Season-High Four Homers Lift Pack Softball Past Elon, 13-5
March 26, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State softball team hit a season-high four home runs en route to a 13-5 victory over the Elon Phoenix Wednesday afternoon at Dail Stadium. The contest was stopped after five innings due to the eight-run mercy rule, marking the fourth win of its kind for the Wolfpack this season.
“It’s good to come out and get another win,” said head coach Shawn Rychcik. “Right before the game I told the team to make sure we’re focused and not taking this game for granted. I was pretty impressed with us putting up eight runs in the first inning and that led to some good at-bats throughout the day.”
For the third time this season, junior Renada Davis led off the bottom of the first inning for the Pack (20-10) with a solo home run. She deposited the fourth pitch she saw from Elon’s (16-13-1) starting pitcher Caitlin O’Shea over the left field fence for her eighth homer of the season. O’Shea then issued four walks before giving up a two-RBI double to Scout Albertson extending the lead to 4-0.
Kirsty Grant reached on an error by the Elon left fielder, scoring Albertson and Leah Jones on the play. Davis followed with her second home run of the inning to push the Wolfpack’s advantage to 8-0. It was her team-leading ninth round-tripper of the season and the first time she has hit multiple home runs in an inning this season.
The Wolfpack stretched its lead to 11-0 in the bottom of the second with three more runs. Freshman Hannah Yeager and Nadia Kemp both scored on wild pitches before Jones hit her third home run of the season. The senior from Stedman, N.C., smashed a 3-2 pitch over the left field fence for the Pack’s third homer of the day.
Elon broke up the shutout and ended freshman Courtney Mirabella’s (3-2) no-hit bid in the top of the fourth with two runs on a double by Emily Roper. Alaina Hall walked and Emily Cameron reached on an error prior to the Phoenix’s first hit of the game.
State added to its total in the bottom of the fourth as freshman Morgan Medford blasted her first career home run over the wall in right center.
“It felt amazing to hit my first career home run,” said Medford. “I worked the count full and I was looking for a pitch to drive and she threw a good pitch to hit and I jumped on it.”
The Phoenix plated three runs in the top of the fifth to force the game into the bottom of the inning, as the mercy rule would have come into play as State led 12-2 entering the inning. Hall and Cameron hit back-to-back homers for Elon to provide the offense in the frame.
In the bottom of the fifth, State responded with a run to win the game by mercy rule, 13-5. Lana Van Dyken reached on catcher’s interference and Yeager followed with a double down the left field line moving Van Dyken to third. Kemp singled through the left side to plate Van Dyken and end the game.
Mirabella pitched all five innings of the contest and was credited with her first career complete game win. She allowed four hits, four earned runs and fanned three batters.
At the plate, Davis paced the Wolfpack bats with a 2-for-3 performance, including three RBI. Albertson, Jones, Kemp, Medford, Ross, Sommer and Yeager each had one hit in the game.
NC State will take to the road this weekend for a three-game series at Maryland. Saturday’s doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. and Sunday’s contest is slated to begin at 1 p.m. as well.