softball hitting pic

Imani Rochelle sets up in the batter's box to swing.

Charlotte softball has proven to be one of the best hitting teams in the conference this season, and the stats are there to back it up. They have the third-best batting average (.287), the most hits (330) in the Conference USA, and after last week's performance against UNCG, the 49ers set a new program record for most doubles in a season with 80.

After the doubleheader against Notre Dame this past weekend, the team has 84 doubles, tied for the third-most in the nation.

This team has shown that they can hit the ball and score runs when it matters most. Against FIU on April 17, Charlotte trailed 3-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth before propelling their way to a victory that day behind a four-hit, four-run frame.

The following series, the 49ers traveled to Western Kentucky. In game one, Charlotte trailed 3-2 in the top of the seventh. With two outs remaining, Kourtney Gremillion sent the ball to deep left-center field for a two-run double, putting the team up by one to seal the win.

While this double led Charlotte to just one regular-season victory, it was also a small stepping stone to the doubles record that the team broke on Wednesday against UNCG. The 49ers entered the contest with 78 doubles, one off the previously set record in 2008. Imani Rochelle tied the record in the second inning when she doubled to the left-center before Bailey Vannoy broke the fifth for an RBI double.

It's only fitting that Vannoy hits the double to set the new record, as she has been the main reason for the record being broken. Vannoy leads the team and the nation in doubles with 21, which ties the single-season school record set in 1996 by Yolanda Stevens. The next closest on the team in doubles is Kiyah Garrett with 11, followed by Gremillion and Cori Henderson with nine.

In addition to the doubles record, Charlotte excels at hitting extra-base hits as the team is top five in the conference in triples (7) and homeruns (33).

Despite the numbers, Charlotte is riding a four-game losing streak and cannot afford to coast their way into the C-USA tournament. They play a midweek matchup on Wednesday on the road against No. 22 James Madison (30-1). Following that matchup, the team concludes their season with an inner-conference matchup against the 18-9 Marshall Thundering Herd at Sue M. Daughtridge Stadium.

With five games left this season, there's still room to extend the team record and potential for Vannoy to hold the individual program doubles record.

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