softball recap

Kourtney Gremillion steps on first to get the out.

After a successful weekend against Western Carolina and Longwood, the 49ers looked to stay hot against the No. 14 Duke Blue Devils for a mid-week showdown. Coming off five straight wins, the team wanted to assert themselves as one of C-USA's best teams. Charlotte came up short, however, as the Niners fell 5-3 after eight innings of play.

The Blue Devils got off to a quick start, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. A costly fielding error brought in one of these runs. Deja Davis, who bats .538 this season, hit a double to start the Blue Devils game. Lindsey Walljasper gained her composure on Charlotte's mound as her two strikeouts in the inning helped ease the bleeding for the 49ers.

After Spenser Gray struck out swinging, Bailey Vannoy stepped up to the plate and drilled a solo home run to get the 49ers on the board. Later, in the bottom of the second, Madelyn Wright hit a single to the right side of the infield, and a costly error by Duke allowed her to get to first base.

Maddie Marchiando came in to pinch run for Wright. After Walljasper flew out to center field, Marchiando stole second and third after an error by Duke. Logan Wood stepped up to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Marchiando to make it a one-run game.

Both teams played stellar defense for an extended period of time as the next run wasn't scored until the sixth inning. Vannoy again stepped up for the 49ers and hit a solo home run to left-center field, tying the game at three runs apiece with one out and nobody on base.

Neither team could find any offense in the seventh inning, causing the game to go to extra innings. After an entire game of pitching, Walljasper looked fatigued in the top half of the eighth as she threw an inside pitch that Rachel Crabtree teed off on, sending it over the wall and making the score 4-3 in favor of Duke. Jameson Kavel doubled between second and shortstop, putting a runner on base for the Blue Devils. Raine Wilson then doubled to bring Kavel home, giving Duke a two-run lead.

After getting on base off a fielding error, Nicole Bowman went to steal second but was tagged out on the play. The next two batters struck out swinging, ending the game with the Blue Devils defeating Charlotte, 5-3.

The 49ers are back in action on Mar. 6 and 7 for a three-game series against Furman, beginning with a doubleheader.

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