A six-run sixth inning barrage from the Phoenix offense propelled Elon University's softball squad to a 10-4 home win over the East Carolina University Pirates on Wednesday. Elon now rides a five-game winning streak as it heads into Colonial Athletic Association play this weekend.
The Pirates struck first in the top of the first inning as three hits drove across the first run of the game. But the Phoenix countered in the bottom half of the frame with four hits, including an RBI triple from freshman Kara Shutt and an RBI double from sophomore Emily Roper.
East Carolina led off the third inning with a solo homer to right center. A few batters later, with the bases loaded, Elon freshman Madison Kadlic allowed two more runs to cross the plate on an error. By the middle of the third, East Carolina had a 4-2 lead over Elon. The Phoenix responded in the bottom of third with a solo homer from Shutt.
In the fifth, Elon tied the game at 4-4 off a Pirate error.
Elon’s offense exploded in the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff home run from sophomore Carey Million. After two consecutive batters got hit, hits from Olson and sophomore Alaina Hall drove across two more runs. Two batters later, Emily Roper hit a three-run home run over the right field fence. The inning produced six runs and gave Elon the 10-4 lead.
With two runners on base in the bottom of the seventh, the Phoenix recorded three strikeouts to cement the win.
While a late offensive surge led Elon to victory, pitching played a pivotal role in the win, especially from relievers senior Caitlin O’Shea and junior Kayla Caruso. Freshman Kiandra Mitchum started on the mound for the first three innings but O’Shea appeared in the fourth and kept the Pirates scoreless in her three innings. For the final inning, Caruso came in to close it out. After allowing two hits to the first two batters, she struck out three batters to end the game.
As the Phoenix improves to 17-6 on the season, it currently ranks second in the CAA. Elon will makes its CAA debut by traveling to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, on March 21 to begin a three-game series against the College of Charleston Cougars.