|Offensive Woes Deal Doubleheader Skid for Niners|
Greenville, S.C.- Runs came at a premium for the Charlotte 49ers on Wednesday afternoon as the Niners drop doubleheader 4-1 and 5-3 against Furman. Charlotte falls to 15-18 on the season and Furman improves to 22-18.
Charlotte tallied a total of seven hits combined with four in game one and three in the night cap. Jackie Kleinsmith (Santa Maria, Calif./ Righetti HS) led the Niners at the plate going 2-4 with a home run and two walks. Chelsea Lisikatos (Cold Spring, N.Y./ Haldene HS) picked up two hits in the loss.
The Paladins struck first in game one of the doubleheader scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning. Furman’s Sieara Bishop hit a home run to left field to break the scoreless tie early.
Charlotte tied things up in the top of the fourth inning scoring the only run of the game off a Jackie Kleinsmith solo home run to left field on the first pitch of the inning, her fifth of the season.
The one all tie didn’t last long as Furman pushed across three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Elise Smith reached on an infield single followed by a Lauren Collier walk put runners in scoring position. Natalie Clemmons gave Furman the lead for good hitting a no doubt home run to straightaway center scoring three runs.
The Niners had a chance in the top of the sixth inning but were turned away. Kleinsmith drew a lead-off walk to start the inning. Lisikatos put herself in scoring position with a double to left center with no outs and Kleinsmith at third. Furman’s pitching staff would pick up two strikeouts and a groundout to end the 49er attack.
Lexi Betancourt (Garner, N.C./ West Johnson HS) would pick up the loss in game one and breaking a string of five straight wins for the righty. Betancourt (14-9) tossed six innings allowing four runs off four hits and four walks. Furman’s starter Alex Sappington (5-1) picked up the win for the Paladins allowing one run off four hits and four walks in 5.2 innings. Lauren Collier grabbed her sixth save of the season tossing the final 1.2 innings striking out four.
Furman kept attacking in the early innings of game two, striking for two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Smith reached on a Niner miscue and later scored on a Kalie Hicks home run to center field.
The Paladins would tack on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 5-0 lead. SoCon player of the week Ambree Muller started the inning with a walk. Muller would swipe second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Smith grabbed a five pitch walk and moved to second on the ensuing groundout. With runners on second and third, Clemmons and Hanna Pace tallied singles in the inning to plate Muller and Smith. Clemmons would score on the Pace single down the left field line.
Charlotte would claw back into the game in the top of the sixth inning. Natalie Capone (St. Charles, Ill./ St. Charles North) grabbed a seven pitch walk. Jessica Plemmons (Lexington, N.C./ North Davidson HS) picked up her only hit of the night with a home run to center field, her seventh of the season, to cut into the deficit 5-2. Jackie Kleinsmith picked up a two out triple to left field but was stranded there after a Niner groundout.
Chelsea Ingersoll (Charlotte, N.C./ Butler HS) started a rally in the top of the seventh inning with a single to center field. Hayley Lewis (Concord, N.C./ Jay M. Robinson HS) would reach base on an errant throw scoring Ingersoll from second for the final run of the game.
Mackenzie Hauser (Lexington, N.C./ North Davidson HS) picked up the loss in the night cap. Hauser (1-4) tossed 3.1 innings allowing five runs (four earned) off six hits. Chelsea Lisikatos pitched in relief for the Niners tossing the final 2.2 innings of scoreless ball allowing three hits. Furman’s starter Shelby Parker (6-8) picked up the win tossing 5.1 innings allowing two runs off two hits and striking out four. Sappington picked up her first save of the season tossing the final 1.1 innings allowing one unearned run off one hit.
Charlotte will return home Saturday, April 12, as the Niners host Florida Atlantic in a three game Conference USA series.