CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After enjoying the confines of the D.L. Phillips Complex for nine consecutive games, the Charlotte softball team will play its first road game of the season when it travels to Chapel Hill on Wednesday, Feb. 27 to take on North Carolina at Anderson Stadium at 6 p.m.
In 2012, it was Charlotte who got the best of North Carolina who was ranked 20th at the time in a 10-6 win at the D.L. Phillips Complex. The Tar Heels (10-5 overall) are 5-0 at Anderson Stadium and lead the all-time series against Charlotte, 56-12.
The Niners (6-3) continue to produce a deep offense that is reliable from the top of the order to the bottom. As a team, Charlotte is batting .336 and is led by freshman Jessica Plemmons (.440). Plemmons leads the teams in triples (two) and is second on the team in hits (11). The rookie has also belted one of Charlotte’s six homers and has recorded seven RBIs.
Briana Gwaltney (.433) and Natalie Capone (.394) lead the team in hits with 13. Gwaltney is currently on a seven-game hitting streak. Capone has recorded five multi-hit games and is 4-of-4 in stolen bases. Chelsea Stamey (.391), Samantha Slade (.385), and Chelsea Ingersoll (.346) have each turned in consistent efforts at the plate and lead the 49ers in several categories.
In the circle, Katie Watkins leads the charge for the 49ers. So far she’s posted a 3-3 mark on the season and has recorded 25 strikeouts. Watkins has held her opponents to a .261 batting average. Last year against the Tar Heels, Watkins battled for 5.1 innings and recorded the win. Chelsea Lisikatos has appeared in five games and is 2-0. She recorded Charlotte’s first shutout of the year in a 3-0 win against Sacred Heart at the 49er Invitational.
North Carolina, who is on a four-game winning streak following the Carolina Classic, fell to No. 11 LSU and No.24 Tulsa to start the season 0-2. The Heels then went on a five-game win streak before falling to No. 10 Texas A&M twice.
Offensively the Heels are led by Tisha Mahon (.423), Erin Satterfield (.324), Haleigh Dickey (.310), Amy Nece (.308), and Constance Orr (.282) who all have double-digit hits. Orr has a team-leading 11 RBIs and three home runs. As a team, North Carolina is hitting .292.
The Heels have a lot of depth in the circle but their ace pitcher, Lori Spingola, is 4-3 on the year and posts a 1.43 earned run average. In nine games Spingola has recorded a shutout, 66 strikeouts and limited her opponents to a .184 batting average. Last season, Spingola recorded the loss in Charlotte’s win over the Heels.
Charlotte will head to the Auburn Invitational beginning on Friday, March 1. The three day tournament features the 49ers taking on Southern University, Auburn, Minnesota, and Middle Tennessee State.
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