GW Softball Knocks Off Charlotte, 9-2, on First Day of Atlantic 10 Championship

Senior Amanda Zakeri beat out three infield singles and stole two bases against Charlotte.

May 9, 2012

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ST. LOUIS - The No. 4 George Washington softball team utilized its speed and capitalized on five costly Charlotte errors to defeat the fifth-seeded 49ers, 9-2, on the first day of the Atlantic 10 Championship at Saint Louis University's Billikens Sports Center on Wednesday. The Colonials advance to face top-seeded Massachusetts on Thursday at 2 p.m. ET.

GW (23-28) stole a season-high five bases in the game, including two by senior Amanda Zakeri, who broke the single-season program record with her 23rd and 24th steals of the season and also went 3-for-3 at the plate. Junior Sandi Moynihan also had three hits and scored a pair of runs, while junior Autumn Taylor and freshman Samantha Dos Santos each drove in two.

The game remained scoreless until the third inning, when Moynihan led off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on Dos Santos' school-record 16th sacrifice bunt of the season. Zakeri then beat out a bunt single and stole second, and senior Lauren Wilson walked to load the bases. Junior Julie Orlandi grounded to second base, but Charlotte second baseman Lorena Vela's throw home went wide, allowing two runs to score. Freshman Victoria Valos then successfully executed a squeeze bunt to drive in Wilson for GW's third run of the game.

The Colonials used two hits and another Charlotte error to make it 4-0 in the fourth, as Zakeri's second infield single drove in junior Tara Fogarty.



The 49ers (28-25) got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth, scoring two runs on three hits, a walk and an RBI groundout to slice their deficit in half, 4-2.

However, GW responded in the bottom of the inning by scoring four times and batting around the order. The Colonials recorded four hits in the inning, while Charlotte committed three fielding miscues. The inning began with Orlandi and Valos reaching on back-to-back errors, and Taylor plated one run with a single through the right side. After a pair of strikeouts, GW rallied for three more runs on RBI singles by Moynihan and Dos Santos to make it 8-2.

The Colonials tacked on one more run in the sixth, as Valos led off with a double and scored on Taylor's single down the left field line.

Senior Kara Clauss, who entered during a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, set the 49ers down in order in the top of the seventh to preserve the 9-2 victory.

Senior Heidi Penna (6-2) started the game for the Colonials and earned the win after allowing two runs on seven hits and striking out two in 4.1 innings of work. Clauss retired all eight batters she faced to earn her second save of the season.

Lexi Bettancourt (15-13) was saddled with the loss for Charlotte despite not allowing an earned run. She was charged with eight unearned runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings, and struck out six. Chelsea Lisikatos allowed the final run of the game on four hits in 1.1 innings.