The winner of the series will earn the #5 spot in the conference tournament, while the losing team must rely upon the outcomes of various other A10 contests that will take place over the weekend for a chance at the #6 seed. Should the two teams split, Charlotte will earn the #5 seed and Dayton will capture the #6.
The Niners are 14-1 in the all-time series with the Flyers. The two squads split last season's twinbill in Dayton, with Charlotte suffering its first ever loss against the Flyers. The 49ers won the first game, 2-0 in extra innings, as Bri Gwaltney and Kalie Lang each drove in a run in the top of the eighth for the win. Despite a two-run double by Lorena Vela and a two-hit effort by Gwaltney, Charlotte fell 5-4 in the nightcap.
Ironically, in last year's series, as well, the 49ers needed a split to secure a spot in the conference tourney.
Charlotte is coming off a two-game split with Winthrop on the road last Tuesday, falling narrowly, 1-0 before winning game two, 6-4. That series featured home runs from Chelsea Ingersoll, Vela, and what looked to be a third by Lang that was instead ruled a double. Prior to that, The Niners had a tough 1-3 weekend of conference play, splitting with Rhode Island before being swept by UMass.
Junior left fielder Gwaltney leads the 49ers with a .325 batting average with 40 RBIs and 14 home runs. Fellow outfielder Alex Rogers is batting .313 with 47 hits and 32 runs scored on the year. Junior first baseman Lang is third on the squad in RBIs with 26 and is tops on the team with 11 doubles.
Freshman Lexi Betancourt (14-12; 2.87 ERA) and sophomore Katie Watkins (12-11; 4.31 ERA) have split time in the circle. Each pitcher has struck out 115 batters on the season, though Betancourt holds the edge with three shutouts compared to Watkins' one.
As always, admission for all regular season home games is free and open to the public. Live stats for both games will be available via charlotte49ers.com, along with a live video stream for paying subscribers. Saturday is also Senior Day, as the 49ers will honor lone senior Vela in her final home game in a Niners uniform with a pre-game ceremony.