ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team will play fellow Triad rival UNCG in a three-game series this weekend, March 16-17, beginning with a doubleheader at UNCG Softball Stadium at 1 p.m. The series concludes on Sunday, March 17, at Hunt Softball Park with the game slated for a 1 p.m. opening pitch.
Follow the Phoenix
Live stats for this weekend’s series will also be available to follow by going to the team’s program page at elonphoenix.com. Twitter updates will also be provided from the program’s handle, @ElonSoftball.
Inside the Series: UNCG (UNCG leads 41-38-1)
Longtime I-40 and Piedmont Triad rivals, the two programs have met on the softball diamond 80 times during Elon’s fastpitch era (since 1990). Both the Phoenix and the Spartans were also members together of the Southern Conference from 2004-2013. UNCG holds the slight 41-38-1 advantage all-time in the series and won two out of the last three contests. Elon however took the most recent contest, 6-4, while splitting a doubleheader last season in Elon.
Last Time Out
Elon earned its third straight win and its eighth out of its last nine with a 8-4 victory over Radford on Wednesday, March 13, at Hunt Softball Park. The Phoenix defeated the Highlanders for the seventh straight time and improved to 15-7-1 on the year. Elon scored in every inning except the second and sixth frames while also recording 10 hits in the contest.
Around the Horn
• The Phoenix enters the weekend series having outscored its opponents 125-101 through the first 22 games of the season.
• As a team, Elon is hitting .278 on the year with 40 doubles, 17 home runs and 110 RBI. The Phoenix is in the top-five of the Colonial Athletic Association in batting average, slugging percentage (.437), on-base percentage (.382), doubles, triples (three), homeruns and leads the league in runs scored (125), hits (169), RBI (110) and walks (93).
• Three players in the Phoenix’s main lineup are hitting better than .300 on the year. Morgan Reich leads the squad with their .348 average with Ashtyn Foddrell (.328) and Keagan Goldwait (.302) next up. Foddrell is also leading the team with her seven multi-hit games.
• Ally Repko leads the CAA in walks with 19 while Goldwait is next with 17. Repko has also hit a team-best four homeruns this season.
• Erica Serafini and Rebecca Murray are tied for the team-lead in RBI with 16 each. Overall, the Phoenix has four players with 10 or more RBI this season.
• Callie Horn hit her second homer of the season against the Highlanders on Wednesday. The Phoenix have 17 homeruns already in 2019 after hitting only 20 round trippers total in 2018.
• All seven of the Phoenix’s active freshmen has seen time early in the season. Six of those players have had their number called in the lineup with three starting at least 21 out of the 22 games this season.
• In the circle, Elon has posted a 3.52 ERA in 155.0 innings of action. The Phoenix has also struck out 61 batters compared to 71 walks. The Phoenix’s ERA is second in the CAA only to James Madison’s 2.01.
• Abby Barker is 9-2 on the season with a 2.39 ERA in 73.1 innings so far in 2019. Her nine wins leads the league after the Granville, Ohio, native went 3-0 last week with a 2.67 ERA in 21.0 innings.
• Phoenix head coach Kathy Bocock sits on 197 career victories while at the helm of the Elon softball program.
• The Phoenix’s roster is 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 UNCG (13-10)
The Spartans are 13-10 overall on the season a 8-6 win versus crosstown rival North Carolina A&T on Wednesday. Coming off a 46-13 campaign in 2018 including a 13-3 mark in the SoCon, the Spartans were tabbed as the favorites for the league title in the conference’s 2019 preseason poll.
UNCG is hitting .280 overall as a team with two players hitting north of .300. Makenna Matthijs has a team-high .364 average with 16 RBI while Gabi Howard has added four homers with 11 RBI on her .329 average. In the circle, Stephanie Bryden leads the Spartans in innings pitched (74.0), wins (nine), and strikeouts (81) while having a 2.84 ERA. As a staff, UNCG’s pitchers have posted a 3.74 team ERA in 157.1 innings with 138 strikeouts.
Elon welcomes North Carolina A&T to Hunt Softball Park next Wednesday, March 20, for a midweek contest. That game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start