Charlotte, N.C.- Charlotte softball drop a pair of games in Wednesday’s action at home. The Niners fell in game one to South Carolina 12-0 and Radford 6-5 in the night cap.
“We played South Carolina great for six innings and then the wheels and the bus broke down in the seventh,” said Coach Aimee DeVos. “I thought we responded well coming back into the game with Radford. I thought pitching wise was positive besides the seventh inning of the South Carolina game. It didn’t show how well Lexi Betancourt had pitched the previous six innings. We just have to pick ourselves back up and play five more this weekend.”
Lexi Betancourt picked up the loss in game one going 6.1 innings giving up nine runs (three earned) off eight hits and striking out six. Betancourt drops to 1-1 on the young season. Nickie Blue for South Carolina (7-2) picked up her sixth win of her freshman year.
Charlotte’s best opportunity to score in the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning. Chelsea Ingersoll picked up her first of the season with a single to third base. Chelsea Lisikatos pushed Ingersoll to second with a sacrifice bunt. Hot hitting Jackie Kleinsmith roped a 3-1 pitch back up the middle moving Ingersoll to third. Hayley Lewis singled off the glove of the diving third basemen, but the shortstop was in the hole to throw out Ingersoll trying to score and ending the Niner threat.
Betancourt pitched a solid six innings allowing only one run off a Sarah Mooney home run. The seventh inning was a different story for the Niners. Charlotte (1-3) allowed 11 runs to score in the top of the seventh inning off six hits and three Niner errors.
The Niners failed to score in the seventh. Paige Wall picked up her first hit of the season in the bottom of the seventh with a double to center field. Wall advanced to third on the wild pitch where she was stranded.
Chelsea Lisikatos got the start in the circle for the night cap against Radford for her first appearance of the season. Lisikatos picked up the loss throwing seven innings allowing six runs (five earned) off nine hits and three strikeouts. Kelsey Weddle picked up the win for the Highlanders (1-0) tossing two innings in relief. Abby Morrow picked up her first save of the season tossing the seventh inning allowing one run off one hit.
Radford jumped on the board in the top of the first inning for an early 1-0 lead. Radford’s Becky Mantel was hit by a pitch in the first at bat of the game. Megan Honaker followed the HBP with a double down the right field line moving the runner to third. The Niners were able to throw out a girl out at the plate on the fielder’s choice to second. Some miscommunication on a steal attempt allowed Honaker to score for the first run of the game.
Charlotte responded in the bottom half of the inning putting up four runs off three hits. Sam Slade sent a 0-1 pitch over the left center wall for her second of the season to tie things at one apiece. Chelsea Ingersoll reached on a fielder’s choice and came around to score following a Lisikatos single, Kleinsmith hit by pitch and a Hayley Lewis single to right field. Lisikatos followed Ingersoll around the bases to score on the Lewis single for a 3-1 lead. Kleinsmith moved to third on the Lewis single and scored on the ensuing wild pitch giving the Niners a 4-1 lead early.
The Highlanders put up three runs in the top of the third and one in the fourth to give them a slim 5-4 lead heading into the seventh inning.
Radford’s Mantel reached on an error to open the scoring in the seventh inning and giving the Highlanders the cushion it needed for the win. Jessie Hutchens singled up the middle to bring Mantel around to score with the throw from Jessica Plemmons to be a split second too late.
The Niners rallied in the bottom of the inning but came up a run short. Chelsea Lisikatos reached on a fielder’s choice. Paige Wall pinch ran for Lisikatos advancing to second on the wild pitch. Jackie Kleinsmith singled to right field cutting the deficit to 6-5 scoring Wall from second.
Charlotte will be back in action at home, Friday, Feb. 21 at 4 pm taking on an old Atlantic 10 foe, St. Bonaventure, in a single game before hosting the Green and White with St. Bonaventure, Cleveland State and Robert Morris.
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