Charlotte, N.C.- Charlotte 49er softball found its stroke at the plate scoring 30 runs in two games and picking up two wins to start the month of March, defeating Georgetown 23-2 and Liberty 7-1 in action on Saturday afternoon.
"We had a big offensive day for the entire team," said Coach Aimee DeVos. "It was good to see the whole team get involved in scoring runs. We got great pitching from Mack and Lexi both and managed to keep our defense consistent behind them. We're excited to play for the championship tomorrow."
Charlotte tallied 35 hits combined picking up 22 hits against Georgetown and 13 against Liberty. Jessica Plemmons led the way for the Niners going 6-6 with four RBI and two runs scored. Samantha Slade went 5-8 with five RBI, four runs scored and a home run. Natalie Capone went 5-10 with four RBI and five runs scored.
Charlotte (8-6) jumped on the board early in the top of the first inning. Sam Slade doubled to center field with one out. Jessica Plemmons singled up the middle and advanced to second on the throw trying to get Slade at the plate for the first run of the game.
The 49ers exploded for 11 runs off nine hits and two Hoya errors in the top of the third inning to take a commanding lead, 12-0. Natalie Capone started the inning off with a single to left field. Slade added to her home run total sending her seventh dinger over the center field fence.
Jackie Kleinsmith drew a walk to continue the rally. A single by Plemmons and a walk by Chelsea Ingersoll loaded the bases for Hannah Bright. Bright sends a 1-2 pitch down the left field line scoring Kleinsmith. Hayley Lewis joined in on the rally drawing a walk scoring Plemmons. Jessie Fennell singled through the left side of the infield and continuing the train around the paths. An RBI groundout by Courtney Carroll pushes the Niner lead to 7-0 with only one out.
Capone picks up her second hit of the inning placing it through the left side of the infield scoring Lewis from third. Capone moved to second on the stolen base. Sam Slade followed suit and singled through the left side of the infield scoring Fennell and Slade stole second. Capone scored on the attempted throw down at second. Kleinsmith reached base on a fielding error by the shortstop allowing Slade to score. Plemmons doubled to straight away center to keep the rally going. Chelsea Ingersoll capped off the inning with a single down the left field line scoring Kleinsmith for the final run of the inning.
The Niners pushed across two more runs in the top of the fourth inning pushing its lead to 14-0. Paige Wall reached on a dropped fly ball by the left fielder and moved up to second base. Capone singled to right center and allowed Wall to come around to score. A walk by Slade and a single down the right field line by Plemmons allowed Capone to score for the final run of the inning.
Georgetown cracked the scoreboard in the bottom half of the fourth inning stringing three hits together. Megan Hyson started off the inning with a double to center field. Samantha Giovanniello singled to left field followed by an Alex Antilla double plating Hyson and Giovanniello for the Hoyas only runs of the game.
Charlotte lit up the scoreboard in the top of the fifth scoring the final nine runs with two outs. Jessie Fennell and Courtney Carroll grabbed back-to-back singles to start the two out rally. Capone emptied the bases with a triple into the right center gap. Sam Slade scored Capone from third on the RBI double to left field. Kleinsmith put runners on the corners with a single through the left side of the infield. Plemmons doubled down the right field line scoring Slade and sending Kleinsmith to third. Ingersoll doubled down the left field line scoring Kleinsmith from third. Two Hoyas errors pushed across two more runs for the Niners pushing the margin to 23-2.
Mackenzie Hauser (1-2) picked up her first collegiate win tossing three innings allowing two runs off five hits. Lexi Betancourt came into pitch in the fourth inning with no outs. Betancourt pitched two shutout innings allowing one hit.
Charlotte started the second game where it left off in the first game plating a run in the first inning. Natalie Capone led off the game with a single up the middle. Sam Slade moved Capone intoscoring position with a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher. Jessica Plemmons' single to left center scored Capone from second and gave the Niners a 1-0 lead.
The Niner attack continued in the third inning plating two more, pushing the lead to 3-0. Kleinsmith doubled to center to open up the inning. Hannah Bright put runners on the corners with a single up the middle. Bright put herself into scoring position swiping second base. Chelsea Ingersoll delivered a double down the left field line scoring Kleinsmith and Bright.
Charlotte put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fourth inning plating two more runs. Kleinsmith reached on an error and moved to second on the base knock by Bright. Ingersoll loaded the bases after a 12 pitch at-bat drawing a walk. Jessie Fennell's hit by pitch scored Kleinsmith for the first run of the inning. Hayley Lewis hit a sacrifice fly to right field plating Bright for the 5-0 lead.
Liberty scored in the top of the sixth inning to disrupt the shutout. Katie Zavodny reached on an error and moved to second on the errant throw. Zavodny moved over to third on the wild pitch by Betancourt. Zavodny would score on a RBI gorund out by Sammi Shivock cutting into the deficit 5-1.
Again the Niners put a crooked number on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Fennell started the inning with a walk. Pinch hitter Paige Wall singled to left field for her second hit of the season. Sam Slade singled to left field scoring Wall. Courtney Carroll scored in the inning after reaching on an error and scored on a fielding error by the third baseman.
Lexi Betancourt picked up the win and moved to 7-2 on the season. Betancourt pitched a complete game allowed one run (unearned) off five hits and six strikeouts.
Charlotte will play Georgetown in the championship game at 1 pm. Depsite losing in the earlier game to Charlotte, the Hoyas bounced back and defeated Stony Brook with starter Megan Hyson tossing a no hitter.
The 23 runs scored against Georgetown was the most runs scored in a single game since 2/24/09 against St. Francis.
Aimee DeVos is one win away from career number 500.