by Alex Hager
The Elon University softball team beat the University of North Carolina at Greensboro on Wednesday afternoon, topping the Spartans 7-2 under overcast skies at Hunt Softball Park.
The Phoenix got the victory behind a four-run fifth inning, scoring on a stretch of shaky pitching from UNCG. Two runs were scored on a single by freshman catcher Walker Barbee, and two more runs crossed the plate on a bases-loaded walk towards the end of the frame. Barbee had three runs on the day, including an RBI single in the third.
“It felt great,” Barbee said. “The team, the whole season, has done really well. To be able to step in today and have a big role was awesome.”
Head coach Kathy Bocock shared praise for the freshman, who made the twelfth start of her career Wednesday night.
“She stepped into her role and did exactly what she needed to do,” Bocock said. “I’m really proud of her.”
Senior left fielder Alaina Hall added a final run to put the Phoenix up 7-1 in the sixth, hitting a solo home run that just escaped over the right field fence.
Junior pitcher Kiandra Mitchum started the game for Elon, striking out three and only giving up one hit through three innings. Freshman Kenna Quinn (11-4) earned the W in the circle for the game’s final four innings.
The Spartans collected their first run in the fourth when first baseman Marisa Sholtes homered to left with the bases empty. Their second run only came in the bottom of the seventh, as a batter was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
UNCG’s Alicia Bazonski (15-2) got the loss in the contest, giving up three runs through four innings.
Wednesday’s victory marked the Phoenix’ third win over UNCG in 2017, outscoring the Spartans 29-9 through for games. After the non-conference win, Elon has a record of 29-15 on the season, and 7-5 in the Colonial Athletic Association.
They’ll look to add a few conference wins this weekend, as the team travels to Hempstead, NY for a three-game series against Hofstra, starting with a doubleheader on Saturday. Sitting at fourth in the CAA standings, the Phoenix have only ten games remaining this season, all against conference opponents.
“Our girls love competition and they love a challenge,” Bocock said. “so we’re hoping that they’re going be ready to play. The one good thing is, win or lose, they’re going to bring it all because that’s just who they are. So we’re looking forward to it.”