Charlotte Takes Two from Billikens
ST. LOUIS - Charlotte scored twice in the top of the 10th inning and defeated Saint Louis 3-1 in game two of an Atlantic 10 Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Billiken Sports Center.
The win gave Charlotte (24-19, 8-6 A-10) a sweep. The 49ers captured the opener 11-5.
Julian Austin (4-9) went the distance and struck out seven in the nightcap. Austin was backed up by stellar defense that kept the Billikens (19-28, 6-8 A-10) in the game.
In the sixth inning, second baseman Kerri Dockins turned a diving stab of a line drive into a double play, while shortstop Jessica Van Nostrand backhanded a ball in the hole and threw a strike to Dockins for an inning-ending force out with a runner at third.
With runners at second and third and one out in the eighth, Van Nostrand corralled a ball that went off third baseman Kelsey Biggs' glove and cut down the runner trying to score. Austin finished the inning with a strikeout and did the same in the ninth with the go-ahead run again at third.
The Billikens had a chance to win it in the ninth. Dockins led off with a walk, then beat the throw to second on Jessica Buschjost's sacrifice to give SLU two on with nobody out.
After Erin Harcar sacrificed, Laura Bohning was intentionally walked to load the bases. But Charlotte hurler Katie Watkins (10-10) retired the next two hitters to set the stage for the 49ers' 10th-inning rally.
Both teams plated a run in the second inning. Rachel Faletto singled with one out, stole second with two outs and scored on Lindsay Friedman's single down the left-field line.
Buschjost and Van Nostrand also singled for the Billikens.
In the opener, Saint Louis grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third. Friedman led off with a bunt single and went to second when the pitcher threw wildly. Van Nostrand sacrificed, and Buschjost came through with a sharp RBI single through the left side.
Charlotte answered with two runs in the fourth and five in the fifth for a 7-1 advantage. In the Billikens' fifth, Dockins followed Van Nostrand's one-out single with her first home run of the year to narrow the gap to 7-3.
However, the 49ers added four tallies in the sixth to increase their cushion to 11-3. The Bills registered two sixth-inning runs on Biggs' third homer of the season that scored Faletto, who had singled.
Hannah Huebbe (10-12) shouldered the loss. Buschjost was 2-for-4, and Katie Kroeger collected a single.The Billikens host SIU Edwardsville Wednesday, April 25, in a single game that starts at 3 p.m.