GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG softball team took a 4-0 lead and held off eighth-seeded Elon, 4-2, in an elimination game Thursday afternoon at the Southern Conference Tournament held at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
The Spartans improve to 28-25 on the season completing the four-game season sweep of the Phoenix. Elon finished its season at 24-29-1. UNCG will play the loser of Furman and Chattanooga in another elimination contest at 9:30 p.m. Thursday night.
Sophomore Lindsay Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) led the Spartans at the plate going 3-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI. Sophomore Danielle Vega (Rialto, Calif./Aquinas) was 2-for-3 in the game.
Senior Raeanne Hanks (Rainier, Ore./Rainier Senior) recorded the final two outs, including a strikeout looking to first team All-SoCon Carleigh Nester to end the game. Hanks improved to 14-16 on the season who entered drama filled situation in the seventh. With the winning run at the plate, Hanks got a groundout and struck out Nester to continue her senior season.
UNCG jumped out on top with a two-run home run in the first inning from Lindsay Thomas, her ninth of the season. Junior Dominique Madruga started the inning with a leadoff walk and Thomas put the Spartans ahead 2-0.
The Spartans added two runs in the second inning that included a solo home run from Lindsay Thomas, her second home run of the game giving UNCG a 4-0 lead. Freshman Tory Wright (Potomac Falls, Va./Dominion) started the frame with a leadoff double to left center. Pinch runner Emily Lopez (Charlotte, N.C./Olympic) moved to third on a sacrifice and came home off a passed ball. With two outs, Thomas launched her 10th home run of the season.
Elon responded with two hits, including a RBI single from Carey Million to cut the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the second.
The Phoenix scored on an RBI single from Grace Eng in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 4-2 Spartans. Three-straight hits started the inning before Nicole Thomas came on in relief of Hanks. Thomas struck out two batters and a fly out to keep Elon off the scoreboard.
All of the action will be available LIVE through SoConTV. Fans that are unable to attend will have the opportunity to view all of the games by logging on to SoConSports.com and subscribing to SoConTV. The championship game, which is slated for Saturday at 1:00 p.m., will be broadcast on ESPN3. From the first pitch to the final out, every moment of the softball action will be available, including exclusive coach and student-athlete interviews and the final awards presentation.
Be sure to follow all updates about the UNCG softball team on www.uncgspartans.com or on twitter @UNCGsports/@UNCGsoftball.