CHARLOTTE, NC – The Charlotte softball program begins its second Conference USA series of the year as the team travels to Boca Raton, Florida to face Florida Atlantic. In their first C-USA series of the season, the 49ers took two of three from FIU and are in a four-way tie for first place coming into the second week of C-USA action. The Niners enter this series 13-11 after splitting a pair of midweek games. The Niners beat the Louisville Cardinals 10-2 at home on Tuesday before dropping the contest on the road to #4 Clemson 9-1.
The Niners enter this weekend series with a 1-1 record so far this week. In their 10-2 win over Louisville, the Niners had three players drive in two or more runs. Anna Devereaux drove in a career-high three runs for the win and also led the team in games played. Cassidy Krupit reached base all four times in the contest, as she went 3-for-3 on the day at the plate and drew a walk. Sam Gress got the start in the circle for the Niners and held Louisville’s offense for the game and earned the complete game victory.
On Wednesday, Charlotte faced their second ACC foe of the week as they traveled for a road game with #4 Clemson. Charlotte struggled to keep the game close through four innings, but Clemson broke through for seven runs in the fifth inning to win. Anna Devereaux drove in the only run of the game for the 49ers as the team managed just three hits in the game.
Krupit continues to lead qualified players in offense with a .377 batting average while also leading the team in hits (29) and RBI (20). Krupit’s .377 batting average still ranks in the top 10 in the conference, while her 20 RBIs also rank seventh in the conference. Bailey Vannoy is the club leader in home runs with seven and runs scored with 23. Vannoy ranks second in the conference in home runs, while her 23 runs scored rank fourth.
The pitching staff continues to be led by Sam Gress, who comes into the weekend with a 7-4 record and 2.27 ERA. Gress has struck out 36 batters and held opposing hitters to a .255 batting average over 61.2 innings. It’s right behind Gress Lena Elkinswho enters the series with a 3.34 ERA in 29.1 innings while holding opposing batters to a .222 batting average.
The Niners enter the weekend at #26 in the RPI and have the second toughest schedule in all of Division I. Corey Hofler continues to rank in the top-15 in the nation in hits per game at 0.38, with the senior leading the team in hits with nine. Georgiana Bossa ranks in the top 40 in saves on the season with two, and the team ranks in the top 30 in double plays turned per game at 0.46 per game.
Intelligence of owls
The Owls enter the weekend with an 18-8 record on the season. The Owls are one of four teams tied for first place in the conference after the first week of the season. Last weekend, the Owls opened their C-USA campaign with two wins over UAB on the road. Florida Atlantic took the first two games of the series against UAB before losing the final game of the series and just missing the sweep.
The top two hitters on the team are Sara Berthiaume (.346) and Cammeo Presutti (.345). Berthiaume also enters the weekend with one home run and 15 RBIs on the season. Olivia Peterson and Riley Ennis are tied for the team lead with two home runs, while Peterson leads the Owls with 18 RBIs on the season.
Gabby Sacco leads the team in the circle with a 9-2 record with a 1.24 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 62.1 innings. Sacco’s ERA ranks second in C-USA, while her 47 strikeouts rank fourth. Ainsley Lambert and Lynn Gardner posted 2.30 and 2.36 ERAs, respectively, with Lambert posting a 3-2 record and Gardner’s 6-3 record.
Sacco’s nine wins on the season rank him in the top 20 nationally. Jesiana Mora ranks in the top 20 nationally in triples, with three so far on the season. Florida Atlantic’s 35 doubles as a team rank in the top 40, while they rank in the top 30 nationally in triples per game at 0.35.
The Niners closed out the 2022 regular season with a 2-1 series win over Florida Atlantic. The Niners dropped the first game of the series at Florida Atlantic before bouncing back in the final two games of the series. Vannoy drove in two of the Niners’ four runs in their 4-1 win over the Owls in Game 2 of the series. In the final game of the series, the Niners pulled away from the Owls to secure the 5-4 victory in extra innings. Madeline Wright threw 7.1 innings and drove in two runs for the Niners in the game. Charlotte enters the series with an 11-18 all-time record against Florida Atlantic, while the team is 7-3 against the Owls in Ashley Chastainis four years as the program’s head coach.
Follow the action
All three games in the series will be broadcast on CUSA.tv. Follow the team on Twitter @CharlotteSB and on Instagram @charlottesoftball for weekend updates. Also check charlotte49ers.com for team news and updates throughout the season.