HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Elon University softball team was doomed by a seventh-inning rally by Delaware, falling to the Blue Hens, 7-5, at the Colonial Athletic Association Softball Championships on Thursday, May 13, at Veterans Memorial Park.
Elon ends its 2021 campaign at 18-21 on the year. The Blue Hens improved to 24-8 overall on the year.
At the Plate
The Phoenix had its second double-digit hit effort of the tournament, posting 10 hits in the contest against the Blue Hens. Ally Repko went 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI while Megan Grant (2-for-4) and Gabi Schaal (2-for-4) also had multi-hit games. Elon however left 10 base runners stranded during the game.
In the Circle
Alexa Nemeth went the distance for Elon, falling to 7-5 overall on the season. Nemeth gave up seven hits and seven runs, with four of those being earned.
The Phoenix took the early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Schaal drove a one-out single through the left side and scored Grant, who reached earlier on a leadoff single.
Elon expanded its lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the third. Repko singled to center field to score Mekayla Frazier, who reached on an error earlier in the inning. Another run came across the dish on a sacrifice fly by Claudia Penny, bringing home Rebecca Murray who reached on another error in the inning.
The Blue Hens came back to tie the game in the top of the fourth. Brittany Mendoza connected on her seventh home run of the season to put Delaware on the scoreboard to lead off the frame. The Blue Hens were able to get a pair of runners on with two outs after a single from pinch hitter Bailey Christian before the two were able to cross the dish on a Phoenix error in the outfield to knot the game at three-all.
The Phoenix responded to retake the lead in its half of the fourth with a pair of two-out RBI singles. Murray put Elon back on top with her base hit to left, driving in Grant. Another single from Repko put the Phoenix back up by two, 5-3, going to the fifth.
Delaware tacked on a run to close its gap to one, in the top of the sixth. The Blue Hens took advantage of a passed ball with two outs to make the score 5-4.
The Blue Hens carried that momentum into the top of the seventh with the top of its lineup due up. The Phoenix induced the first out on a popup, but Lexi Moore singled to give the Blue Hens the tying run on base. Mendoza then gave the Blue Hens their first lead of the game with her second dinger of the contest with the two-run blast giving Elon a 6-5 disadvantage. Another home run, a solo round tripper for Karolina Flores, gave Delaware a two-run cushion going to the bottom of the seventh.
The Phoenix saw its first two batters quickly set down in its half of the seventh, but Elon got the tying run at the plate after Keagan Goldwait drove a two-out double to right. Delaware closed the door on any potential rally striking out the final batter to secure the 7-5 win.