The Elon University softball team couldn't complete a clean sweep of the Elon Softball Tournament, falling 3-1 St. Joseph’s University Sunday, March 5 at Hunt Softball Park.
The Hawks took an early three-run lead, which the Phoenix could not figure out a way to overcome. Still, head coach Kathy Bocock was pleased with the way the weekend went.
“I’d like to have gotten out of here 4-0, but 3-1, I'll take that,” Bocock said. “I think that we let the game get away from us early today, and then we never could get the energy to finish.”
After winning back-to-back games Saturday, starting pitcher freshman Kenna Quinn, who gave up all three runs in the first two innings and took the loss, felt Elon didn't have everything together.
“I think we were all just kinda out of it," Quinn said. "We weren't there.”
Elon made some mistakes in the field in the first, allowing two runs to score without an RBI hit. The Hawks scored on a fielder's choice where no runner was retired and a throwing error.
“If we had cleaned the first inning up, then it would've been a completely different ball game,” Quinn said. “The beginning of the game sets the mood for the whole rest of the game and after that inning, everybody was just down. We had a right to be. It looked bad.”
Quinn was pulled with two outs in the fourth, having given up two earned runs and one unearned run over the 11 outs. She gave up five hits and walked four, needing junior pitcher Kiandra Mitchum to finish the game. While Mitchum threw 3.1 scoreless innings, she saw Elon's early problems compound the whole team later.
“When someone makes a mistake, don't let it keep spiraling,” Mitchum said. “Just kind of learn from it, and move on. Separate it and get the next run.”
Elon’s first and only run came on a wild pitch in the bottom of the third, with junior outfielder Kara Shutt scoring after reaching third with a triple. In preparation for the upcoming games, many of the Phoenix older players were resting during this tournament finale, which was an opportunity for younger players, but may have ended up costing the team a win.
“We were trying to get some fresh legs out there, and we made a few mistakes,” Bocock said. “I can't put it all on them. It goes back to me as a leader. I have to have them prepared and I felt like they were, but obviously they were not.”
The finale does not reflect Elon’s performance in the entire tournament, something Bocock recognized after the sour Sunday.
“I think our pitching staff did a great job,” Bocock said. “We had some big hits, big opportunities. I think overall we did a good job as a team. We played together.”
The loss drops the Phoenix to 10-7 on the year. Elon hosts No. 21/24 University of Pittsburgh at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.