Haley Wiseman 1-hit gem propels 49ers to victory
On a beautiful afternoon at Phillips Softball Complex, the Charlotte 49ers softball team (27-18, 7-8 C-USA) came out on top against in-state foe Appalachian State (9-37, 2-13 Sun Belt), winning 8-0 in five innings. Haley Wiseman pitched for the 49ers, giving senior Lexi Betancourt the day off, and tossed a prosperous game for her 11th win of the season.
The sophomore pitcher gave up only one hit on the afternoon and struck out eight of the 19 total batters she faced in her seventh shutout of the season. That record of seven shutouts for Wiseman is tied for seventh-best in the nation, and the twelfth for Charlotte on the season. Grace Beatty led the way for the 49ers offense, going 2-2 on the day with two walks and a RBI.
CHAR 8, APP 0
The 49ers jumped on the Mountaineers early, as Emma Ocker led off with a walk and Bailey Rhoney moved her to second with a well-placed sacrifice bunt. Ocker then came around to score after two straight wild pitches from App State’s freshman pitcher, giving Charlotte the 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, Haley Pace got things started again with a walk and then proceeded to steal second, just the sixth time that the sophomore shortstop has swiped a base on the season. Grace Beatty stepped into the box and moved Pace to third with a single, which put the 49ers in position to take advantage of yet another wild pitch from the Mountaineers and extend the lead to 2-0.
Freshman Meredith Harris ripped a two-out single up the middle to move Beatty to third base, and then Lizzy Birch loaded the bases after a dropped third strike by the App State catcher. Taylar Byrne picked up her first of two RBIs on the day with a walk, scoring Beatty and making the lead 3-0 Charlotte.
Charlotte was able to break the game open in the fifth inning, scoring five runs to bring the mercy rule into effect. Beatty led off the inning with her second walk of the day, advanced 60 feet to second base on another Harris single, and then moved over to third on a walk by Birch. Again, up stepped Byrne, who was hit by a pitch and picked up her second RBI on the day.
Erin Powers batted next and got on first after an error by the Mountaineers shortstop, which allowed both Harris and Birch to score and make it 6-0 49ers. Freshman Kiersten Berrier singled through the left side to load the bases again, which led to a pitching change from App State.
After two quick outs from Ocker and Rhoney, Pace drew her second walk on the day and scored Byrne for the 7-0 lead. Up for the second time in the inning, Grace Beatty drilled a hanging breaking ball into the left-center gap, scoring Powers from third base and ending the game with an 8-0 scoreline in favor of Charlotte.
Up next this weekend, the Charlotte 49ers will be taking on the Florida Atlantic Owls, the current leaders in Conference USA at 13-2, in a three-game series starting Saturday at 1 p.m. When looking forward to this weekend, coach Aimee DeVos said “We had three great games with FAU (last season) and it’s no secret they have a dominating pitching staff, but I think that having them up here at our place and I feel like we’re playing really great softball right now, that we’ll go into the weekend and give everything we’ve got.”
With only two more weekends of conference play left after the FAU series, the 49ers will look to keep on winning and secure their place in the conference tournament in May.