The win was the Cougars' second must-have win of the day and advanced them to the tournament semifinals where they'll have a shot at redemption against number-two seed Chattanooga on Saturday, May 12 at 11 a.m. A win would send the Cougars to their second consecutive championship game.
"It was an all-around great effort by our entire team and that's what we needed," said head coach Shelly Hoerner. "We stayed composed and stayed the course. We played great defense and pitched well and got solid hitting which provided us with this win.
"I can't say how proud I am of these girls. We fought out of a lot of jams which says a lot about our determination and perseverance. We'll go back and get ready to go and be prepared to do this again tomorrow."
Klicker also picked up her third pitching win of the tournament with a complete-game shutdown performance.
Just like they did in the morning game against UNCG, the Cougars scored a pair of first-inning runs to command an early lead which they'd never relinquish. The Cougars loaded the bases on a single by Ashton Jarrett (Hanahan, S.C.) and back-to-back walks from Hodgson and Mackenzie Maples (Corona, Calif.).
Lonergan grounded to the first baseman whose throw to the plate to catch Jarrett was not in time and got away from Elon catcher Kaityln Piazzolla which allowed Hodgson to score as well and give CofC the 2-0 lead.
Klicker's use of the bat aided her pitching cause with a long ball to left which was her second home run of the tournament and gave the Cougars a 3-0 lead in the second inning.
Elon reclaimed that run in the bottom of the second as Piazzolla doubled to left and Danielle Lafferty provided a two-out RBI single back up the middle to bring Piazzolla around from second.
After both teams' bats fell silent in the third and fourth innings, Hodgson led off the fifth by crushing a pitch to just-right-of-center field which sailed out of the ballpark and onto the roof of the football practice facility beyond the outfield fence.
Piazzolla kept Elon in the game with a sixth-inning home run which cut CofC's lead to 4-2. The Phoenix then provided a scare with a potential game-tying rally in the seventh which Klicker ultimately thwarted.
The first two Elon hitters reached base on a walk and single and advanced to second and third by tagging up on a long fly ball to right field. After a groundout to second base for the second out and intentional walk to the unoccupied first base, Erin O'Shea sent a slicing line drive to right field which was snagged by a charging Kristy Giragosian (Charlotte, N.C.) to end the scare and ice the win for the Cougars.