CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte softball team swept Radford in a pair of non-conference games, Wednesday afternoon at D.L. Phillips Complex.
Charlotte (18-22 overall) won both games in dramatic fashion as Radford fell to 16-25. Charlotte won game one 1-0 and game two 5-4.
In game one, Charlotte scored the game’s only run in the second inning. With one out, Courtney Carroll walked and moved to second off a groundout from Jessie Fennell. Senior Chelsea Stamey was clutch for the 49ers and with two outs she crushed a double to left field to give them the 1-0 lead.
The Niners clung to their lead the entire game which was threatened in the seventh inning by the Highlanders. With a pair of outs, Radford’s Jessie Hutchens recorded a single and advanced to second after Nia Chiles reached on an error. With the tying run on second, Charlotte’s defense buckled down and closed out the game.
Both teams finished with five hits each in the opener. Carroll finished with a game-high two hits.
Katie Watkins (10-13) tossed a complete came where she tallied a game-leading six strikeouts in the shutout.
Charlotte jumped to a 3-0 advantage in game two in the second inning. Lindsey Holloman started the inning with a single to left field. The Highlanders retired the next two batters but a costly error allowed Jackie Kleinsmith to reach base as Holloman scored, giving Charlotte the 1-0 lead. Stamey and Alex Rogers tallied consecutive hits to load the bases for the 49ers. Samantha Slade drove in a pair of runs with a hit to left field to extend Charlotte’s lead.
Radford answered in the third inning and put together two runs off three hits to cut the Niners’ advantage to 3-2. The Highlanders secured their only lead of the day in the fourth inning when Becky Mantel hit a two-run homer over the left field fence, giving Radford the 4-3 edge.
The 49ers remained calm and composed by responding in the fourth when Kleinsmith and Stamey led-off with a pair of doubles. With runners in scoring position, a wild pitch allowed Charlotte to tie the game 4-4. Another Radford error allowed Stamey to score as Charlotte regained the lead, 5-4.
Radford didn’t go away easily and tried to spark a rally in the seventh inning. After the Highlanders started the inning with two singles, Charlotte’s defense recorded the first out, a sacrifice bunt from Hilari Hopkins which moved the runners to second and third. But that didn’t overwhelm the 49ers because on the next play Kleinsmith recorded a double play after catching a foul ball just behind the plate and throwing out the runner on third to end the game.
Charlotte was led by Holloman and Stamey who recorded a pair of hits. Slade finished with a game-high three RBIs.
Charlotte will visit St. Bonaventure on Saturday, April 20 for an Atlantic 10 doubleheader at noon.
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