|Niners swept by conference-leading St. Joe's|
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Charlotte softball team fell twice to St. Joseph’s in an Atlantic 10 doubleheader, Saturday afternoon at SJU Softball Field.
The Niners (14-14 overall, 2-4 A-10) lost game one 6-3 and game two 3-2. The Hawks improved to 19-3-1 and 4-0 in the league.
In the opening game it was St. Joe’s who struck first in the second inning and took a 3-0 lead. The 49ers responded in the third by loading the bases and Briana Gwaltney hit a long sac fly to centerfield to drive in a run and slice the Hawks’ advantage, 3-1.
Maria Ficca hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to push St. Joe’s lead to 4-1. In the fifth inning, Monica Aguilar also homered to give the Hawks a 5-1 advantage.
Charlotte answered in the sixth with two runs and cut St. Joe’s lead to 5-3. With one out, Gwaltney and Chelsea Ingersoll singled and advanced to second and third after Samantha Slade flied out deep to centerfield. Jessica Plemmons drove in a pair of runs with a solid hit down the right field line.
But St. Joe’s extended its lead to 6-3 with a pair of hits, including a triple in the bottom of the sixth. Charlotte tried to start a rally in the seventh after Chelsea Stamey and Natalie Capone led off the inning with back-to-back hits. With two outs, Ingersoll drew a walk to load the bases but the Niners were unable to score.
Slade and Stamey each finished with two hits in game one. Katie Watkins fell to 8-9 and recorded four strikeouts.
In game two, it was a pitching duel between Charlotte’s Chelsea Lisikatos and St. Joe’s Liz Mendez. The game went scoreless for three innings and each team had registered just two hits each until the Hawks took the 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.
However Charlotte answered in the fifth inning after Plemmons led off with a standup double to centerfield. Kalie Lang belted her fifth home run of the season over the left field fence to tie the game 2-2. Ace pitcher Taryn Ashway relieved Mendez to close out the top half of the inning.
St. Joe’s regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth and scored a run off three hits and a Charlotte error.
Ingersoll led Charlotte in game two with a pair of hits and was the only 49er to finish with multiple hits. Lisikatos (5-4) finished with two strikeouts.
Charlotte will travel to Raleigh on Wednesday, April 3 to face N.C. State in a non-conference doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.