Elon Softball Treks to the Liberty Softball Classic

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team closes out its 10-game road stint with a trip to Lynchburg, Va., for the Liberty Softball Classic this weekend, Feb. 29-March 1. The Phoenix will face the field of Yale, Fairfield, Penn and Liberty over the weekend.

The Schedule
• Due to recent changes on the tournament slate, the Phoenix’s schedule this weekend has been adjusted. Elon opens the tournament versus Fairfield at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29 at the Liberty Softball Stadium before taking on Penn in the nightcap at 4 p.m. at Mountain Field.
• On the final day, Sunday, March 1 the Phoenix plays Yale at 10 a.m. at Mountain Field before closing out the tournament against the Flames at 4 p.m. at the Liberty Softball Stadium.

Follow the Phoenix
• Live stats will be available for every game at the tournament.
• Updates of the Phoenix’s games will also be posted on Twitter at the team’s account @ElonSoftball.

Last Time Out
• The Phoenix defeated North Carolina, 2-1, on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in Chapel Hill, N.C., to snap a five-game losing streak. It was the third straight victory for Elon over the Tar Heels.
• Megan Grant and Morgan Reich both led the Phoenix at the plate by going 2-of-3 with a double. Grant and Bella Devesa drove in an RBI for Elon.
• Alexa Nemeth earned the win for the Phoenix in the circle, going to 1-1 on the year. The Mooresville, N.C., native pitched 5.0 innings in relief and gave up one unearned run.

Around the Horn
• Elon improved to 8-6 on the season going into the weekend with its victory over the Tar Heels. It was the first true road win of the year for the maroon and gold.
• This is the last of stretch of the Phoenix’s 10-game road trip. So far, Elon is 1-5 on the road swing.
• As a team, Elon is batting .252 overall with two players in the lineup hitting .300 or better led by Megan White’s .375 average. Grant is second with a .366 average.
• White and teammate Ally Repko are tied for the Colonial Athletic Association lead in home runs with four each. White also leads the league in walks with 10 and is tied for third with 14 RBI.
• After stealing only 20 bases as a team last season, the Phoenix is more aggressive on the base paths in 2020 swiping 18 bags. Rebecca Murray leads the team with six stolen bases followed by Grant with four.
• Kenna Quinn has had an impressive start to her senior season. The Boiling Springs, S.C., native has a 0.25 ERA and a 4-0 record in 28.0 innings of action. She has also struck out 27 batters and has allowed opponents to hit .171.

Series Breakdown
• vs. Fairfield – Elon and Fairfield have not met on the softball diamond going into the weekend.
• vs. Penn – The Phoenix and the Quakers are also facing each other for the first time on Saturday.
• vs. Yale – Yale will be another first-time opponent for the Phoenix. Elon is 3-7 versus current members of the Ivy League all-time.
• vs. Liberty – This will be the second meeting of the season for the Phoenix and the Flames. The two programs met on Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Gamecock Invitational at South Carolina with Liberty coming away with a 12-3 victory to improve to 11-6 all-time versus Elon.

Scouting Fairfield
• Fairfield is 1-3 on the season after opening the year at the UNCG Invitational last weekend. The Stags did defeat North Carolina, 11-2, for its lone win at the tournament.
• The Stags are batting .325 through its young season with Sam Merino pacing the squad with her .571 average. Kaitlin Hoffman has driven in a team-best five runs.
• Four players saw time in the circle for Fairfield at the UNCG tournament last weekend led by Katie Kudlacik’s 11.0 innings of action. She has a team-low ERA of 4.09 with eight strikeouts.

Scouting Penn
• The Quakers are starting their season at Liberty this weekend. Last year, Penn went 22-17 and finished 13-8 in the Ivy League. This year, Penn was selected to finish second in the 2020 Ivy League Preseason Poll.
• Penn returns four All-Ivy contributors from last year’s team, including three from the first team. Sophomore Emma Nedley was named the 2019 Ivy League Rookie of the Year after batting .386 with five homers, 23 RBI, eight doubles and a pair of triples.
• Jennifer Brann returns as the leading pitcher in the circle for the Quakers after earning first-team All-Ivy League honors. She posted a 2.42 ERA with a 6-6 record in 86.2 innings in 2019.

Scouting Yale
• Yale started its season at the Silicon Valley Classic in California. The Bulldogs went 2-3 at the tournament with wins over Santa Clara and California Baptist.
• Leading the Bulldogs at the plate has been Sydney Grobman, who is hitting .412 on the season so far. Annie Tarte also is batting over .300 with her .375 average.
• The Bulldogs have an impressive 2.80 ERA so far in 2020. Nic Conway leads Yale with her 12.0 innings pitched and a 1.17 ERA. Miranda Papes has both wins for the Bulldogs this year and has a 2.17 ERA in 9.2 innings.

Scouting Liberty
• Liberty is 3-11 on the year, but has faced a daunting schedule to open 2020. The Flames went 2-2 last weekend at the Gamecock Invitation with a win over Elon and a 6-5 decision over No. 6 Michigan.
• Kara Canetto leads the Flames with her .357 average while Amber Bishop is next with a .356 average. Bishop has been the main run producer for Liberty with her team-best four homers and nine RBI.
• The Flames pitching staff has been led by Karlie Keeney as she leads the team in innings (51.0) along with a 3.43 ERA and 30 strikeouts.

On Deck
• The Phoenix is back at Hunt Softball Park next Saturday, March 7, hosting UNCG in a doubleheader to start a three-game series. The opening game is scheduled for 1 p.m.