|Niners Nipped By Wolfpack on Senior Night|
CHARLOTTE, N.C.- In the regular season finale, Charlotte battled against ACC power, North Carolina State, but fell short 3-2 and 8-3 in doubleheader action on Saturday afternoon. Charlotte falls to 20-28 on the season, while North Carolina State improves to 34-15.
Senior Chelsea Ingersoll (Charlotte/ Butler HS) was honored in between games capping off a very successful career on and off the field for the 49ers. Ingersoll picked up two hits on the night with an RBI. Jackie Kleinsmith (Santa Maria, Calif./ Righetti HS) led the Niners at the plate going 4-6 with two RBI.
After an hour delay, Charlotte's bats were hot in the first inning plating the first run of the day. Natalie Capone (St. Charles, Ill./ St. Charles North) led off the inning with a single up the middle. Kleinsmith brought Capone around to score on a two out double to off the fence in left and gave the Niners an early 1-0 lead.
Two base hits and a sacrifice bunt pushed runners into scoring position for the Wolfpack in the top of the third inning. State's Hutchison hit a sacrifice fly to straight away center tying things at one-all.
Charlotte took the lead once again in the bottom half of the third inning, 2-1. Samantha Slade (Apex/ Apex HS) reached on an infield single to start off the inning. Jessica Plemmons (Lexington/ North Davidson HS) followed with a walk pushing Slade into scoring position. Kleinsmith picked up her second RBI of the contest with a base knock up the middle to allow Charlotte to regain the lead.
A solo home run in the top of the sixth inning allowed North Carolina State to tie things up at two apiece heading into the final frame. The Wolfpack picked up three hits in the final stanza to plate the winning run, dealing the Niners a 3-2 loss.
Charlotte once again scored an early first inning run in the night cap. Capone would beat out an infield single to start off the inning. A wild pitch and a drop third strike allowed Capone to move up to third. Capone would give the Niners a 1-0 lead scoring on a wild pitch.
North Carolina State would threaten in the top of the third inning scratching across one run despite four hits in the inning. Charlotte defense picked up an unconventional double play to cut down a runner heading home and the runner heading to second on a 5-2-6-1-4 run down.
N.C. State would show some power in the top of the fourth and fifth innings. The Wolfpack posted four runs in the top of the fourth inning on two long balls and a triple to give them a 5-1 lead.
Charlotte cut the deficit to 5-2 with a solo home run to left field by Jessie Fennell (Blaine, Tenn./ Grainger HS), her first of the year.
The Wolfpack tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth inning on another long ball pushing the lead to 7-2.
The Niners strung together back-to-back-to-back hits by Kleinsmith, Chelsea Lisikatos (Cold Spring, N.Y./ Haldene HS) and Fennell to load the bases. Ingersoll's RBI groundout scoring Kleinsmith from third cut into the Wolfpack lead 7-3.
North Carolina State would tack on another run in the top of the seventh inning giving the Wolfpack an 8-3 advantage.
Lexi Betancourt (Garner/ West Johnson HS) picked up the loss, falling to 19-14 on the season, in the pitcher's duel in game one tossing the complete game allowing three runs off hits and picking up seven strikeouts. Betancourt became one of only two Charlotte pitchers to eclipse the 200 strikeout mark. Former Niner Emily Jeffery and current pitching coach Katy Hackett hold the top three spots for strikeouts in a single season.
Chelsea Lisikatos (0-9) picked up the loss in the night cap tossing 3.1 innings allowing five runs (four earned) off eight hits. Mackenzie Hauser (Lexington/ North Davidson HS) pitched in relief tossing the final 3.2 innings allowing three runs off six hits.
Charlotte awaits its future moving forward as the Niners have a chance to make it to the Conference USA tournament next weekend. Conference USA series wrap up around the league tomorrow.