ELON — Senior outfielder Merritt Wilkinson collected three hits, including a double and a home run, but an early deficit was too much to overcome as UNCW saw its 10-game win streak snapped with a 5-4 loss against Elon in the Colonial Athletic Association series finale at Hunt Softball Park on Sunday afternoon.
Elon scored five runs on five hits in the first inning to take a 5-0 lead the Phoenix did not relinquish. UNCW closed the gap to 5-4 by scoring four runs in the final four innings, but was unable to get any closer.
The Phoenix upped its record to 21-13 overall and 2-4 in the CAA after ending a four-game losing streak against the Seahawks. UNCW, meanwhile, dropped to 25-7-1 on the season with a 5-1 mark in league play.
Wilkinson, who extended her hitting streak to nine straight games, led off the game with a single before adding an RBI double in the fifth inning. She registered her team-leading sixth home run of the season in the top of the seventh inning with a two-run blast to right field.
Freshman Dominique Travers contributed a two-hit effort for the Seahawks, including an RBI double in the fourth inning.
Sophomore Haley Lenderman took the loss for UNCW after allowing five runs on five hits in the first inning. Sophomore Laurel Koontz threw three innings of scoreless relief, with two hits and two strikeouts. Junior Sarah Davis added two innings of relief with just one hit allowed.
Junior Kristin Hoover and senior Alaina Hall each registered two hits for the Phoenix. Junior Kiandra Mitchum upped her record to 12-7 in the circle, allowing four runs on eight hits with three strikeouts.
“Elon is a fundamentally sound program that did the little things right and made things happen early.” Coach Kristy Norton said. “We showed some fight but couldn’t get enough hits strung together later in the game.”
Inside the Box Score: UNCW hit 6-for-12 in two-out situations in the series finale; The teams combined to record 24 fly ball outs; Elon’s leadoff hitter reached base just once in the game while UNCW had its leadoff hitter reach in 3-of-7 chances;Each team tallied eight hits in the contest.
Wilkinson is hitting .485 during her nine-game hitting streak with 10 runs scored, three home runs and nine runs batted in; she has also reached base safely in 10 consecutive games.
The Seahawks have won the series against Elon in each of the last two seasons, winning four of six games.
UNCW finished the weekend with four home runs, upping its season total to 24.
The Seahawks are now 7-4-1 away from Boseman Field this season.
The Seahawks continue their seven-game road swing on Wednesday, Apr. 5, with a single game at North Carolina starting at 6 p.m.
-Courtesy Eric Rhew, UNCW Athletics
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