Elon, N.C.- Charlotte 49ers softball had to fight off a late rally by the Phoenix to secure a 4-3 win against Elon in a non-conference match-up on Wednesday afternoon on the road.
“From top to bottom this is one of the best games that we have played,” said Coach Aimee DeVos. “We were prepared and took advantage of their defense. Jackie did a great job working with Lexi out there today. Her changeup had their hitter fooled for most of the day. Anytime Lexi takes the ball she is mentally prepared. She is a gamer out there and I am really happy with where she is at early in the season.”
Courtney Carroll picked up her first multi-hit game of the season pacing the Niners with two hits. Jessica Plemmons went 1-3 from the plate with a home run and three RBI. Lexi Betancourt picked up the win in the circle for the 49ers for her fifth win of the season.
Charlotte (5-5) bolted out to an early 2-0 lead in the opening frame getting leadoff hitter Natalie Capone on the base paths with a full count walk. With two outs in the inning, Jessica Plemmons sent a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall for her third home run of the season.
The 49ers started the rally again in the top half of the third inning pushing two more runs across the plate stringing three hits together. Capone started off the frame reaching base with a base knock up the middle. Samantha Slade pushed Capone into scoring position with a base hit down the left field line for Slade’s only hit of the game. Elon’s starter Alli Burdette got the hook after the Slade hit bringing in Caitlin O’Shea.
On the second pitch of the at-bat against O’Shea hot hitting Jackie Kleinsmith doubled into the right center gap pushing across Capone from second for the RBI. Plemmons capped off the third inning with a RBI groundout to the shortstop for the Niners final run of the game.
Elon (8-5-1) fought its way back into the game in the bottom of the fifth inning scoring three runs to cut into the deficit 4-3. Aly Quintana led off the frame with a sharp ground ball through the left side. A fielding error and a fielder’s choice put two on and one out. Carleigh Nester put the Phoenix back in the game with a three run home run to deep left field.
Charlotte starter Lexi Betancourt (5-1) shut the door on the Phoenix to close out the game striking out four of the eight batters she faced in the final two innings. Betancourt finished the game with seven strong innings off work allowing three runs (all unearned) scattering six hits and tying a career best nine punch outs.
Elon’s starter Burdette was tagged with the loss falling to 2-1 on the season. Burdette pitched two innings allowing four runs (all earned) off three hits. Caitlin O’Shea and Chelsea White combined to pitch five shutout innings in relief allowing three hits.
Charlotte returns home this Friday as the Niners host the 49er Invitational with participating Stony Brook, Liberty, and Georgetown. The Niners play at 1 pm against Liberty and faces Stony Brook at 3 pm.
Charlotte improves to 5-1 when the Niners score first. The Niners have won back to back games for the first time this season.
Lexi Betancourt has won her last four decisions moving to 5-1 on the season.
Head Coach Aimee DeVos is up to win number 496 in her career at Charlotte.