|Softball Sweeps Furman with Extra Inning Win|
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Briana Gwaltney scored what would prove to be the game-winning run in the top of the eighth, as softball defeated Furman, 2-1 in extra innings to complete a sweep of the Paladins. The 49ers downed the home team, 6-1 in the first game to improve to 13-11 on the season. Furman drops to 7-15 with the pair of losses.
With two outs in the top of the eighth inning, the Niners took the lead for good when Gwaltney scored from third on a throwing error by the Furman right fielder. According to NCAA rules, Gwaltney had been placed on second base at the start of extra innings. She advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Kalie Lang, and came around to score after Lindsey Holloman flied out to the right fielder, whose error cost Furman the game.
The two teams were locked in a 1-1 tie prior to that, with the 49ers getting on the board in the top of the first and Furman answering in the bottom of the fifth.
The Paladins knotted the score in the fifth when Jenkins reached on a fielder's choice, advanced to second on a single by third baseman Jessie Homesley and scored on an RBI single to right center from right fielder Lauren Collier.
The 49ers ended the game in fine fashion, as pitcher Lexi Betancourt struck out the first batter, Emily Boyer, before getting pitcher Lakyn Shull to line into a game-ending double play.
Kleinsmith led the offense with the team's only multiple-hit game, going 2-for-4 with Charlotte's lone RBI. Two Paladins, Nikki Legg and Homesley, picked up a pair of hits apiece.
Betancourt earned her eighth victory of the year, going all eight innings and allowing just one run on nine hits with four strikeouts and a walk. Shull was charged with the loss, also pitching a complete game with two runs (one earned) on six hits with six strikeouts and five walks.
Charlotte took game one by a commanding 6-1 margin, thanks to a 2-for-4, two-RBI effort from Gwaltney. After falling behind 1-0, the 49ers scored two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and added three more to seal the victory in the seventh.
Lindsey Holloman's RBI single to right center scored Kalie Lang in the top of the fourth for the game-tying run. Chelsea Ingersoll followed up with a base hit to left that plated Chelsea Stamey for a 2-1 lead.
Up 3-1 in the top of the seventh, Gwaltney's two-run double to center scored Rogers and Lorena Vela to give Charlotte some cushion. Kleinsmith crossed the plate on Lang's groundout to second base for the sixth and final run of the game.
Katie Watkins picked up the win in the circle, her fourth of the season. Tossing a complete game, she allowed just one run on four hits with five strikeouts and a walk. Collier suffered the loss for the Paladins, going 6.0 innings and giving up three runs on five hits with a strikeout and four walks.
Gwaltney and Kleinsmith led the offense with two hits apiece, while Rogers went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and a pair of runs scored. Only four Furman players picked up hits, and Legg scored the Paladins' lone run of the game.
This was Charlotte's final non-conference game before the start of league play. The Niners face Atlantic 10 foe Temple next weekend for a two-game road series to open conference play. Game one is Friday, March 23rd at 4 p.m., while game two follows Saturday, March 24th at noon.