Boiling Springs, N.C.- Charlotte softball split doubleheader against Gardner-Webb in non-conference action Saturday afternoon. The Niners picked up the win in game one, 8-0 but fell in the night cap 6-3.
“Lexi did a great job in the circle for us,” said Coach Aimee DeVos. “I was really pleased with the offensive output in game one. I feel it was spread out throughout the line-up. Our defense wasn’t as sharp as I would have liked in game two, there are some things that we need to improve upon as we move on to play South Carolina.”
Jackie Kleinsmith led the offensive attack for the Niners (1-1) going 5-6 from the plate with a home run, two runs scored and a RBI. Samantha Slade finished the doubleheader going 3-6 from the plate with a home run, a double and two RBIs. Chelsea Lisikatos hit the third home run for the Niners for her only hit of game one.
Lexi Betancourt kept the Runnin’ Bulldogs off balance pitching seven scoreless innings and struck out eight. Betancourt (1-0) picked up the win, her first since May 5, 2012. Betancourt did not pitch during the 2013 season due to injury.
Mackenzie Hauser (0-1) picked up the loss in the night cap pitching seven innings allowing six runs (three earned) off 10 hits.
Samantha Meenaghan led the Runnin’ Bulldogs (1-1) at the plate going 6-8 and an RBI.
Ashley Rhyne picked up the loss for Gardner-Webb in game one throwing 2.2 innings allowing three runs off four hits. Summer Darnell pitched 4.1 innings in relief allowing the final five runs off eight hits.
Jessica Childers picked up the win in the night cap for the Runnin’ Bulldogs pitching seven innings allowing three runs (one earned) off seven hits.
The Niners broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning with a lead-off home run by Kleinsmith. Hayley Lewis hit a single to left field to keep the rally going. Slade capped off the Niner attack with a two-run homer to left center to give the Niners a 3-0 advantage.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs spoiled its chances to get on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning after a base knock to centerfield. Jessica Plemmons threw a strike to home plate to get the Bulldog runner trying to score from second.
Sam Slade started the fifth inning off with a double to the right center gap giving Slade her second extra base hit of the game. Chelsea Ingersoll worked a walk to put runners into scoring position for the Niners. Chelsea Lisikatos reached on a fielding error by the GWU third baseman allowing Slade to score from second for a 4-0 lead. Charlotte loaded the bases after a Courtney Carroll base on balls. Kleinsmith flew out to deep left field to end the inning.
The Niners went on the attack again in the seventh inning scoring four more runs to push the lead to 8-0. Carroll and Kleinsmith string together singles to put runners into scoring position. Hayley Lewis sent a line drive into the left center gap to score Carroll. Lewis finished the game 2-4 with a double, 2 runs scored and a RBI.
Hannah Bright, transfer from Belmont Abbey, pinch hit for Natalie Capone in the top of the seventh. Bright sent a liner into the right center gap scoring Kleinsmith and Lewis for a two-run double.
In the nightcap, the 49ers jumped on the Runnin’ Bulldogs early with a 1-0 lead after the opening frame of the first inning. Natalie Capone led off the game with a single up the middle. Slade moved Capone over with a sacrifice bunt. A single through the right side by Jessica Plemmons scored Capone from second to put the Niners on the board, 1-0.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs explode in the bottom of the second inning for three runs. Mahaila Irvin singled up the middle to start the inning followed by a Savannah Burns single to shortstop. An errant throw moved Irvin to third. Irvin comes around to score off a Hauser wild pitch to tie things at one apiece.
On the ensuing at bat Burns is thrown out at the plate trying to score on the fielder’s choice. Back-to-back singles by Megan Champion and Meenaghan give the Runnin’ Bulldogs the lead and a 3-1 cushion.
The Niners’ lead-off batter, Capone, sent a missile back up the middle to start off the fifth inning. Slade attempted to move Capone over on the sacrifice bunt, but a throwing attempt went high at first base sending Capone around to score and allowing Slade to move to second. Chelsea Lisikatos lined a shot to the centerfielder for her only hit of the night cap pushing Slade across the plate and tying things at 3-all.
GWU’s Meenaghan and Kellie Beres strung back-to-back singles together to start the Bulldog rally in the bottom of the fifth. The Bulldogs put both runners in scoring position after a double steal. Savannah Burns singles to the shortstop deep in the hole to score Beres for the go ahead run.
Gardner-Webb tacks on two more runs on the board in the sixth inning after a Megan Champion homer to left. Champion finished the game going 2-3 from the plate with three RBIs.
Charlotte is back in action Wednesday against South Carolina in a non-conference match-up at D.L. Phillips Complex. First pitch is slated for 3 pm.