Charlotte defeated North Texas to go to 2-0 in Conference USA. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Niner NotePAD: Charlotte 49ers baseball controversy & WNIT Sweet 16

The Charlotte 49ers baseball team won two of three vs. Richmond in the A-10 opener this weekend. Both teams had to battle spring snow in Richmond, Virginia. This is the beginning of the Niners’ A-10 farewell tour before they re-join CUSA next season.

The 49ers won on Friday, 8-5, lost on Saturday, 4-3, and won on Sunday, 6-4.  Normally I would be happy with two of three, but we had a real shot at a sweep.  In the 9th, they got the tying run across BEFORE the 3rd out, which by rule counts–but the umpire waived it off.  Coach Hibbs was irate, and understandably so.  He has a 3 1/2 minute video on YouTube explaining how bad the call was.

(I did a year of Umpiring for little kids baseball.  While they do have a mini-rulebook for some things, the overwhelming majority of the rules come straight from the Major League Baseball rulebook, as does the NCAA rules.  I know for a fact that if the run scores before the 3rd out, you count it.)

Now, with 14 teams in the A-10, it is highly competitive to get in the six-team conference tournament.  And with the A-10 tournament being in Charlotte from May 22-25, we definitely want to be there.  If Charlotte misses on the conference tournament and a shot at the NCAA tournament by one game, I will have a stroke.  I will have to write a nasty letter to Bernadette McClane, the A-10 Commissioner, unleashing eight years of frustration with A-10 referees and umpires that hate coming south.  That, and horrible TV contracts that make 49ers men’s basketball an afterthought in our own town.

Baseball is 2-1 in the Atlantic 10, and 16-7 overall.  Next weekend is the first home A-10 series vs. VCU.  They play at Presbyterian on Tuesday.  Also don’t forget that April 5 vs. UNC Asheville is Fireworks Night.  Bring the kids.

Women’s basketball won two games this March Madness weekend.  Cara Consuegra’s team beat App State 79-61 and Davidson 72-60.  Both games were at home–so far we are winning our state.  The ladies go on to the WNIT Sweet 16 at home on Wednesday at 7 p.m. vs. the Florida/Winthrop winner–so it’s Amanda Butler, our former coach, or our neighbors to the south.  Bring the whole family out.

The women are now 26-5.  This is their second highest win total after the 27 two years ago in the WNIT Final Four.

(There was a moment in the first half of the Davidson game that made me go deja vu.  The announcer mentioned one play after a timeout where the ref allowed the team to correct our mistake and not play six players.  That reminded me of the A-10 tournament home loss to Richmond on a technical where the refs didn’t let us correct things before the play started, leading to the eventual firing of longtime Coach Bobby Lutz after a 1-7 season-ending meltdown.  Lutz would flip if he knew of this.

Some fans on mentioned Coach Consuegra’s baby bump and that she is due in July.  Congrats, Coach, and way to plan the kid in the offseason!

Jennifer Hailey, Atlantic 10 POY, dominated Davidson with 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, and 4 blocks.  Ny Hammonds and Amanda Dowe both had 9 boards each.  Kira Gordon led in steals with 3.  Ny Hammonds had 4 assists, Jai Forney 3, and Amanda Dowe and Hillary Sigmon had 2 each.  Hillary Sigmon also had the most 3’s with 3.  This was a total team effort that turned a close Davidson game into a double-digit win–just like the prior App State game.

-In a rain-shortened tournament, the golf team was a disappointing 9th of 14 teams at the Linger Longer Invitational in Greensboro, Georgia this weekend.  Charlotte’s top individual, Thomas Rowland of England, finished tied for 17th.

In softball, Sunday’s home double-header vs. A-10 foe George Washington was cancelled due to weather.

Men’s tennis lost to East Carolina, 5-2, yesterday. Women’s tennis‘ match Saturday at UNCG was cancelled due to weather.

Finally, football had their first practice in front of fans at McColl-Richardson Field on Saturday.

Tags: A-10 Atlantic 10 Baseball Charlotte 49ers Charlotte 49ers Women's Basketball Davidson Wildcats WNIT Women's Basketball

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