CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte softball battled for nine innings and came out on top with an 8-6 win against Middle Tennessee State to close out the War Eagle Classic at Jane B. Moore Field in Auburn, Ala., Sunday afternoon.
The Niners (8-5 overall) went 2-1 during the tournament with a win against Southern University and a loss to host Auburn.
The 49ers have gone the distance this season with four extra-inning games already, proving that they can withstand adversity and battle with any opponent. Charlotte is 3-1 in extra-inning games.
It was the ninth inning that propelled the 49ers to jump out to an 8-4 lead. With the game tied 4-4, Natalie Capone started the inning on second and immediately scored after Alex Rogers singled up the middle. Brianna Gwaltney followed with another single to move Rogers to third base. Gwaltney recorded the 49ers first out of the inning after attempting to steal second base.
It was Chelsea Ingersoll who would step up to the plate next and belt her fourth home run of the season to give Charlotte the 7-4 lead. Charlotte added on another run after Samantha Slade and Jessica Plemmons singled to center field allowing Jackie Kleinsmith’s single to score Slade.
Middle Tennessee tried to respond in the ninth and cut into Charlotte’s lead with two runs and a pair of hits, putting up a good effort but it wouldn’t be enough as the 49ers went on the win the game.
After going scoreless in the seventh inning, the game was forced into extra innings where the international tiebreaker rule was enforced. Slade was placed on second and advanced to third on a hit from Plemmons. Kalie Lang singled to right field to give Charlotte the 4-3 lead, its first of the game. However Middle Tennessee evened the score and tied the game 4-4 in the bottom on the eighth.
After trailing 3-0 to MTSU, the 49ers sparked their offense in the sixth inning to tie the game 3-3. Gwaltney and Ingersoll led off the inning with back-to-back hits, following a walk by Slade. With bases loaded and no outs, Plemmons cleared the bases with a double to left field, driving in three runs to keep Charlotte in the game.
Charlotte finished with 17 hits and was led by Ingersoll who recorded a game-high four hits. Plemmons was 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs. Capone, Rogers, and Gwaltney tallied a pair of hits and Lindsey Holloman, Slade, Lang, and Kleinsmith finished with a hit each.
Charlotte got help in the circle from Chelsea Lisikatos and Katie Watkins. Warkins recorded the win and improved to 5-5 on the season. The duo allowed just one earned run each. Watkins finished with a game-high eight strikeouts.
The Niners return back to the D. L. Phillips Complex on Wednesday, March 6 for a doubleheader against Elon beginning at 4 p.m.
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