Charlotte, N.C.- With the weeks winding down until the Conference USA Softball Championships in Boca Raton, Fla., the Niners look to climb up the conference standings into a top eight spot sitting in 10th place. Charlotte welcomes FAU to town for a three-game Conference USA series.
The Niners took a crucial conference series last weekend, taking two of three from UTSA in San Antonio, Texas. Charlotte is sitting a half game back of FAU and Southern Miss for the elusive eighth spot. Charlotte enters the series with a 15-18 record and a 6-8 clip in conference play.
The Owls lost its last series to FIU winning the first game before dropping the final two games of the series. FAU comes into the second all-time meeting with a 25-20 record and a 7-8 record in C-USA play.
Lexi Betancourt will get the ball in the first game of the series and opposed by Samantha Messer. Betancourt will take the ball with a 14-9 record in the circle and a team leading 2.35 ERA and 151 strikeouts. Messer is 12-6 with a 1.70 ERA.
Samantha Slade continues to lead the attack for the Niners hitting .360 with seven doubles and seven home runs. Jackie Kleinsmith is on a tear hitting .352 on the season and hitting .357 in the past five games picking up a double, triple and home run.
The Owls are led by Christina Martinez at the plate hitting .343 with five doubles and four triples. FAU is hitting .255 as a team but limiting its opponents to a .220 average.
Charlotte has not played FAU since March 27, 1998, when the Owls defeated the Niners 2-0 for the only meeting in the series.
First pitch of the series will take place at 12 pm on Saturday followed by game two of the series, with the series finale wrapping up on Sunday at noon.