|Niners Drop Low Scoring Affair in C-USA Finale|
CHARLOTTE, N.C.- Charlotte was looking for the C-USA Finale sweep against Marshall in action on Sunday afternoon, but came up a run short falling to the Thundering Herd 2-1. Charlotte drops to 20-26 with a 10-13 clip in league play, while Marshall improves to 23-30 on the season and a 10-11 mark in conference play.
Charlotte's offensive production was limited on Sunday by the Marshall pitching staff allowing two hits but allowed six walks. The Niners could not capitalize on the free bases.
Charlotte struck first in the bottom half of the opening inning with a towering home run by Jessica Plemmons (Lexington, N.C./ North Davidson HS), her tenth on the season, for an early 1-0 lead.
Marshall took its first lead of the series in the top of the second plating two runs for a 2-1 lead where it would stay for the remainder of the contest. Marshall led off the inning with a single to left field. A walk and a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out. Taylor Winton delivered the blow to the Niners with a single to left field scoring Watts and Escareno for the only scoring of the contest.
The Niners had a chance in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie or walk-off. Chelsea Lisikatos (Cold Spring, N.Y./ Haldene HS) singled to left field to lead off the inning. Chelsea Ingersoll (Charlotte, N.C./ Butler HS) and Hayley Lewis (Concord, N.C./ Jay M. Robinson HS) drew walks to load the bases. Natalie Capone (St. Charles, Ill./ St. Charles North) roped a 0-1 pitch down the third base line but thrown out by half a step to end the threat and allowed Marshall to take the series finale 2-1.
Lexi Betancourt (Garner, N.C./ West Johnson HS) took the loss falling to 19-13 on the season tossing seven innings allowing two runs, one earned, off four hits and struck out nine.
Marshall's starter, Jordan Dixon (16-20), picked up the lone win for the Herd tossing a complete game limiting the Niner offense to two hits and six walks, while striking out six.
Charlotte completes the Conference USA season with a 10-13 record in league play. League play continues next weekend for most of the conference. The Niners fate for its trip to Boca, Raton, Fla. for the Conference USA Softball Tournament will not be determined until May 4.
Charlotte heads to Rock Hill, S.C. to take on Winthrop in a midweek doubleheader Tuesday, April 29 at 3pm and 5pm.