ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team fell in its doubleheader matchup versus UNCG on Saturday, March 7, at Hunt Softball Park. The Spartans took the opening game over the Phoenix, 7-2, before concluding the sweep with a 9-2 win in the nightcap.
GAME ONE BOX • GAME TWO BOX
Elon fell to 10-10 on the season while UNCG improved to 13-6. This was the Phoenix’s first games back at Hunt Softball Park after playing the last 10 contests on the road.
Game One: UNCG 7, Elon 2
Both teams combined for three runs in the opening frame. The Spartans led off with a walk before coming across the plate on the next at bat off a Phoenix throwing error with a runner advancing to third. A single through the left side plated the second run of the inning for UNCG before the turn of the frame.
Elon answered to get a run back in its half of the first. Megan Grant opened with a double to center field and scored on an infield single by Morgan Reich to get the Phoenix on the scoreboard. Reich would later steal second to put the Phoenix in prime position to tie the game, but the next three batters were set down on strikeouts to end the threat.
UNCG boosted its lead in the top of the third behind a three-run home run. Makenna Matthijs belted her fourth round tripper of the year to move the Spartans ahead 4-1.
The Phoenix came back with a run in the sixth inning to cut its deficit in half. Grant opened with a single up the middle and moved to second on a wild pitch. Ally Repko drove her home on a one-out, RBI single to right center to make the score 4-2. Another single from Rebecca Murray gave Elon the tying runs on base with only one out, but the next two batters were induced on a lineout and a fly out to end the inning.
The Spartans added some insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Matthijs drove in a pair of runs on a double to center field before she scored herself off a sacrifice fly to center field. That made the score 7-2 in favor of the visitors going to bottom of the frame. The Phoenix was unable to answer as the contest ended with UNCG taking the opening game win.
At the Plate
Offensively, Elon had five hits in the opening contest with Grant going 2-of-3 to lead the Phoenix with her team-best sixth multi-hit game of the season. Both teams ended with four runners left on base.
In the Circle
Kenna Quinn was handed her first loss of the season, going to 4-1. The senior threw 5.0 innings and allowed four hits and four runs, with two being earned. She also struck out four batters. UNCG’s Morgan Scott tossed a complete game and moved to 7-4 with five hits and two runs surrendered. The rookie also struck out 12 batters including seven straight at one point.
Game Two: UNCG 9, Elon 3
A couple of four-run innings by the Spartans in the second game doomed the Phoenix. UNCG put up its first four-spot in the top of the second with most of the damage coming off a two-out, three-run home run from Delaney Cumbie.
UNCG plated another run in the top of the third to push its lead to 5-0 before Elon came back to with a two-run bottom of the fourth. Repko reached on a one-out single to right center before scoring on Murray’s two-run home run to left. It was the first home run of the season for the Indian Trail, N.C., native as the Phoenix looked to get back into the game down 5-2 after the fourth.
The Spartans put the game out of reach with its second four-run inning of the contest in the top of the seventh. UNCG added a two-run homer along with a sac fly and a RBI single to increase its advantage to 9-2.
Elon added a run late in the seventh inning on a RBI triple from Raelyn McGarry. That would be as close as the Phoenix would get as the game ended with a 9-3 win for UNCG.
At the Plate
The Phoenix was held to four hits in the final game with each of those coming from different players. The triple from McGarry was her first hit of the season.
In the Circle
Alexa Nemeth was saddled with the loss, moving to 2-2. The Mooresville, N.C., native pitched 6.1 innings and gave up nine hits and nine runs with two strikeouts.
Both teams return to the diamond tomorrow, March 8, to close out the three-game set in Greensboro, N.C. The opening pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.