HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Elon University softball team dropped its doubleheader at No. 24 James Madison on Sunday, April 18, at Veterans Memorial Park. The Dukes defeated the Phoenix by a score of 8-2 in both contests.
Elon moves to 13-17 overall on the year and 6-6 in the Colonial Athletic Association. James Madison improves to 22-1 on the season and 11-1 in the CAA.
Game One: No. 24 James Madison 8, Elon 2
Box Game One
Elon found itself down early to the Dukes after the first two innings. JMU added the first run of the game in the bottom of the first courtesy of a Sara Jubas solo home run to go up 1-0.
The Dukes plated two more in the bottom of the second. James Madison expanded its lead thanks to an RBI single by Michelle Sullivan and a sacrifice fly by Kate Gordon.
The Phoenix responded in the top of the third to join the Dukes on the scoreboard. Claudia Penny hit a one-out single to center field, scoring Rebecca Murray who reached earlier in the inning on a single. Elon had the runners advance to scoring position in hopes of tying the game, but they would be stranded on the basepaths after a grounder to first.
Elon stayed in the game with the Dukes thanks to pitcher Alexa Nemeth keeping JMU as she tossed a scoreless third and fourth frame. The Phoenix once again had runners reach scoring position in the fourth inning as Mekayla Frazier and Gabi Schaal both plated two-out singles and advanced into scoring position on a while pitch. A lineout to third ended however left the pair stranded to end the threat.
A five-run bottom of the fifth by the Dukes increased Elon’s deficit to seven, 8-1. A sacrifice fly from Murray would bring the Phoenix closer in the top of the sixth, but that would be the final run of the game to set the final score at 8-2.
Elon outhit the Dukes, 12-10, but had 14 runners left on base. Five players recorded two hits in the contest for the Phoenix with RBIs coming from Murray and Penny. Penny also had a double in the game.
Nemeth went the distance in the game, giving up 10 hits and eight runs, with six of those bein earned to fall to 4-4. She also struck out two batters.
Game Two: No. 24 James Madison 8, Elon 2
Box Game Two
The Dukes again took the lead early in the contest. JMU’s Kate Gordon reached on a double to leadoff the game and advanced to third on a grounder. After a walk gave the Dukes runners at the corners, Gordon took off from third and successfully stole home to put Elon in a 1-0 hole.
Elon responded to tie the game in the top of the second. Ally Repko took a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left center, with her solo homer knotting the contest at one-all.
James Madison answered with a round tripper of its own, a two-run shot by Sullivan down the left field line to put the Dukes back up, 3-1, after the bottom of the second.
Much like in the opening game, the Phoenix was doomed by a big fifth inning from the Dukes. James Madison pushed four runs across the dish in the frame thanks to a three-run home run from Emily Phillips and an RBI double from Gordon.
Both teams traded a run in the sixth inning, Elon off a James Madison error and the Dukes behind its third home run of the game. That settled the score at 8-2 as the Dukes cruised the rest of the way to the series sweep.
Repko added her team-high seventh home run of the season as she was one of three players to record a base hit for Elon. The Broadway, Va., native has hit a home run in four of the Phoenix’s past six games.
McKenzie Weber took the loss for Elon in the circle, falling to 2-4. Weber pitched 4.1 innings and gave up four hits and six runs while walking eight batters.
The Phoenix returns to Hunt Softball Park for its final home series of the season, hosting College of Charleston next weekend, April 24-25.