Charlotte softball C-USA tourney preview 3.0

Charlotte's Ella Chancey swings at a pitch.

The Charlotte softball team will take on No. 4 seed Marshall in the loser bracket quarterfinals of the Conference USA (C-USA) Championship tournament on Thursday, May 12, at 8:30 p.m at Lovelace Stadium on the campus of North Texas. The 49ers will look to keep their postseason hopes alive against the Thundering Herd.

Matchup history:

The 49ers boast a 15-14 record against the Thundering Herd dating back to 1999. Charlotte lost their last three matchups to Marshall in a three-game series in April 2022. 

The Thundering Herd won the first two games in the series by combing for 22 runs. The games saw Marshall win 11-4 and 11-10. The 49ers battled back in the third game but came up short in a tightly-contested matchup 4-3. 

What you need to know:

Charlotte is coming off a loss to the No. 2 seed North Texas Mean Green in the C-USA tournament quarterfinals earlier on Thursday. The 49ers got out to an early 3-0 lead, which they held until the fifth inning. In the fifth inning, the Mean Green tied the game with two RBI doubles. 

North Texas took the lead when Lexi Cobb hit a three-run homer to put the Mean Green ahead for the first time in the contest. The 49ers started a rally in the top of the seventh with a leadoff double but couldn't complete the comeback. 

Scouting Marshall:

The Thundering Herd is led by fifth-year infielder Aly Harrell, a force for the team. She leads the team with a .433 batting average with 11 home runs. Harrell has 36 RBIs which have been crucial for the squad. 

Saige Pye has also been dominant for the team as she boasts a .362 batting average with an outstanding 18 homers to go along with it. Mya Stevenson and Autumn Owen are also above .300 and have combined for a whopping 26 home runs this year. 

The Thundering Herd have found their ace in redshirt junior pitcher Sydney Nester on the mound. Nester has an impressive ERA of 1.79 and holds opposing teams to a batting average of .194. The 49ers will have to attack her early if they hope to win. 

Prediction:

Both teams are getting great offensive production from their players, so expect this game to go back and forth. The 49ers need to win this contest to keep their postseason chances alive. 

Charlotte will come out swinging with production from Bailey Vannoy, Cori Henderson and Stacy Payton to win the game 8-4. This will get the team back on track and continue their historic season. 

Looking to Gameday:

The 49ers will take on the Thundering Herd on Thursday, May 12, at 8:30 p.m. ET in Lovelace Stadium on the campus of North Texas. It will be available to stream on ESPN+.

The winner will face either Western Kentucky or Florida Atlantic in the semifinals of the loser bracket on Friday, May 13. The loser of the contest will have their season come to an end.

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