COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Elon University softball team fell to Iowa State, 10-0, in five innings on Friday night, Feb. 21, to open play at the Gamecock Invitational at the Carolina Softball Stadium at the University of South Carolina.
Meeting Iowa State (6-5) for the second time ever on the softball diamond, the Phoenix (7-2) could not overcome a five-run inning by the Cyclones in the teams’ first matchup since 2013. Iowa State improved to 2-0 all-time versus Elon.
“Took the field tonight in good spirits, but we were a little off rhythm,” said Elon head coach Kathy Bocock. “We’re working through some pitching situations, but we’re still figuring out some things especially with a very young (pitching) staff. We’re in a really strong tournament so we’re just going to keep our heads up, come back out tomorrow and get after it.”
At the Plate
Elon registered one hit in the contest, which came from the bat of Rebecca Murray on a triple in the fourth inning. The Phoenix ended the contest with two runners left on base and 0-of-6 with runners left on.
In the Circle
Alexa Nemeth (0-1) was handed the loss for Elon, pitching 1.1 innings and allowing five hits and six runs, with five of those being earned. She also had a strikeout.
Iowa State came out the gates early with a two-run bottom of the first to take the lead. The Cyclones’ Carli Spelhaug opened with a double to right center before advancing to third on a stolen base. She eventually crossed the dish on a wild pitch to put the Cyclones ahead 1-0. Another Phoenix miscue led to another run scoring for Iowa State, who went ahead 2-0 after the first.
The Cyclones put up a five-spot in the second. An RBI single through the left side from Sami Williams followed by a two-RBI double from Hannah Carter extended Iowa State’s lead to 5-0. Elon went with a pitching change as Kaitlin King relieved Nemeth in the circle, but two more runs were added to the scoreboard before the end of the inning.
Another RBI double in the bottom of the third made the score 8-0 in favor of the Cyclones as the Phoenix looked for some momentum heading into the top of the fourth. Murray provided that as the sophomore drilled a 1-0 pitch to center field for her first triple of the season to leadoff the inning with the heart of Elon’s lineup coming to the plate. The Cyclones induced the next three outs on a pair of strikeouts and a pop up to leave Murray stranded at third to end the threat.
Iowa State added two more runs in its home half of the fourth before securing the 10-0 win via run-rule after the top of the fifth.
The Phoenix returns for day two at the Gamecock Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 22, versus Boston College. That game is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start.