Kiersten Berrier goes for the bunt

Charlotte played host to Marshall over the weekend, welcoming its conference foe to a three-game series at Sue M. Daughtridge stadium that began with a double header Saturday afternoon. 

Game 1: Charlotte 5, Marshall 7

Charlotte began the weekend with Alison Green on the mound who was looking for her first win on the season and started out strong after rounding out the first three batters of the first inning. As the second inning began with the score still tied, Green allowed a single and triple to lead off the inning before a fielding error by the shortstop would allow Marshall to score and go up 1-0. The Niners looked to their offense in the bottom of the second for some support and found it at the hands of Bailey Vannoy and Imani Rochelle, who both singled to the left side before Vannoy was able to score, tying the game at 1-1. 

In the top of the third inning, Marshall looked to increase their lead. After Armani Brown struck out and a runner advanced to second from an error by second base, Aly Harrel homered to center field for Marshall and pushed the lead to 2 at 3-1. However, Charlotte was once again able to stage a quick comeback in the bottom of the same inning when Emma Ocker singled to the catcher before Katie Manring was walked. With two runners on base, Vannoy singled up the middle which allowed two Charlotte runners to score after an error by center field. With the score tied 3-3, both teams entered the fourth looking to separate themselves from each other. 

Marshall started off the inning with a Blakely Burch triple to right field. She was later able to score after a ground out by Hannah Giammarino pushing the lead to 4-3. In the bottom of the fourth, the Niners were unable to once again stage an immediate rally after two batters were struck out looking, followed by a pop up to second base that ended the inning. 

Marshall continued their offensive display in the fifth inning when Stevenson hit a two-run home run to right field extending the lead to three. In the bottom of the sixth, Charlotte restarted their rally with a Berrier single to the shortstop followed by a Spenser Gray single down the left field line. With two runners on base, Meredith Harris stepped up and hit a double to right center bringing in both Berrier and Gray and closing the lead to one at 6-5. This would not last however as Marshall wold once again extend their lead to two in the top of the seventh from a Hayden Ellis single up the middle that allowed Mya Stevenson to score. Charlotte then popped up twice after a fly out from Vannoy that effectively ended the game at 7-5. 

Game 2: Charlotte 0, Marshall 13

The Niners looked at the second game of the afternoon as a way to get back on track after a tough outing earlier in the day but instead saw themselves routed on all ends of the field. Marshall started off the game strong once again when the top of the first inning saw a home run from Giammarino and a three-run home run from Stevenson that made the score 4-0 before Charlotte even had an at bat. Once they did finally take the mound, Marshall made quick work of the Niner offense, getting Berrier and Ocker to ground out after a Gray strike out. In the top of the second inning, Marshall’s offense continued to dominate, totaling three hits and three runs off of one error from the Charlotte outfield that saw the score get pushed to 7-0. 

The deficient seemed a bit to much too overcome at this point as the Niners continued their offensive struggle that saw two ground outs and another fly out to end the second inning in three batters yet again. The first two innings saw Charlotte take six total at bats while Marshall saw 18 batters over the same span. The day only got worse from there as Marshall added three more runs off of three hits in the top of the third that pushed the score to 10-0. 

Maggie Cannon started on the mound for the Niners who looked to record her third win of the season. However, she was unable to make it out of the first inning after the offensive display Marshall put on. When Green came in for relief, she too suffered the same fate Cannon did and saw four runs in less than two innings before being replaced herself by Lauren Riley who would finish the game allowing six hits and six runs while the outfield recorded four errors in her three innings on the mound. 

After a scoreless fourth inning, Marshall once again extended the lead by three to 13-0 off of two errors by the outfield. Charlotte was able to get two on base in the bottom of the fifth inning but saw no runs scored before the final out that ended the game at 13-0. Charlotte moved to 8-14 on the season after dropping its fifth straight game and looked towards Sunday’s matchup as a much needed win to get the season back on track. 

Game 3: Charlotte 11, Marshall 6

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, Charlotte took the field hoping to forget about a painful Saturday by putting on a strong performance against Marshall while they looked to continue their offensive dominance into Sunday’s game. Green started on the mound for Charlotte making this their third straight game with at least a inning played; however, she was unable to make it out of the first inning when Marshall allotted four hits and two runs capped off by a Stevenson double that saw Brown score.

With the game at 2-0 before Charlotte even had an at bat, the Niners once again saw themselves in trouble. This time, though, they were prepared as Charlotte started off the bottom of the first inning with a Berrier double down the line followed by an Ocker single that allowed Berrier to score. Harris immediately followed this with a ground out to the pitcher that allowed Ocker to advance to second. After a Manring walk, Vannoy singled to right field, bringing in Ocker and giving Manring and RBI for the game. Lizzy Birch finished off the inning for Charlotte with a single up the middle that allowed Manring to score and gave Charlotte a 3-2 lead going into the second inning. 

After a scoreless second inning that saw one hit from each team, Marshall scored three quick runs in the top of the third to give them a 5-3 lead. This was immediately followed by a quick three outs from the Niners to end the inning and another quick three from Marshall at the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Rochelle singled to right center before a Berrier single to third base. Rochelle was then able to advance to third on a throwing error. Gray then singled to left to field bring Berrier in for the score. After an Ocker strike out, Harris reached on a fielder’s choice which allowed Berrier to score. Finally, Birch was walked, pushing Vannoy to second, Manring to third and bringing Harris home to give Charlotte a 6-5 lead heading into the fifth. It would only get better from here for the Niners, as well as Marshall, would finally start to stall on offense and the next two innings would see Charlotte score an additional five runs to push the lead to 11-6 on the day. 

Carson Pace relieved for Green in the first inning and came on to pitch seven innings allowing eight hits and four runs but giving Charlotte the defensive edge it needed late to seal the victory for the Niners. Pace is now 4-4 on the season with the win over Marshall and will look to carry over this strong performance into their next game against Canisius. 

Charlotte plays host to Canisius on Wednesday, March 20 in Sue M. Daughtridge stadium for a two-game series beginning at 2 p.m.

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