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March 7, 2017

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ELON, N.C. – A five-run fifth inning, which included a grand slam by sophomore Alexis Solak, lifted the University of Pittsburgh softball team to a 7-2 win over Elon, Tuesday evening at Hunt Softball Park in Elon, N.C.

Each team had a two-run homer in the third knotting the game at 2-2 early on, but the Panthers [13-5, 0-3 ACC] found themselves out in front after the squad loaded the bases in the fifth for Solak, who crushed her second-career grand slam. Leading the Phoenix [10-8] 6-2, Pitt scored their final run on a single to left field by freshman Valerie Ortega.
Junior McKayla Taylor hit the Panthers’ first home run in the third, a two run shot over the left field wall. Seven Pitt players tallied one hit, while freshman Hannah Edwards was the lone Panther to reach base twice on hits.
Earning the win against Elon was freshman Brittany Knight. The Windham, Ohio, native tossed a complete game, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, while fanning three.
After two innings of play, Pitt broke open the scoring on a two-run shot by Taylor over the left field fence, scoring senior Kaitlin Manuel on the play.
The Panthers lead did not last long as Elon answered with a two-run long ball of their own in the bottom half of the inning, tying the game 2-2.
A five-run inning by Pitt in the top of the fifth, highlighted by Solak’s grand slam, gave the Panthers a 7-2 lead in the game.
With a runner on first after Manuel was hit with a pitch, perfect small ball from both Hershman and Edwards juiced the bases for Pitt. The Phoenix threw Manuel out at home on the first bases-loaded play, but in the next at-bat, Solak cleaned house.
Junior Giorgiana Zeremenko continued the inning for the Panthers, singling to left field. Replaced by sophomore Marissa DeMatteo on the base paths, she reached second on a muffed throw by the third baseman on a ball hit by Alexee Haynes.
DeMatteo scored two hitters later when Ortega knocked a single to left.
Knight and the Pitt defense retired the next 10-of-11 Elon batters to end the game.
The Panthers will participate in its final tournament of the season at James Madison. Pitt will face East Carolina and the ranked Dukes March 11-12.
Five-Run Fifth Inning Lifts Pitt Past Elon

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