After adverse weather throughout the weekend, Charlotte wrapped up the First Pitch Classic with a game against Winthrop on Monday, Feb 25.
Charlotte was coming off of a doubleheader on Sunday, Feb. 23 that saw a tale of two tapes where they both won and lost 9-1 in five innings. The Niners looked at Monday as a way to get back on track, but as the game got underway, it looked like Sunday’s second game struggles were going to continue.
Winthrop started out strong with a couple hits in the first inning that led to an RBI single for Brooke Ellison which allowed Ashley Westbrooks to score, putting Charlotte behind 0-1. However, after a quick three outs in the first inning, Charlotte woke up on the offensive and defensive end in the second inning. Charlotte starting pitcher Maggie Cannon shook the run in the first inning and from then on shut Winthrop down offensively allowing for Charlotte to focus more on its hitting. And that it did.
The Niners started the bottom of the second inning with a hit from Katie Manring who was then able to steal from first to second on a wild pitch moments later. Several batters later, Bailey Vannoy grounded out to second base allowing Manring to score and tying the game at 1-1. Charlotte took the lead minutes later when the catcher was charged with a passed ball that allowed Lizzy Birch to advance home and that put Charlotte ahead 2-1.
In the top of the third, Cannon continued her second inning success by grounding out the first batter of the inning. After a hit into left, Cannon was again able to get another Winthrop batter to ground out resulting in a double play.
Emma Ocker started off the bottom of the third with a huge triple play into right center field which was immediately followed by a Kiersten Berrier single to the shortstop that allowed Ocker to score and granted her an RBI. Next, Spenser Gray doubled down the baseline allowing Berrier to get to third and into scoring position. Meredith Harris followed Gray with a pop fly to right field which allowed Berrier to score before Manring grounded out to second base and allowed Gray to score, extending the lead to 5-1.
After a scoreless fourth inning that saw Cannon struck out three straight batters once again, Charlotte exploded in the bottom of the fifth inning for four runs that saw doubles from Gray and Harris, a hit from Berrier and a two-run home run from Manring that allowed Harris to score as well. This explosion led to an eight-run lead that subsequently ended the game early after five innings.
The Niners will look to continue this success at home on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 4 p.m. in Sue M. Daughtridge Stadium.