ELON, N.C. – Taking on its third league road series of the season, the Elon University softball team travels to Hofstra for a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series against the Pride. Both teams kick off the weekend with a twin bill on Saturday, April 22, starting a 2 p.m. before concluding the series on Sunday, April 23, at noon.
Follow the Phoenix
Fans can keep up with the action of the Phoenix all season via live stats from the program’s schedule page at elonphoenix.com. Updates will also be provided on Twitter on @elonscores or the program’s handle, @ElonUSoftball. All three games of the series will be broadcasted on the radio via Pride Productions.
Inside the Series
Hofstra has a 5-2 advantage all-time over the Phoenix since the two began series play in 2015 when Elon joined the CAA. Last season, the Pride took two out of three in Elon with Hofstra overcoming the Phoenix in the rubber match, 4-3. The last time the Phoenix played in Hempstead, N.Y., the Pride also took two of three in the series with Elon earning the 5-2 victory in the finale.
Leading Off for Elon
• Elon earned its third win in a row on Wednesday, April 19, with a 7-2 victory over UNCG at Hunt Softball Park. The win was the Phoenix’s third of the season over the Spartans out of four games.
• The win over UNCG improved Elon’s record to 19-7 at Hunt Softball Park this season and 22-10 overall in non-league games. The Phoenix is one game shy of its best win total at its five-year facility of 20 set in 2015.
• Rookie Walker Barbee had her best outing of the season against UNCG on Wednesday. The Oakboro, N.C., native was 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored.
• Senior Alaina Hall blasted her second home run of the season against the Spartans and ended the game 2-for-3 with three runs scored. It was the team-best 19th multi-hit game of the season for the Suwanee, Ga., native.
• Hall is now a hit shy from tying for the second-most in a career at Elon as she trails Dani Concepcion (2002-05), with 228 for her career for the No. 2 spot.
• Junior lefty Kiandra Mitchum struck out three batters versus the Spartans moving her total to 154 this season. That total is the highest in a single-season for a Phoenix pitcher at the Division I level and tied for second all-time for a single-season with Donna Leigh (1990-93).
• Head coach Kathy Bocock earned her 155th win at Elon after the win over the Spartans. She also improved to 392 victories overall in her career.
Scouting the Phoenix
At 29-15 this season, Elon has a chance to earn 30 wins for only the second time since 2012. The Phoenix sits at 7-5 in the CAA, good for fourth in the league standings, after coming off its second league series win at Towson last weekend at home. Elon trails No. 14/15 James Madison (10-2), UNCW (8-4) and Hofstra (7-4) in the CAA with three league weekends left in the season.
The Phoenix pitching staff is having its best season statistically since 2010, when the maroon and gold earned its first berth to the NCAA Tournament. As a team, Elon ranks third in the league total ERA at 2.62, but that number is lowered to a CAA-best 1.92 in its 12-league games. The Phoenix has also struck out 206 batters, second-most in the CAA, and is tied for the league lead in saves with four. Mitchum is among the top-two in the league in several pitching categories while pacing the CAA in innings pitched (168.2), saves (three), and appearances (36).
Offensively, Elon is hitting .280 and is second to James Madison in runs scored (207) in the CAA. The Phoenix is also in the league’s top-five in hits (324), RBI (179), doubles (55), triples (11) and walks (121). Hall’s .392 average is fourth in the league while she is one shy of the CAA-lead in total hits with 56. Hannah Olson leads the league with 38 runs scored while Carey Million’s 44 RBI is also tops in the CAA. Million is just three RBI shy of tying the program’s single-season record of 47 set by Emerald Graham (2010-11) in 2011.
Scouting the Pride
Hofstra stands at 19-17 overall and 7-4 in the CAA after extending its current win streak to five games after a 6-2 midweek victory over local rival Stony Brook. The Pride swept then-league leader UNCW in Wilmington, N.C., last weekend in its recent CAA series and last lost at Seton Hall on April 11.
In the batter’s box, Hofstra is hitting .260 this season with three players on its roster batting north of .300. Freshman Kristin Hallam has a team-best .320 average and 39 hits in her 36 starts while Brielle Pietrafesa is second at .310 with a team-best eight doubles. On the year, the Pride has driven in 126 runs with 28 homeruns.
In the circle, Hofstra has a staff ERA of 4.02 in 233.1 innings pitched with 146 strikeouts. Opposing batters are hitting .277 versus its pitching staff. Reigning CAA Pitcher of the Week, rookie Sarah Cornell, has made a team-high 24 starts and has a 2.93 ERA in her 141.0 innings of action. She has also fanned 94 batters while walking 68.
Elon concludes nonconference play this season with a home game against North Carolina A&T next Tuesday, April 25. That game is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. opening pitch.