The Charlotte 49ers softball team (22-19; 6-6 Atlantic 10) will face the Saint Louis Billikins (19-26; 6-6 Atlantic 10) in a conference twinbill this Saturday, April 21st in St. Louis, Mo. The two squads, who are currently tied for fourth in the league standings at 6-6 apiece, will be fighting to improve their odds at securing a spot in May's conference tournament. First pitch is noon central time (1 p.m. EST).
Charlotte is 17-21 all-time vs. the Billikins, including a series split last season at home. Junior left fielder Briana Gwaltney highlighted last year's matchup with a two-homer effort in the second contest, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored to lift her team to victory.
The Niners have won eight of their last nine games, including six consecutive Atlantic 10 contests. Last weekend, Charlotte went 3-1, led by sophomore pitcher Katie Watkins, who picked up all three wins in the circle for the 49ers. Charlotte split a non-conference road doubleheader with Gardner-Webb Wednesday, falling 2-0 before winning the nightcap, 8-5. On Saturday, the green and white swept the visiting St. Bonaventure Bonnies, 5-4 and 5-0.
Gwaltney continues to lead the Atlantic 10 and currently ranks 17th nationally with a school record 14 home runs. The Anaheim Hills, Calif. native is also tops on the squad in batting average (.347), hits (43), RBIs (37), and runs scored (32). Freshman center fielder Alex Rogers is close behind, batting .330 on the year with 38 hits and 29 runs. Rookie catcher Jackie Kleinsmith is also over the .300 mark, batting .301 with 31 hits.
In the circle, freshman Lexi Betancourt leads the way with a 12-9 record and a 3.11 ERA. Watkins has improved her overall record to 9-10 with a 4.40 ERA with a team-best 97 strikeouts.
Live stats for both contests will be available via the link on this page, as well as on the softball schedule page.