Charlotte, N.C.- Two hits was all the Niners needed in the seventh to avoid the sweep and take the series finale against FAU on Sunday afternoon. Charlotte improved to 16-20 on the season and 7-10 in C-USA play. The Niners sent the Owls home with a 27-21 record and 9-9 mark in conference play.
"She had our number all day long. We couldn't do anything but groundout to the third baseman," said Coach Aimee DeVos. "We just stayed with it. We believed that we could come back and win. They knew that we had to battle for it to stay in it."
"Coach sprinkled some "gold" dust on us before the inning as the team came together," said Jessica Plemmons. "I know that I am a situational hitter. I knew I had to move her over or got on and that's what I did. After I hit it, I was thinking, walk-off, walk-off, walk-off."
Both pitchers dominated the early innings of the finale not allowing a hit until the fourth inning. FAU's Mickey Bell sent a bloop single into right center over the head of Sam Slade for the first hit of the contest. Whitley Herb sent a blooper over Natalie Capone's head in the top of the fifth inning but could not manage a run.
The damage was done in the latter innings of the game. FAU struck first in the top of the sixth inning of a very brisk paced game lasting only 80 minutes. Christina Martinez singled down the left field line and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Shelby Knox singled to center field allowing Martinez to score from second for the opening run of the game and a 1-0 lead late.
FAU's starter Sam Messer kept the Niners out of the hit column and on the ground for most of the game with 11 outs not leaving the infield dirt. Chelsea Ingersoll (Charlotte, N.C./ Butler HS) was the only base runner for the Niners, which occurred in the second inning.
With the top of the line-up due up for the Niners in the bottom half of the seventh inning, the Niners only needed the number two and three hitters in the line-up to push across the winning run. Samantha Slade (Apex, N.C./ Apex HS) doubled to left center to open the inning for the first hit for the 49ers. Jessica Plemmons (Lexington, N.C./ North Davidson HS) picked up her first walk-off home run of her career and eighth of the season sending a 1-0 fastball over the left center field wall for the 2-1 victory.
Lexi Betancourt (Garner, N.C./ West Johnson HS) ties her career win record picking up her 15th win on the season moving to 15-11. Betancourt pitched the complete game scattering five hits and three walks while striking out five. FAU's starter Sam Messer picked up the loss allowing two runs off two hits, all in the seventh inning, and striking out five.
Charlotte continues the homestand with a non-conference doubleheader against UNC-Greensboro, Wednesday April 16 at 4pm and 6pm.