ELON, N.C. – The Elon University softball team swept UNCW in its Colonial Athletic Association doubleheader on Saturday, April 3, taking game one, 5-2, before earning a 9-1 victory in the nightcap at Hunt Softball Park.
Elon moved to 10-13 overall on the season and improved to 3-2 during CAA play with its sweep of the Seahawks. UNCW, who came into the series first in the CAA South Division standings, fell to 6-15 overall and 3-2 during league play.
“(UNCW) has a great team and every time we play them, you never know what’s going to happen,” said Elon head coach Kathy Bocock. “They came out ready to play and to win today, so I was just pleased on how our team was able to step up and earn a couple of victories against a really good team.”
Game One: Elon 5, UNCW 1
Game One Box
After both teams went scoreless in the first, Elon came out with a 2-0 lead after the bottom of the second. Mekayla Frazier drove a two-out, two-RBI triple to left field, scoring Carley Davis and Allie Eith, who both reached earlier in the inning on singles.
Neither team could not manufacture any runs until the Phoenix plated three more in its home half of the fifth. Davis drove in a pair of runs on a one-out double to center field, scoring Keagan Goldwait and Ally Repko, who both reached on walks earlier in the frame. That pushed Elon’s lead to 5-0 after five complete.
UNCW made things interesting in the top of the seventh, eventually breaking its shutout with a pair of runs. The Seahawks’ Camryn Dean drove a one-out double to left field and advanced to third on a single by Anna Knox. Dean broke UNCW’s scoring stalemate with another single with Knox reaching second. The Seahawks loaded the bases with one out on a single by Casey Jones, giving UNCW the tying run at the plate. Kenna Quinn induced the next out on a fly out, but UNCW scored its second run of the game on a Jada Santiago single to left, scoring Knox. However, Elon finally closed out the game as a runner was thrown out trying to advance to third to end the game.
Davis and Frazier both had a pair of hits and two RBI for the Phoenix, who tallied six hits total in the contest. Frazier’s triple was her league-leading third of the year while Davis’s double was her first of the campaign.
Quinn picked up the win to move to 6-8 on the season with her seventh complete game of the season. The Boiling Springs, S.C., native allowed eight hits with two earned runs and a pair of strikeouts.
Game Two: Elon 9, UNCW 1
Game Two Box
UNCW struck first in the start of the second game in the top of the first. Gabriela Hessenthaler drew a leadoff walk to open the frame and stole second to move into scoring position. A wild pitch advanced her to third before a Phoenix error allowed her to score to give UNCW a 1-0 lead.
Elon answered with a four-spot in its home half of the first. Frazier earned a free pass to leadoff the inning and moved to second on a single by Gabi Schaal. Another single from Rebecca Murray loaded the bases before Elon eventually tied the game up at one-all on a Grace Kiser one-out walk. After Megan Grant drove in another run on a grounder to second, Davis plated two more runs on a double down the left field line to put the Phoenix ahead 4-1.
The Phoenix continued to increase its lead with a two-run bottom of the second. A two-out single to the shortstop by Kiser scored Schaal, who had reached base earlier in the inning on a walk. Grant pushed Elon’s lead to 6-1 as her single up the middle allowed Murray to cross the dish.
Three more runs would be added to the scoreboard for the Phoenix in the third frame. Raelyn McGarry opened the inning on a single and scored after Eith doubled down the left field line. A walk and a single moved Eith to third, enabling her to score a run on a Murray sacrifice fly to right field. Elon continued to have good at bats in the inning, loading the bases with two outs before Blair Rhodes drew a free pass with the bags full to score the Phoenix’s ninth run of the contest and take a commanding 9-1 lead.
That would be enough run support for Elon pitchers Alexa Nemeth and Kaitlin King, who held the Seahawks from any serious threat to close out the game with the run-rule victory after the top of the fifth.
Schaal had two of the Phoenix’s nine hits in the second game, going 2-for-2 to pace the Phoenix at the plate. Davis, Grant and Kiser each had two RBI for the maroon and gold.
Nemeth was credited with the win to move to 3-3 on the season as she pitched 3.0 innings and allowed two hits and one run with a strikeout. King tossed the remaining 2.0 scoreless frames in relief.
Both teams are back on the diamond tomorrow afternoon, April 4, for the series finale with the opening pitch set for 1 p.m.