In the 47 contests the Elon University softball team has played in this season, one player has flown relatively under the radar. Though she is absent accolades from the Colonial Athletic Association so far, she currently ranks fourth in team batting average for the Phoenix.
Sophomore Carey Million has earned her role as a true utility player. She’s spent time as catcher, infielder and outfielder while energizing her team.
“Good things happen when you put your team first and play for a bigger cause,” Million said. “It takes the whole team to win…there’s no better feeling than being successful when your team has success.”
The Roebling, New Jersey, native received several high school honors while attending the Hun School of Princeton. She earned spots on the All-Prep first team, All-Mid Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) and the “Star Ledger” teams her sophomore, junior and senior years. She was named the New Prep Player of the Year in 2013 and was selected as the Princeton Packet Player of the Year her senior year in 2014.
She made a connection with Elon and head coach Kathy Bocock while deciding on a university to attend.
“I had several great experiences at Elon softball camps in the past,” Million said. “Coach gave off this enthusiasm and love for the game. I felt like I could learn a lot from Coach Bo. I felt at home with the team and chose Elon for its academic reputation as well as its beautiful campus.”
In her rookie season for the Phoenix, Million made an immediate impact. She played in all 52 games and started 48, mostly behind the plate. Although she only posted a batting average of .189, she recorded six doubles and four home runs in her 23 hits. Complementing her offensive performance were the 14 RBI and 16 runs scored for the season.
The impact from her rookie season earned Million a spot on the starting lineup the opening day of her sophomore season — a position she has yet to lose.
Her statistics have improved between her freshman and sophomore years, allowing her to retain her starting position.
She currently has eight doubles, 37 hits and 18 RBI.
According to freshman teammate Kiandra Mitchum, the softball team is confident in its abilities and doesn’t concern itself with outside criticism.
“Every game matters, and that is motivation to keep us working hard,” Mitchum said. “If we all play like we know we can and don’t worry about what other people think, we can do great things.”
With a little more than a week until the CAA Championships begin, Elon is in a tight race to the postseason with one series remaining against the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Though the Phoenix has a tough journey ahead, players like Million attempt to keep the team’s morale as high as possible.
“I expect myself and my teammates to continue to play with the intensity and pride that we have done this entire season,” Million said. “We are going to finish strong and compete in the CAA tournament.”