|Niners Shutout Pirates in Finale|
Charlotte, N.C.- With rain coming down, the Niners picked up a shutout victory over the Pirates to avoid the series sweep on Sunday morning. Charlotte picked up its second Conference USA win with a 4-0 performance.
Charlotte (10-12, 2-4 C-USA) and East Carolina (15-8, 4-2 C-USA) tallied one hit apiece in through the first four innings. ECU's Jordan Lewis picked up the Pirates' first hit in the top of the second with a base knock up the middle.
Charlotte had a big inning go to waste in the bottom of the second inning. Jessica Plemmons led off the inning with a walk for the first Niner base runner of the game. Chelsea Ingersoll picked up the first 49er hit with a single through the left side of the infield. Plemmons and Ingersoll moved up 60 feet on the wild pitch with two outs. Jessie Fennell loaded the bases with a four pitch walk. Lexi Betancourt roped a full count pitch towards the right side of the infield but caught Fennell on the helmet for the final out.
Lexi Betancourt (9-6) retired 12 straight Pirates after the single in the second inning before ECU's Chelsea K.-Glackin singled up the middle to lead off the sixth inning. K.-Glackin was thrown out at second to end the threat.
Samantha Slade started the Niner rally in the bottom of the sixth inning with a double to deep left field over the outstretched glove of the Pirate outfielder. Jackie Kleinsmith did her job at the plate giving herself up on the sacrifice bunt to move Slade to third. Jes Plemmons singled up the middle off the second basemen's glove for the RBI to give the Niners the lead at 1-0. Chelsea Lisikatos sent the first pitch she saw up the middle as well with only one out. Courtney Carroll delivered the final blow the Niners need for the win. Carroll sent a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall for her first career home run and gave the Niners a 4-0 lead.
Lexi Betancourt picked up her ninth win of the season tossing a complete game shutout allowing two hits and striking out a career high nine batters. ECU's starter Sarah Christian (11-3) took the loss allowing four runs off six hits through six innings.
Charlotte will host USC Upstate on Wednesday, March 19 at 4pm. USC Upstate (25-4) fell out of the top 25 last week picking up its first losses of the season.