|Softball Edged by South Carolina on the Road|
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Despite building a 4-0 first inning lead, the Charotte 49ers softball team fell to South Carolina, 6-5 on Wednesday night at Becklam Field. With the loss, the Niners drop to .500 on the season with an 11-11 record, while the Gamecocks improve to 19-9.
South Carolina's Dana Hathorn drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, stepping up to the plate with one out and poking a single to left that scored senior left fielder Kaitlin Westfall to end the game. Westfall led off the inning with a doube and moved to third on Chelsea Hawkins' single to left.
Charotte had mounted a sizeable lead after a four-run first inning but was unable to hold onto the advantage.
The 49ers pushed all four runs across the plate with two outs in the top of the first. An error allowed rookie center fielder Alex Rogers to score from second after she led off with a walk. Junior third baseman Chelsea Stamey then tripled to right, plating classmate Briana Gwaltney and rookie Jackie Kleinsmith. Stamey came around to score on Chelsea Ingersoll's RBI single to left.
The Gamecocks got two runs back in the second inning and another in the third to pull within one, 4-3. But the Niners stretched the lead to 5-3 on Lindsey Holloman's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the fifth inning that scored Kalie Lang.
Trailing by that score heading into the bottom of the fifth, the Gamecocks posted single runs in the last three frames to take the win. USC's Lauren Lackey's infield single in the fifth plated a run to make it a one-run game. Freshman Olivia Lawrence tied things in the sixth with an RBI double to right.
Six 49ers picked up a hit in the game, with no Charlotte player recording more than one. Stamey's pair of RBIs led the squad, while Ingersoll and pinch hitter Lindsey Holloman also picked up an RPI apiece on the night.
Rookie Lexi Betancourt was charged with her fifth loss of the season, falling to 7-5. Through 6.1 innings, she allowed six runs (five earned) on ten hits. She walked two and struck out two.
South Carolina's Katelynn Howser (8-1) picked up the win, pitching the final 3.0 innings and nearly shutting out the Niners, giving up only a single hit.
Charlotte returns to the road Thursday for a twinbill with Furman. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m..