softball preview

Charlotte softball lines up pregame.

The Niners are seeing the field for the first time in 11 months to start their 2021 season. Charlotte will be facing Appalachian State on Friday, Feb. 12 at 3:30 p.m. before a doubleheader on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 1 p.m.

Charlotte finished above .500 last season with a 14-13 record, which was Head Coach Ashley Chastain's first season as the head coach for the Niners.

Player to Watch:

Catcher Bailey Vannoy is someone to keep an eye on not only this series but this whole season. Last season, Vannoy's 12 home runs, 36 RBIs and a 1.093 slugging percentage made her an unstoppable force on the stat-sheet. She received a spot on USA Softball's Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List, the first Niner on the list. In Vannoy's two games against App last season, she had four hits of her seven at-bats, which led to three RBIs.

Keys to a Charlotte win:

Likely the biggest key for the Niners to getting a win is scoring. Charlotte rarely wins when their offense isn't clicking. Of their 27 games last season, the Niners only won three times when scoring under seven runs, going 3-12 in those games. This team has real potential on the hitting end, and they need to execute that talent if they want to win. A batting force led by Vannoy could be vital to Charlotte's winning.

Limiting mistakes is another key to a Charlotte victory. In their last matchup with App State, Charlotte took a 4-1 loss. Half of App's runs came off walks, something the Niners need to avoid to beat the Mountaineers. Errors also need to be minimized. In Charlotte's 9-5 win over App State, the Mountaineers scored two off a Charlotte error.

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