ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team and head coach Kathy Bocock announced its 2021 season schedule on Friday, Jan. 29. Highlights of the Phoenix’s slate includes matchups versus Atlantic Coast Conference schools Clemson, Duke and North Carolina and 26 games at the home confines of Hunt Softball Park.
“This season is going to look different, but we are very fortunate for a chance to play and compete this year,” said Bocock. “The players are looking forward to a chance to play softball and so we are very thankful for our administration and our medical staff to set up a plan to keep us safe to play this year.”
Elon opens the 2021 campaign at home, hosting Rhode Island in a four-game set on Feb. 13-14. The following weekend, the maroon and gold welcomes Morgan State to Hunt Softball Park on Feb. 20-21 in another four-game series.
After a midweek contest at Triad rival North Carolina A&T on Feb. 24, Elon treks to Clemson for a tournament the weekend of Feb. 26-28. It will be the first-ever meeting between the Phoenix and the Tigers. Elon then travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., for a tournament at North Carolina on March 5-7. A complete schedule of matchups for the tournaments will be released in the upcoming weeks.
“Very excited for a chance to play at some early-season tournaments that will prepare us for (Colonial Athletic Association) play,” said Bocock. “We’re going to see some very competitive teams at both Clemson and UNC which will be great tests for our team.”
The Phoenix begins a five-game home slate hosting Eastern Kentucky on March 13-14 before facing Duke in a midweek contest on March 17. The Blue Devils are ranked No. 25 in the 2021 USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Preseason Coaches Poll.
The maroon and gold concludes its non-conference portion of the schedule versus in-state foes UNCG (March 20-21) and hosting North Carolina A&T on March 31 and North Carolina Central on May 7.
The Colonial Athletic Association portion of the Phoenix’s 2021 schedule will feature a home-and-home, 18-game divisional format with the goal of reducing travel and limiting overnight stays during the COVID pandemic. Elon will play in the South division joining College of Charleston, James Madison and UNCW as its regional foes.
Elon opens league play hosting JMU at Hunt Softball Park on March 26-27 before welcoming UNCW for another CAA home series on April 2-3. Conference play continues with a trip to College of Charleston on April 10-11 before facing James Madison in a rematch in Harrisonburg, Va., on April 17-18.
After closing out the month with a home series versus College of Charleston on April 24-25, Elon wraps up league play with a trek to UNCW on May 1-2.
The CAA Tournament is set for May 12-14 in Harrisonburg, Va., with the top two teams in each division plus one at-large earning a berth to the league championships.