|Softball to host Elon, MSU & Gardner-Webb|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte softball team returns back to the D. L. Phillips Complex for a pair of doubleheaders against in-state foes Elon and Gardner-Webb on Wednesday, March 6 at 3 p.m. and Friday, March 8 beginning at 4 p.m.
Charlotte will also host Morehead State on Thursday, March 7 for a single game at 2 p.m.
The 49ers (8-5 overall) lead the all-time series, 19-14 against the Phoenix who are 8-5 in 2013. In their last meeting, Elon registered four of the game’s seven hits but a pair of homers helped the Niners shutout Elon 5-0 at East Field.
Charlotte also takes an 11-3-1 edge against Gardner-Webb (3-6) in the all-time series. Last season, the 49ers spilt a pair of games with the Bulldogs in Boiling Springs, N.C. Charlotte lost the first game 2-0 but turned around with an 8-5 win.
Offensively, Charlotte leads the Atlantic 10 as it has recorded a .332 batting average. The 49ers have five players batting well over .300 and six athletes with double-digit hits. The Niners are led by Chelsea Ingersoll who has crushed a team-high four home runs and registered a .475 batting average. Briana Gwaltney, who is on an 11-game hitting streak, leads the team in RBIs (15) and hits (21). Jessica Plemmons, Samantha Slade, and Natalie Capone have continued to turn in consistent at-bats for the 49ers.
Katie Watkins and Chelsea Lisikatos have shared time in the circle for Charlotte. Watkins has recorded five wins and a team-high 41 strikeouts along with a 3.57 earned run average. Lisikatos has appeared in seven games and registered Charlotte’s only shutout of the season.
Elon enters Wednesday contest with back-to-back wins against Manhattan on Sunday. Earlier in the season, the Phoenix knocked off No. 8 Georgia on the road with a 5-2 victory. Elon is 1-1 against in-state opponents. The Phoenix fell 7-5 to Campbell in February and defeated East Carolina 6-3. Elon also picked up an 8-3 win against Atlantic 10 member Temple.
The Phoenix also has depth in their lineup and as a team is hitting .329. Tomeka Watson leads Elon with a .524 batting average and nine homers. Lauren Oldham (.375), Grace Eng (.357), Johanna Spencer (.356), Carleigh Nester (.356), and Aly Quintana (.333) have all recorded double-digits hits this season.
Five different pitchers have appeared in the circle but Elon’s ace pitcher, Karen Caruso leads the team with 22 strikeouts. She’s posted a 3.59 ERA in 37.0 innings pitched.
Thursday’s game will be the second meeting with Morehead State as Charlotte holds the 1-0 advantage in the series. The Eagles (2-5) haven’t played a game since February 24 due to weather. In MSU’s last two games they fell to Gardner-Webb 9-5 and Maryland-Baltimore County, 7-4. Morehead State is led by Amber Riddle (.389), Elizabeth Wagner (.381), Kayla Ashbrook (.381), and Adrena Anderson (.300). Pitcher Katie Pfost is 2-2 with a team-high 22 strikeouts.
The Bulldogs, who also competed at the War Eagle Classic in Auburn last weekend, are coming off a pair of losses to Minnesota and Auburn. Morgan Baker tops Gardner-Webb with a .423 average, three homers, and 12 RBIs. Kellie Beres (.414) and Samanatha Meenaghan (.394) have combined for 25 hits.
Ashley Rhyne, Jessica Childers, and Aly Gutierrez have each recorded one win in the circle. Childers has a team-leading 16 strikeouts.