Charlotte softball improved to 9-0 on the season after capping off the weekend with a win against Presbyterian, 6-2, tying for the second best start and win streak in program history. Sunday’s win at Phillips Softball Complex completed the five game weekend sweep, which featured Charlotte outscoring opponents 35-5. The 49ers totaled an impressive 71 hits in the three day stretch and although that excited, head coach Aimee DeVos still pointed out areas that needed improvement.
“It wasn’t quite as sharp a day for us, even a little bit from pitching standpoint at least from our standards of what we set,” said DeVos. “Had a few errors that weren’t necessary but at the end of the day you still have Lexi [Betancourt] in the circle and she’s ‘been there, done that.”
Sophomore Haley Pace, who has had a phenomenal weekend turned in another standout performance Sunday, recording the team’s first home run of the season crushing a two run solo shot to deep right. Pace went 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBI.
“I hadn’t had a great start this year like I was hoping too but I made some adjustments and really my team has been picking me up in the dugout, said Pace”
DeVos acknowledged her sophomore shortstop but wasn’t surprised by the big day, stating, “That’s the type of hitter she is and that’s the reason we have her in the three spot; to give us just that.” Hayley was in a zone today and she ripped the ball all over the field.”
The Niners started slow and battled in a close matchup through the first two innings before breaking down the barrier and racking up a season-high 12 hits.
Becca Shipper started the Niners off in the bottom of the third, connecting on a pitch to left field. She advanced to second off a sacrifice bunt but Pace would handle the rest, sending a bomb to opposite field to bring them both home.
The Blue Hose would cut the lead to one in the top of the fourth after a double brought in a runner who previously boarded on a bunt single
Charlotte answered quickly, earning back the run after from senior Courtney Carroll who crossed home plate after Bailey Rhoney singled through the right field gap.
Carroll wasn’t finished, immediately slicing a ball over the pitcher’s head to bring home Pace who led off the inning with a single down the left field line.
“It feels awesome,” says Carroll. “It’s a great start for us and we just want to keep it rolling. At the beginning of the year we were a little scared because everyone’s a little new but I think we mesh very well.”
With a 4-1 lead, Charlotte gained insurance in the sixth inning bringing home Emma Ocker off a Kierston Berrier single and a sac fly shot by Pace, recording her third RBI of the contest.
With a comfortable 6-1 lead, Charlotte would sacrifice another run in the final frame off a single to right field. A Niner fielding error would leave two on with one out. Pitcher Lexi Betancourt showed poise, forcing back to back groundouts to earn her sixth win of the year.
Charlotte will finish off their 11 game home stand on Wednesday, welcoming (RV) USC Upstate to the Phillips Softball Complex for a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.