The Elon University softball team lost to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 12-6 on Wednesday evening, as one bad inning doomed the Phoenix.
The Tar Heels scored seven runs between four hits, four walks, and one error in the top of the sixth, with the big hit coming from freshman pinch-hitter Katie Bailiff. Bailiff hit a double to right-center to clear the bases and give UNC a 6-5 lead, and the Tar Heels added three more runs before the inning ended.
“Great hitters will learn to adjust to what were doing, and they got a hold of what we were doing,” said Elon head coach Kathy Bocock. “They got some key hits for them.”
UNC junior starting pitcher Kendra Lynch came out in the top of the first with an RBI single to give the Tar Heels an early lead. Elon struck back with an RBI single of their own by red-shirt sophomore designated player Jenna Reilly scoring junior third-baseman Emily Roper in the second.
The game was back and forth until the bottom of the fifth, when Elon had back-to-back RBI singles by junior catcher Carey Million and sophomore right-fielder Kristin Hoover. That gave Elon a 5-2 lead heading into the sixth inning.
“I was focusing on putting the ball in play, hitting it hard, and getting on base,” said Hoover, who finished 2-3 with a walk and two RBIs.
Elon played aggressive but that lead to mental mistakes defensively and on the bases, which added to why the game got away from the Phoenix.
“We made a couple mental mistakes out there that hurt us a few times,” Bocock said. “But we are a young team and are taking baby steps to learn from our mistakes. We are gonna bounce back and get ready for this weekend.”
Elon hosts the Elon Softball Tournament at Hunt Park this weekend, with games against Niagara University, Oakland University, and Central Connecticut State University.