saturday, March 2, in the Phoenix’s 9-0 win. The honor was Barker’s first career Pitcher of the Week accolade and the third time this season that a member of the team received a weekly award. Allie Eith and Goldwait were both named the CAA Rookie of the Week on Feb. 12 and Feb. 27, respectively.
Around the Horn
• The Phoenix enters the weekend tournament having outscored its opponents 104-84 through the first 18 games of the season. Elon has plated most of those runs in the third inning, outscoring the opposition 23-14 in the frame.
• As a team, Elon is batting .286 on the season with 104 runs scored, 32 doubles, 12 home runs and 91 RBI. The Phoenix currently leads the Colonial Athletic Association in RBI, runs scored and walks (80) and is in the top-five in the league in slugging percentage (.437), on-base percentage (.396), hits (136), doubles and home runs.
• Ashtyn Foddrell leads the Phoenix with her .372 batting average and has been on a tear at the plate in the past six games. The Warrenton, Va., native is batting .500 (10-for-20) with three doubles and has had four multi-hit games over that stretch.
• Serafini leads the Phoenix with 14 RBI and is one of four players with 10 or more RBI for the maroon and gold. Her RBI total sits fourth overall in the CAA.
• Goldwait leads the CAA in on-base percentage at .537 while Repko is second at .524. Repko is also the league-leader in walks with 17 followed by Goldwait with 15. Eith has scored a CAA-best 14 runs while Repko is second with 13.
• In the circle, the Phoenix has posted a 3.59 ERA as a team with four players seeing time toeing the rubber so far in 2019. Barker leads the team with her 59.1 innings of action and has posted a 2.48 ERA and a 7-2 record. Barker’s seven wins leads the CAA and ties her single-season best.
• 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.
• Elon returns 11 letterwinners from its 2017 roster while also adding eight talented newcomers into the fold. Among the notable returners includes sophomore Ally 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.
• Elon eighth-year head coach Kathy Bocock has won 193 games in her tenure with the Phoenix.
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 Bowling Green (4-6)
The Falcons enter the weekend with a 4-6 record after playing at the Gaucho Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif., on March 1. Bowling Green suffered a pair of setbacks at the tournament, falling to LIU Brooklyn and California. Coming off a 26-26 record and an 8-14 ledger in the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) in 2018, Bowling Green was projected to finish eighth in the 2019 MAC Preseason Poll. The Falcons are hitting .239 on the season with Nikki Sorgi having a team-best 10 hits on her .400 average. Meredith Miller has carried Bowling Green in the circle this season, posting a 2.93 ERA in her 43.0 innings with 46 strikeouts.
Scouting No. 8 Georgia (19-2)
The Bulldogs boast a 19-2 ledger on the season and defeated in-state rival Georgia Tech, 16-4, in their more recent contest on Wednesday in Atlanta. The win over the Yellow Jackets was the fourth straight for Georgia and the 15th out of the last 16. Georgia currently leads in the nation in scoring (8.95 runs per game) and is third in slugging percentage (.630). Additionally, the Bulldogs rank sixth in on base percentage (.451) and eighth with 1.48 home runs per game. Overall, Georgia is batting .347 as a squad with Justice Milz leading the way with her .446 average and 25 hits. The Bulldogs’ pitching staff has a 1.65 ERA with 120 strikeouts on the season.
Western Illinois (4-7)
The Leathernecks are 4-7 so far in 2019 after playing at the Alabama State Invitational on March 1-2. Western Illinois was swept in its games at the tournament, falling twice to Tennessee Tech and versus Eastern Kentucky, pushing its losing streak to four. After going 17-31 last season with a 9-6 record in the Summit League, the Leathernecks were tabbed to finish third in the 2019 Preseason poll of the league. Sydney Hollings is hitting .290, with a .613 slugging percentage with eight of her nine hits being for extra-bases. In the circle, Emily Ira and Abby Carlin each have started four games. Ira is 2-2 with a 2.51 ERA and an opponent batting average of .216. Carlin is 1-3 with a 3.25 ERA.
Elon is back on its home field to host Radford in a midweek contest next Wednesday, March 13. That game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start time.