Charlotte, N.C.- Charlotte softball exploded in the bottom of the fourth inning with seven runs to cruise past old Atlantic 10 foe, St. Bonaventure in six innings, 12-4, to snap a three game skid on Friday afternoon.
Lexi Betancourt (2-1) picked up the win in relief pitching the final 3.1 scoreless innings giving up two hits and striking out five. Mackenzie Hauser picked up a no-decision throwing 2.2 innings allowing four runs (two earned) off five hits and three walks.
St. Bonaventure’s Julia Pratt picked up her second loss of the season throwing 3.0 innings allowing six runs off six hits. Carly Bilchak pitched in relief of Pratt going 2.2 innings giving up six runs of seven hits.
Samantha Slade led the Niners offensively going 3-4 from the plate with four RBI, a long ball, and two runs scored. Natalie Capone and Hayley Lewis picked up two hits going 2-3 from the plate each. Nine different 49ers tallied a hit in the win.
Charlotte (2-3) jumped on the board in the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run to left field by Samantha Slade, her third of the season.
Jessica Plemmons followed Slade in the bottom of the second inning with a tailing long ball down the right field line that squeaked inside the right field pole for a 2-0 lead.
St. Bonaventure (0-5) countered with four runs in the top of the third inning. SBU’s Ashley Snider roped a 1-1 pitch to right field for a single. A fielding error allowed Snider to move up to second. Kelli Rohan and Grace Rooney scored on the miscue tying things at two apiece. Rohan reached on a walk, while Rooney singled to left to start the fourth inning. Katie Sinclair pushed Snider to third on a fielding error by the shortstop. Emily Belfield pushed across another SBU run on a sacrifice fly to right field. Lauren Waite hit a blooper down the left field line pushing across the final run of the inning before ending the inning on a run down at third and a 4-2 lead.
Charlotte tacked on seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a commanding 9-4 lead. Hayley Lewis singled to the shortstop to open the fourth inning. Jessica Plemmons moved her to second on the fielder’s choice due to miscommunication in the middle infield. Chelsea Ingersoll loaded the bases with a walk.
Despite the pitching change by the Bonnies, Lexi Betancourt drew a full count walk to push across Lewis. Sam Slade picked up her second hit of the game and unloaded the bases with a single up the middle scoring three Niners for a 6-4 lead with only one out. Jackie Kleinsmith continued her hitting streak to five games sending a 2-0 pitch down the left field line scoring Slade from third. Hayley Lewis also extended her hitting streak to five games with a single up the middle. Kleinsmith came around to score after advancing on a passed ball.
The Niners attack did not stop in the fourth tacking on two more runs in the fifth and the final run in the sixth to run rule the Bonnies. Courtney Carroll sent a rocket up the middle off the pitcher’s glove to open the inning. Betancourt jumped in the hitting clinic sending a blast over the left field wall for a two-run dinger in the fifth.
Jessica Plemmons started the sixth inning with a walk followed by a Hannah Bright infield single. Plemmons and Bright moved up to third and second respectively on a passed ball. Courtney Carroll grounded out to the third basemen for the walk-off RBI in the sixth inning with one out.
Charlotte hosts the Green and White tournament starting Saturday, Feb. 22 at 10 am. The Niners will play at 12 pm and 2pm against Robert Morris (5-4) and St. Bonaventure (0-5) respectively.