CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte battled and rallied from behind in Friday’s doubleheader to sweep Fordham in the Atlantic 10 conference opener at the D.L. Phillips Complex.
Charlotte (14-10 overall, 2-0 A-10) won the first game 10-8 and game two, 9-7.
After trailing 2-0 to the Rams (15-11, 0-2) after the first inning, Charlotte tallied five runs off three hits, including a three-run homer with a full count by senior Briana Gwaltney to take the 5-2 lead in the second inning. Gwaltney who hit her 31st career home run in game one, has tallied three this season. Senior Lindsey Holloman started the rally and drove the ball up the middle for a hit as Kalie Lang and Chelsea Stamey reached on errors by the Fordham defense to score Charlotte’s first run. With two outs, Alex Rogers kept the Niners going with an RBI-single to centerfield to tie the game.
Charlotte’s solid lead didn’t last too long as Fordham took advantage of five walks and an error in the fourth inning to retake to the lead, 6-5. The Rams added on two more runs in the fifth inning off three hits pushing their advantage to 8-5.
The Niners kept pushing and used three hits to slice into the Rams’ lead 8-6 in the fifth. However it was Charlotte’s explosive sixth inning where it assembled five hits from Alex Rogers, Gwaltney, Chelsea Ingersoll, Jessica Plemmons, and a triple from Samantha Slade to take the 10-8 lead over Fordham.
Gwaltney was 4-for-4 with a pair of runs and a game-leading three RBIs. Rogers, Lindsey Holloman, and Slade tallied two hits each as Charlotte finished with 13 hits.
Charlotte’s offense continued over into game two as Rogers initiated the hitting spree with a double to left center. Gwaltney, Ingersoll, Plemmons, and Lang each tallied a hit to give the 49ers a 5-0 lead in the first inning.
Fordham cut the Niners’ lead to 5-2 in the third inning after recording three hits. Charlotte answered in the bottom of third and with two outs, Lang doubled to centerfield to score Slade who reached on a single to left field. The Rams responded and scored a pair of runs off three hits to wedge Charlotte’s lead to 6-4 in the fourth inning.
Fordham took its first lead of the game in the sixth inning when it scored three runs giving it the 7-6 advantage.
However, Charlotte who has been a “comeback” team didn’t let that shake them and posted three runs off a RBI-single from Gwaltney and a two-run homer from Ingersoll to regain the 9-7 lead. Ingersoll hit her fifth home run of the season and was 3-for-4 with two runs in game two.
Gwaltney and Lang also finished with a pair of hits.
The 49ers got help from Lisikatos, Lang, and Watkins in the circle but it was Watkins who came away with the win. She improved to 8-7 and recorded a game-high five strikeouts.
Charlotte hosts George Washington on Sunday, March 24 at noon for an Atlantic 10 doubleheader at D.L. Phillips Complex.