CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte softball (27-21) concludes its nine-game homestand, welcoming in-state foe UNC Greensboro (29-20) for a Tuesday tilt at 5 p.m. at Phillips Softball Complex. The game will be the final midweek contest for the 49ers this season.
The Niners are coming off a tough series loss to No. 22 Florida Atlantic, where they battled but fell in all three contests, including a 3-1 heartbreaker in extras.
Tuesday could be a historic game for senior pitcher Lexi Betancourt, who needs just one win to tie the program record for career victories. Betancourt currently also sits second in career strikeouts (720) and third in shutouts (22). She and counterpart, sophomore Haley Wiseman, have led Charlotte to a second-best team ERA in the league.
After scoring twice this weekend, rookie Emma Ocker has moved into fourth place in program history for runs scored by freshmen. She is also tied for fourth in triples, currently with three on the season, and ninth with 48 hits.
THE LAST MEETING
The Niners and Spartans met last February in cold, snowy conditions, and despite the loss, Betancourt fanned nine, sitting down the first five batters she faced and seven of the first ten. Then freshmen Taylar Byrne and Haley Pace each collected a hit in the contest.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
With a similar record to the Niners, UNCG enters the week coming off a series win at ETSU, where they took two of three. Led by Lindsay Thomas with a .420 batting average, the Spartans have six other squad members hitting above .300 for a team clip of .308. Thomas also tops the team with a .797 slugging percentage and 11 homers. In the circle, Charlotte could face one of two likely candidates in Alicia Bazonski or Stephanie Bryden. Bazonski holds a team-best 2.73 ERA and 16-6 record in 33 appearances and 22 starts, while Bryden is 11-11 with a 3.91 ERA and staff-high 116 strikeouts in 28 appearances and 24 starts.
The Niners head back out on the road, traveling to Murfreesboro, Tenn., for a three-game conference series with Middle Tennessee beginning Saturday, April 30.