|Charlotte Splits C-USA Doubleheader with UTSA|
San Antonio, Texas- After taking game one of the series against UTSA, in a pitcher's duel, 2-0, the Roadrunners found the hot bat and tagged the Niners for 12 runs for a 12-2 victory on Saturday afternoon in San Antonio, Texas. Charlotte moved to 14-16 with a 5-8 mark in C-USA play while UTSA climbed to a 18-20 record and 6-5 in conference play.
Sam Slade, Jes Plemmons, and Lexi Betancourt picked up two hits apiece in the doubleheader split. Capone, Ingersoll and Kleinsmith picked up a hit apiece. Jackie Kleinsmith led the Niners with two RBI. Betancourt picked up a RBI in the loss.
Charlotte cracked the scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning plating two runs in the inning. Lexi Betancourt (Garner, N.C./ West Johnson HS) started the inning with a double into right field. Samantha Slade (Apex, N.C./ Apex HS) singled up to left to move Betancourt to third. Jackie Kleinsmith (Santa Maria, Calif. / Righetti HS) delivered the blow to the Roadrunner with a single to center field scoring Betancourt and Slade for a 2-0 lead late.
Lexi Betancourt (13-8) picked up her 13th victory of the season tossing the complete game shutout allowing five hits and striking out six. Betancourt has five shutouts on the season and picked up her fourth straight victory. UTSA's starter Kacy Freeze (10-8) would take the loss tossing seven innings allowing two runs off five hits and struck out six.
UTSA put the Niners behind early in the night cap plating five runs in the first inning. A fielder's choice, walk and a base knock loaded the bases for UTSA. UTSA's Jolene Graham brought in a run on the fielder's choice giving the Roadrunners a 1-0 lead. Vivian Tijerina put UTSA up big in the bottom of the first inning with a grand slam to right field.
UTSA scored another run in the bottom of the second inning. Jade Smith reached on an infield single and moved up 60 feet on a throwing error. Smith would end up at third on a stolen base. Jori Fox picked up a RBI single to center field for the Roadrunners 6-0 lead.
Charlotte would get on the board in the top of the third inning. Natalie Capone (St. Charles, Ill./ St. Charles North) sent a 1-2 pitch over the left fielder's head for a triple. Capone would score on the ensuing wild pitch. Sam Slade doubled in the same spot as Capone, but was stranded on third after moving up on a wild pitch to Jessica Plemmons (Lexington, N.C./ North Davidson HS).
Courtney Carroll (Clemmons, N.C./ West Forsyth HS) started the rally for the Niners in the top half of the sixth. Carroll would battle for a seven pitch walk. Chelsea Ingersoll (Charlotte, N.C./Butler HS) would reach on a fielding error by the shortstop. Betancourt would bring in Carroll from second base on the RBI single through the left side of the infield cutting into the deficit at 6-2.
UTSA walked it off in the bottom of the sixth inning posting six runs. NCAA home run leader Megan Low sent a towering shot to left field giving the Roadrunners an 8-2 lead. UTSA would load the bases in the inning with one out for Graham. Graham would send the first pitch she saw over the left field wall for the grand slam walk-off victory.
Chelsea Lisikatos (Cold Spring, N.Y./ Haldene HS) would take the loss allowing a season high 12 runs off 11 hits in 5.1 innings. Lisikatos would fall to 0-5 on the season. UTSA's starter Nicole Merrill (6-7) picked up the win pitching six innings allowing two runs (one earned) off six hits and grabbing five strikeouts.
Charlotte and UTSA will meet for game three of the series on Sunday, April 6, at 1 pm eastern time.