Charlotte softball finished the regular season strong, defeating Marshall in three of four games to become the Conference USA East Division champions for the first time in program history. The 49ers finish the regular season at 30-17 and 14-6 in conference games, the second-most conference wins in school history.
"I'm just really proud of everybody," said head coach Ashley Chastain after the series. "We set out to do something special this year."
Game One: Charlotte 8, Marshall 7
Senior day was held on Friday, honoring the three seniors on the team. One of them, Spenser Gray, had a team-high three hits for the third time this season. Nicole Bowman batted as the cleanup hitter, going 2-4 with two RBIs and was brought home once. Seven different Niners reached home on the day.
Charlotte picked up the 8-7 win to take game one over Marshall. This win snapped the Niner's five-game losing streak.
Game Two: Charlotte 3, Marshall 4
The Niners followed up their one-run win with a one-run loss the next day. This loss wasn't all bad as the Niners' first run came from Bailey Vannoy who turned on the burners and went for an inside-the-park home run.
In the bottom half of the sixth, Kiyah Garrett hit a two-run homer to tie the game. This home run also tied the program's single-season home run record. In the next frame, Marshall scored on a wild pitch to take the lead and went on to win.
Game Three: Charlotte 13, Marshall 2
Charlotte followed up their loss with a dominating performance, defeating Marshall by mercy rule.
Despite the game being scoreless through two innings, the Niners scored eight unanswered runs in the third and fourth, highlighted by four RBIs from Kourtney Gremillion. After allowing two runs in the top of the fifth, Garrett hit a home run in the next frame for the second straight game. This home run broke the program record for total home runs hit in a single season.
With Charlotte leading 9-2, Lindsey Walljasper launched a shot over the center-field wall for her first grand slam. This gave Charlotte an 11-run lead and a walk-off victory. Every Niner reached home in the game while all but two earned a hit.
This win officially made Charlotte the C-USA East Division champions.
Game Four: Charlotte 6, Marshall 3
The 49ers finished the season with a 6-3 victory in the final game before the conference tournament. Charlotte took an early 6-0 lead in the first three innings. The first run came off an RBI triple from Walljasper for her first career triple. Marshall managed to score three runs in the sixth inning, but they could not complete the comeback.
Cori Henderson picked up a hit in all three of her at-bats while Gray had two hits in the game. Henderson also accounted for three of Charlotte's six RBIs on the day. Walljasper held the Herd scoreless for five innings, snatching her 14th win of the year.
Charlotte travels to Bowling Green, Ky. for the Conference USA tournament, where they will face the winner of Louisiana Tech vs. Marshall. The game takes place Wednesday, March 12th at 7:30 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN+.