|Softball's Win Streak Ends in 11 Inning Heartbreak|
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Rhode Island's Brittany Julich hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the 11th to lift the Rhodies past Charlotte, 4-3 and end an impressive nine game Atlantic win streak for the 49ers. With the loss, the Niners fall to 26-20 overall and 9-7 in the A10, while Rhode Island improves to 19-30-1 (3-13-1 A10).
Trailing 3-1 heading into the seventh inning, Charlotte put together a two-run rally to tie the score and send the game into extra innings. Lindsey Holloman and Alex Rogers drew back-to-back walks in the top of the seventh, but the Niners were down to their final out when Gwaltney stepped up to the plate and drilled an RBI single to center field to pull Charlotte within a run. The next batter, Samantha Slade, doubled to left to score Rogers and knot the score, 3-3, giving her team life.
Charlotte had a chance to win in the top of the ninth, loading the bases with one out. But Slade's grounder resulted in a force out at home and Kalie Lang grounded out to shortstop to end the threat.
Rhode Island scored single runs in the first, third and fifth innings. The first two Rhody runs were driven in by Courtney Prendergast, who doubled to right in the first inning for an RBI and earned her second on a sacrifice fly that scored Julich.
Charlotte's first run of the day came in the top of the third, when Rogers singled and was driven in on Gwaltney's ensuing base hit, tying the score, 1-1.
Julich led the Rhodies with a 3-for-5 effort. She scored two runs and drove in a third, the game-winner. Kelly Coker and Prendergast also had multi-hit games for Rhode Island.
Betancourt (14-10) suffered the loss for Charlotte, pitching 6.1 innings in relief and allowing no earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts and two walks. The starter, Katie Watkins, threw 4.1 innings and surrendered two earned runs on six hits with a pair of K's and a pair of walks.
Rogers and Gwaltney tallied three hits apiece for Charlotte, while Slade added a pair. Gwaltney also drove in two of the Niners' three runs in the game. Rhode Island used three different pitchers in the victory, including starter Sam Bedore, who went 6.0 innings before giving way to Alison Hartzell, who blew the save. Second reliever, Cara Martin (2-5) pitched the final 3.0 innings to earn the win.
Charlotte will face the top team in the Atlantic 10, UMass, in a conference doubleheader Sunday at noon.