GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Elon University softball team used a four-run surge in the fifth inning to help pull away from North Carolina A&T as the Phoenix earned a 9-1 victory over its fellow Piedmont Triad rival on Wednesday, April 24, at the Lady Aggies Softball Complex.
The win improved the Phoenix to 27-17-1 overall on the year. Elon also extended its win streak to seven over the Lady Aggies, who fell to 8-26 overall on the year. The maroon and gold concluded its non-conference portion on its current schedule with an 18-11-1 record.
At the Plate: The Phoenix had 10 hits in the game as Rebecca Murray (2-of-3), Megan White (2-of-2) and Elise Walton (2-of-4) each had multi-hit games. Murray also drove in two RBI, one shy of the team-lead by Lauryn Clarke, who had three on a bases-clearing triple. Murray had a double in the contest, as did Erica Serafini while Morgan Reich also added a triple.
In the Circle: Elon used its entire available pitching staff in the game with Kenna Quinn being credited with the win to improve to 8-4 on the season. Hailey Jomp started the game and pitched a team-high 2.0 innings and gave up a run and two hits. Quinn threw 1.2 innings in relief and struck out one batter while Katie Hoover tossed 1.1 scoreless frames in her season-debut in the circle. Elise Walton and Abby Barker pitched the remaining innings for the Phoenix.
Reich opened the top of the first with a triple to right field and scored on a one-out sacrifice fly by Murray to put Elon ahead 1-0. The Phoenix had two more runners reach base in the frame on a White single and an Ally Repko walk, but a ground out ended the threat.
The Lady Aggies answered in their home half to tie the game at one-all. After their first two batters were set down, N.C. A&T reached on a two-out double to center. An RBI single on the next at bat knotted the game at 1-1 before Elon escaped the inning on a grounder to short.
In the third inning, Elon retook the lead with Murray sparking the run. The freshman led off with a double to right center before she scored on White’s one-out RBI single down the left field line. White would be called out on a fielder’s choice at second, but Callie Horn, who reached first on the play, advanced to scoring position after a wild pitch. A single to left field from Walton enabled Horn to score and put the Phoenix ahead 3-1.
The Phoenix scored another run in the fourth to push its lead to 4-1. Serafini doubled with two outs and came home on Murray’s RBI single to right field.
Elon extended the lead with its four-run fifth inning. The Phoenix loaded the bases with one out as N.C. A&T went with a switch in the circle. A wild pitch however plated another run for Elon with the remaining runners advancing to scoring position. A strikeout put the Phoenix down to its last out, but not before Elon loaded the bases again on a walk with Clarke coming to the plate as a pinch hitter. The freshman drove a triple to left center and cleared the bases as the Phoenix went up 8-1.
An error by the Lady Aggies in the top of the sixth led to Elon’s ninth run of the game and an eight-run advantage, 9-1. The Phoenix quickly retired the side in the bottom of the frame and came away with the run-rule victory.
The Phoenix returns to Hunt Softball Park for its final home series this weekend, April 27-28, in a Colonial Athletic Association three-game set versus Towson. The team will also celebrate Senior Weekend and honor its seven-person class of Barker, Ashtyn Foddrell, Horn, Jomp, Tia Mitchell, Serafini and Walton.