UNCG earns split with Charlotte in final nonconference doubleheader
CHARLOTTE, NC – The UNC Greensboro softball team picked up a split with Charlotte in its final non-conference doubleheader on Thursday afternoon. The Spartans picked up a 2-0 win in the first game while Charlotte used a run in the bottom of the seventh to take the late game, 1-0.
UNCG (16-30) was led by Mary Catherine Vercoe and Kaitlin Merkt. The pair was 2-of-6 from the plate and Merkt tallied one run and one homer on the afternoon while Vercoe added a double
Hannah Angel and Amber Harrell each twirled a complete game for the Spartans. Angel took the game one win after allowing no runs on three hits while striking out seven and only walking one. Harrell took the game two loss after allowing one run on seven hits while striking out six batters.
Game two proved to be another defensive battle as the teams were scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning although UNCG had its chances to take a lead early in the game. In the top of the third inning, Kayla Hensley took base after being hit by a pitch to open the inning. She moved to second when Gabel was called out at first base. The Durham, CA, native was able to advance to third on a ground out but UNCG couldn’t push her across home plate as the inning ended with a ground out.
The game was scoreless heading into the bottom of the seventh when Charlotte managed to put together a string of hits which led to the game-winning run.
The 49ers put a runner on base with a single from Keri Palma in the second at bat of the inning. Palma’s single was followed with a single from Tenaya Tucker up the middle which advanced Palma to second base. The 49ers got the game-winner with a RBI double from Sarah Malene which plated Kendra McCall, who pinch ran for Palma.
The Spartans brought their bats in the first game and tallied six hits while holding Charlotte to only three. UNCG got on the board in the visitors portion of the second inning with a two-out home run to left center from Kaitlin Merkt, who now leads the Spartans with five home runs on the season.
Charlotte seemed to be in position to counter in the bottom of the inning. Cee Brooks hit a double to left center and then advanced to third with a stolen base but Hannah Angel was able to end the threat after retiring the next two 49er batters. It was a pitchers duel for the next three innings and while both teams were able to get base nits neither could move the runners across home plate.
UNCG extended their lead to 2-0 in the sixth inning behind the play of leadoff batter Mary Greenway. The Roanoke, VA, native hit a leadoff double to centerfield and took third base on a 49er error. The Spartans were able to load the bases when Lyndsay Mouse was hit by a pitch and Ausley took first on another Charlotte error. Greenway was plated when Whitney Sirois reached on a fielder’s choice in the next at bat.
The Spartan defense closed the game out and held Charlotte to only one base runner and one hit to end the game, giving the UNCG its first win over Charlotte since the 2003 season.
The Spartans come home for the weekend when they host backyard rival Elon in a Southern Conference series. Action for Saturday’s doubleheader gets underway at 1 pm and the weekend concludes with a single game on Sunday with a scheduled 1 pm first pitch.
UNC Greensboro...... 010 001 0 - 2 6 0 (16-29)
Charlotte........... 000 000 0 - 0 3 2 (27-25)
Pitchers: UNC Greensboro - Hannah Angel. Charlotte - K.
Win-Hannah Angel(8-13) Loss-K. Hackett(12-13) T-1:30 A-146
HR UNCG - Kaitlin Merkt.
UNC Greensboro...... 000 000 0 - 0 3 0 (28-25)
Charlotte........... 000 000 1 - 1 7 0 (16-30)
Pitchers: UNC Greensboro - Amber Harrell. Charlotte - G. Allen;
Win-E. Jeffery(15-10) Loss-Amber Harrell(8-16) T-1:36 A-143
- UNCG -