CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Senior Kenna Quinn tossed eight scoreless innings to help the Elon University softball team to a 1-0 victory over UConn on Sunday, March 7, in the Phoenix’s final game of the Carolina Classic at Anderson Softball Stadium.
The Phoenix was able to snap its six-game losing skid to improve to 3-6 overall on the year. UConn fell to 6-8.
In the Circle
Quinn allowed seven hits and struck out four batters in her complete game effort to even her record to 3-3. The Boiling Springs, S.C., native threw 138 total pitches and walked two batters as she outdueled the Huskies’ duo of Meghan O’Neil and Payton Kinney. Kinney took the loss for UConn, moving to 3-6.
At the Plate
Elon only registered three hits in the game, but Megan Grant had the timeliest hit in the game for the Phoenix with her game-winning RBI single in the eighth inning. Rebecca Murray and Bella Devesa also registered a base hit for the Phoenix, with Murray expanding her hit streak to five games.
Both teams battled in a pitchers’ duel throughout the contest with Elon and Quinn able to work themselves out of some jams. In the bottom of the first, UConn had runners in scoring position with only one out, but the Phoenix was able to induce a double play to escape the frame.
The Huskies threatened again in the bottom of the third. UConn reached on a one-out double to left before the runner advanced to third on a fielder’s choice. A hit-by-pitch gave the Huskies a pair on before a stolen base moved both into scoring position. Quinn however finagled her way out of that jam as she struck out the batter looking to end the inning.
Elon finally got a runner into scoring position in the top of the fourth. Murray drove a one-out single through the left side before a fielding error by the center fielder allowed her to advance all the way to third. The Phoenix’s next two batters were retired in order to leave her stranded as the contest remained scoreless.
Quinn pitched her way out of another tough situation in the bottom of the fifth. UConn’s leadoff batter reached on a walk and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. A single and a stolen base gave the Huskies a pair in scoring position with only one out, but Quinn retired the next two batters on a strikeout and a pop up.
The Phoenix put pressure on the Huskies in the top of the sixth as Elon looked to break the scoring stalemate. After the first two batters were retired, Elon rallied to load the bases on three straight walks hoping to plate its first runs of the game. The Phoenix popped up to second to leave the bags full as the contest moved to the bottom half.
The game eventually moved into extras where the Phoenix finally broke the scoring drought between both teams in the top of the eighth. With the international tie breaker rules applied, Elon had a runner placed on second to open the frame as Grant was able to bring her home on a one-out, RBI single through the left side. The Phoenix could not add to its momentum as the next two batters were retired.
Quinn and the Phoenix were able to hold the Huskies from tying or winning the contest in its home half of the frame. Quinn induced the first out on a pop up before retiring the second batter on a looking strikeout. A passed ball advanced the tying run to third with the potential game-winning run at second, but Quinn got out of the jam with a ground out to third to end the game.
The Phoenix is back at home this Wednesday, March 10, hosting UNCG in a midweek contest. The opening pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.