Charlotte, N.C.- Charlotte 49er Softball welcomes East Carolina to town in the 49ers' Conference USA home series opener. Charlotte is 1-2 in conference play falling in the final two games against FIU. East Carolina is 2-1 winning the series against UAB.
"They are a very aggressive base running team. Keeping them off base and making sure that it is not a big offensive weapon for them is what we have been geared towards this week," said Coach Aimee DeVos.
The Niners are looking to figure things out at the plate hitting .238 as a team in the past five games. Natalie Capone leads the way for the Niners during that span hitting .429. Courtney Carroll drove in a RBI in the loss against FIU on Sunday is hitting .375.
Charlotte will try to use the home field advantage in the series with the Pirates hitting .333 as a team. Samantha Slade leads the Niners offensively hitting .390 on the season with 7 home runs 20 RBI. Slade has hit six home runs with 17 RBI at home while hitting .385 from the plate.
Jessica Plemmons and Jackie Kleinsmith are hitting above .400 at home. Plemmons is hitting .361 on the season with four home runs and 20 RBI but hitting .410 with three dingers and 15 RBI in the D.L. Phillips Complex. Kleinsmith has a .405 batting average with 12 RBI and three doubles while playing at home.
Lexi Betancourt will get the ball this weekend with an 8-5 record and a 1.85 ERA. Betancourt will be opposed by Sarah Christian. Christian has been lights out for the Pirates racking up a 10-2 record and a 1.95 ERA.
Charlotte and East Carolina are almost identical when it comes to stats. Charlotte is hitting .312 as a team with ECU not far behind with a .309 batting average. The Niners have the advantage in team ERA with a 3.32 ERA. The Pirates have a 3.89 team ERA.
The Niners and the Pirates are in the top three in the conference when it comes to scoring. Charlotte holds the slight advantage scoring 5.74 runs a game, while East Carolina is nipping at the heels with scoring 5.72 runs per game.
Charlotte has not played against East Carolina since the 2005 season in the final season of Charlotte's first stint in Conference USA. East Carolina swept the series in Greenville, N.C. during the 2005 meeting. East Carolina holds the all-time advantage 23-8, but the Pirates are 4-4 when visiting Charlotte.
First pitch of the series is slated for 12 pm with game two of the scheduled doubleheader to start around 2 pm.
Prior to the first pitch on Saturday, Coach Aimee DeVos will be recognized for achieving career milestone win number 500.